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Heidi Montag: Too Much Too Young?

Posted on Friday, March 23rd, 2012 by Dr. Babak Dadvand

The recent People Magazine cover featuring Heidi Montag and her plastic surgery obsession made for a lot of talk around the proverbial watercooler and filled fluff minutes on every daytime talk show…for about a week. But much like the “career” of this type of celebrity, the story soon begins to fade…until the next unbelievable demonstration of “self-improvement” and career-boosting. But it brings up several hot topics, both in plastic surgery as well as in society.

I will only list some of the procedures Heidi had during her surgery:
1. Revision rhinoplasty
2. Browlift
3. Chin reduction
4. Ear Pinning
5. Facial fat grafting
6. Revision breast surgery with upsizing to 650cc implants
7. Liposuction
8. Fat grafting to buttocks

This may not be comprehensive but is a long enough list for anyone, let alone an attractive, thin, 23 year old woman. The issues this type of surgery brings up are: 1– Was all of this surgery necessary, or more importantly, safe given the length of time under anesthesia? 2– When is someone too young to be undergoing this amount of surgery? 3– What does this say about our society where people with no demostrable talent continue to put themselves through surgery to extend their fifteen minutes by a few more seconds?

The answers, in my opinion, to these 3 issues are:

1 – No, some of the procedures she underwent, such as a browlift and liposuction were not necessary, and in the case of 650cc implants on a frame like hers, will only cause problems down the line. In addition, ten hours under anesthesia can significantly increase risks of having serious complications after “elective” surgery!

2 – The fact that Heidi is only 23 and has undergone a prior rhinoplasty, prior breast augmentation and now is having revision rhinoplasty, more breast surgery and a whole host of other surgeries is only setting her up to having even more surgeries at a young age! Breast implants are not permanent, neither are browlifts or fat grafting. This becomes a slippery slope to feeding her addiction!

3 – This is the bigger, more philosophical issue. I don’t know Heidi Montag, and so I can’t be sure of her motivations for surgery. However, this new breed of false celebrity really struggle to reinvent themselves in order to keep themselves in the public eye. If Heidi is suffering from low self-esteem, poor self-image, or even worse, body dysmorphic disorder, having all of this surgery is the worst thing she could have done. I for one, think that as a physician and a plastic surgeon, we have the responsibility to advise our patients and demonstrate some discretion in who we operate on.

If you are just starting off with cosmetic treatments, I recommend exploring non-surgical options such as Botox, fillers and laser treatments available at many major cities such as Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York.

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