It started with shows like Extreme Makeover and The Swan and can now be found in the pages of any tabloid magazine, Twitter feed and celebrity blog out there. Media executives, Hollywood plastic surgeons and even celebrities themselves have made plastic surgery one of the most talked-about topics, in primetime, online and, if they're doing their jobs right, in your own home.
Television shows, past and present, with a plastic surgery focus:
- ABC's "Extreme Makeover"
- FOX's "The Swan"
- MTV's "I Want a Famous Face"
- E!'s "Dr. 90210"
- Discovery's "Plastic Surgery: Before & After"
- FX's "Nip/Tuck"
- Bravo's "Miami Slice"
Famous reality & television plastic surgeons:
- Dr. Robert Rey, M.D., "Dr. 90210"
- Dr. Garth Fisher, M.D., "Extreme Makeover"
- Drs. Terry Dubrow and Randal Haworth, M.D., "The Swan"
- Dr. Andrew Ordon, M.D., "The Doctors," a Dr. Phil production
- Mark Sloan, aka McSteamy, "Grey's Anatomy"
- Sean McNamara & Christian Troy, "Nip/Tuck"
Watch television, have surgery?
And if any of those shows or doctors sound familiar, watch out! According to a survey published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the reality of the matter is that it's affecting you. A study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery stated that first-time plastic surgery seekers were influenced by watching plastic surgery reality TV shows. Of 42 cosmetic surgery patients surveyed, 57 percent of them were considered to be "high-intensity" plastic surgery TV viewers, defined as those who watched as least one program regularly. Four out of five of those surveyed said that television directly influenced them to begin planning a cosmetic surgery procedure.
The ASPS survey was conducted in 2007, long before "The Hills' " Heidi Montag publicized her plastic surgery spree via the Internet, the cover of every gossip magazine and the talk-show circuit. And although some of the above-mentioned shows have been cancelled, or in the case of ABC's "Extreme Makeover," replaced by the much more popular, and somewhat less controversial " Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," their legacy lives on.
Dr. John Persing, M.D., an ASPS member surgeon and co-author of the study, may have the best advice for television fans and plastic surgeon candidates alike: "It is unfortunate that patients are turning toward the entertainment industry for educational information—we had hoped for different results. These shows may create unrealistic, unhealthy expectations about what plastic surgery can do for you. Although it's called reality TV, it may not be reality."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times