Modern plastic surgery has been around for the better part of a century, but it has only recently become glamorized in popular culture. According to The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the total number of plastic surgeries performed in America over the last 20 years has increased by 25%.
For many plastic surgeons, this massive influx of business is a dream come true. But at the SixSurgery Clinic, Dr. Martin Jugenburg reported having turned away 350 patients in one year!
One of the biggest downsides of the rise in plastic surgery is that it can lead to unrealistic, and even downright impossible expectations. Pop culture icons like the Kardashians have made it so that cosmetic surgery is associated with the perfect bikini selfie rather than the actual surgical procedure.
It is not uncommon for patients to bring pictures of photoshopped models to their consultations to request the exact same body. In reality, each body is different and there are limits to plastic surgery. “I’m a surgeon, not an editor – I am always transparent with patients that I cannot give them the same results as Photoshop.” For this type of patient, Dr. Jugenburg notes, “When a patient has unrealistic expectations there’s no amount of surgery that’s going to make them happy.
Even if I perform the world’s greatest surgery with incredible results if it’s not what they’re expecting they will not be happy”. Dr. Jugenburg has kindly turned away many patients who he feels do not have a realistic understanding of what cosmetic surgery can accomplish.
A more extreme version of unrealistic expectations is often common in patients with Body Dysmorphic Disorder, or BDD. The Mayo Clinic defines Body Dysmorphic behavior as “an intense focus on your appearance and body image, repeatedly checking the mirror, grooming or seeking reassurance, sometimes for many hours each day. Your perceived flaw and the repetitive behaviors cause you significant distress, and impact your ability to function in your daily life.
The SixSurgery Clinic has always screened for BDD, over the course of the last year began having more open conversations about BDD with patients, in an attempt to differentiate patients with common insecurities and those with this mental illness. Dr. Jugenburg has turned more and more patients away who, in his opinion, may be suffering from BDD.
He says, “In these cases, plastic surgery cannot help them unsee their imperfection, which can lead to a spiral of revisions and touch-ups that will end up actually hurting the patient.”
If you aren’t familiar with The SixSurgery Clinic, they are a team of renowned surgeons with the latest and most advanced surgical techniques and equipment who ensures safety is always their highest priority. A recent study has found that patients who are overweight have an increased risk of complications for cosmetic surgery procedures.
For this reason, Dr. Jugenburg will usually turn away patients with a BMI over 30, “we choose to limit our BMI requirements in an effort to lower complications our patients can potentially face”. He notes that patients with a higher BMI should always prioritize their safety and opt to have surgery in a hospital setting.
In one year, 350 patients who were unfit for surgery visited the SixSurgery Clinic, and each one was pointed in a better, safer direction. It is important to choose a trusted surgeon who will prioritize a patient’s health and safety over a full calendar.
For more information about The SixSurgery Clinic, you can check out their social media, where they make it their mission to educate patients about plastic surgery procedures, realistic expectations, and thinking critically about photoshopped celebrity images.