Less Is More In Today’s Plastic Surgery

The Guinness Book of World Records has a lot of peculiar and  unusual human achievements. Plastic surgery makes up but a few of them. One such record is that of a 55 year-old woman from Ohio who has had the most number of cosmetic surgeries. With 52 plastic surgery procedures to her credit, she appears to hold this dubious record.

By her own admission she has had five facelifts, two sets of blepharoplasties, liposuction to her stomach and knees as well as regular sessions of Botox and injectable hand rejuvenation.  She has spent over $100,000 in fees over the past 25 years. With such a vast personal experience, it is no surprise that she makes a living as a cosmetic surgery consultant and has authored a book on what she calls cosmetic surgery secrets.

While most would understandably view this accomplishment as just another attention-seeking addict heading down the Michael Jackson highway, there is actually a more interesting and relevant side to this story. While few will ever even come close to this number of plastic surgery procedures, there is no denying that for 55 years of age she looks exceptional and not a bit unnatural or having an ‘operated look’. This certainly separates her from many other celebrities who undoubtably have spent a great deal more and do not look nearly as good.

Why she has turned out better, despite a large number of anti-aging endeavors,  is a result of two efforts. First, she has stated that her goal in all of this was to look authentic and  remain natural looking. She never wanted to look like she had anything done. This seems obvious and I have seen few patients who wanted to look unnatural after surgery. Just wanting to have natural-looking results after surgery, however, is not enough. The key and the contemporary approach to plastic surgery is to do smaller operations earlier in life.

Despite her many plastic surgeries, the vast majority of these were not major surgeries. Most of her surgeries were more ‘nips and tucks’ and many of her procedures were injectable in nature, although counted as if they were operations. In essence, she used more minimally-invasive procedures that were then done on a periodic basis. Like the regular maintenance on an expensive car, she intervened at earlier stages of facial aging and not waited until she had ‘broken down’ and needed a major overhaul. This avoids extensive surgery and the associated drastic change and operated look that can appear afterwards.

This is the contemporary approach to the treatment of aging…intervene early and control its effects by taking advantage of today’s injectable and less invasive plastic surgery procedures. Botox, injectable fillers, laser and light therapies, and more limited operations such as the Lifestyle Lift and numerous other facial tucks have created this new way of thinking. Like in many other areas of life, today’s plastic surgery illustrates that less can truly be more.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana