Celebrity Plastic Surgery Regrets...Less is More

Michael A. Persky, MD

Article by
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon

I am often asked, "Doc, do celebrities get better plastic surgery because they can afford to pay more?" I usually give a two word answer, "Michael Jackson."

Cost is not necessarily a guarantee of excellence. Conversely, paying less for surgery, fillers, Botox, or laser rejuvenation can result in poor results. "Why do so many people who have their lips done (or Botox, or face lifts, or whatever) look so unnatural and funny?" is other commonly discussed question. Well, many of them probably went for the cheapest treatment, or did not choose their aesthetic physician carefully.

It is not the filler, technology, or surgical technique. These are just "tools" that we are privileged to use to rejuvenate. Today plastic surgeons are blessed to have so many wonderful, innovative tools at their finger tips to help their patients. Most importantly though, it is the surgeon who is ultimately performing the "art" of sculpting upon their patients with the use of these tools combined with their individual skill and experience. Over and over again when answering questions about facial plastic surgeon I emphasize how important it is to choose your plastic surgeon most carefully.

That having been said, here are a few celebrities who may have been better served having chosen their plastic surgeons with more diligence.

Lips...Lisa Rinna had silicone injected into her famous lips many years ago. Silicone is a permanent filler. There is no room for error what so ever. It needs to be injected in micro-droplets over the course of many sessions. There is the possibility of infection many years following the injections. It is extremely difficult to remove. Ms. Rinna had surgery many years ago attempting to reduce the silicone that was not successful. She recently had her second surgery which was successful.

Botox...Nicole Kidman has been the poster child for what Botox can do when the forehead muscles are completely paralysed. The frontalis muscle is unable to lift the eyebrows resulting in low eye brows. The beautiful and talented Ms. Kidman, after years of denial, has recently admitted to using Botox in the past, but says that she is happy to have movement of her forehead back. Not that her "Botoxed" forehead ever hindered her magnificent acting career.

Breasts +...Kourtney Kardashian had breast implants that now are "uncomfortable when lying down." She states that if she had done more research about breast augmentation that she likely would have stuck with what Mother Nature gave her. Hopefully Kourtney's lessons will serve to help other young women when they contemplate plastic surgery on their breasts.

Everything...Heidi Montag, victim of her too well publicized marathon 10 plastic surgery procedures in one day by the late Frank Ryan, MD, has been outspoken about her regrets. "I would love to not be 'plastic girl' or whatever they call me,” Montag told Life & Style. “Surgery ruined my career and my personal life and just brought a lot of negativity into my world. I wish I could jump into a time machine and take it all back. Instead, I'm always going to feel like Edward Scissorhands."

Nose...Jennifer Grey is famous for what a rhinoplasty or nose job should not be. Rhinoplasty should address the problems that concern the patient in a subtle fashion, not make them unrecognizable. "I went in the operating theatre a celebrity -- and came out anonymous, I'll always be this once-famous actress nobody recognizes... because of a nose job." Rhinoplasty patients should not have to reintroduce themselves to family and friends after their surgery when they bump into them in a restaurant.

Facelift, Eyes, Botox...Olympic Gold Medalist Bruce Jenner had surgery many years ago. Unfortunately for Mr. Jenner, the surgeon who operated on his upper eyelids did not distinguish between male and female eyelid surgery, giving Mr. Jenner a feminized upper eyelid platform. Unfortunately, the result wasn't what Bruce had hoped for and for years since then he has been the victim of cruel taunts from the media,” Kim Kardashian wrote on her blog. For his sixtieth birthday in 2009, Jenner decided to correct the damage with a second facelift.

Facelift, Eyelids...Kenny Rodgers should have known "when to fold, know when to hold them", but again found an eye surgeon who feminized his eyes (see Stallone, Pacino as well). The upper eye lid incision in a man should be much lower than the higher incision in women that creates the upper lid platform. “I kind of wish I hadn’t done it,” Rogers, 72, said in 2008. “Looking back at some pictures of myself, my eyes were a lot warmer than they are now, and I miss that. As you go through life, you make choices,” he says of the surgery. “Some are good, some are bad.”

Botox, Body Liposuction...Jamie Lee Curtis had some body liposuction and Botox, “And you know what? None of it works… Nobody tells you if you take fat from your body in one place, it comes back in another place.” (Except with CoolSculpting by Zeltiq). Ms. Curtis swears that plastic surgery never helped her -- in fact, she “looked worse” after going under the knife.

Facelift, boxing...I thought that Mickey Rourke first looked a little funny in his 1987 film "Angel Heart. When watching the film I recall noticing tell tale signs of a facelift pull. It had been rumored that he had some "work" for his role in the picture. He gave up his film career in 1991 to pursue a career in boxing. When he came back to acting, in early 2000, he blamed boxing for his facial asymmetry, but later admitted, “Most of it was to mend the mess of my face because of the boxing, but I went to the wrong guy to put my face back together."

Nose, Brows, Body, and more...Funny lady Kathy Griffin's plastic surgical saga with Paul Nassif , MD of "Beverly Hills Housewives" fame was well documented in '93 People magazine article. Ms. Griffin underwent multiple procedures pre-Heidi including brow lift and nose job. "I had my nose done because it was a little big. Unfortunately I think it looks exactly the same. …" She says she released the pictures of her liposuction surgery as a public service: “I want women to know when you get liposuction trying to be Jennifer Aniston, this is what it really looks like.” Note: Jen A. not on this list, someone is doing something right, keeping Jen's fans guessing what Jen does to look so good. Less is more.

Injection Trauma...Dana Delany had an injection mishap when her dermatologist traumatized a nerve over her right eye causing permanent weakness. This complication is verey rare! In fact, so rare that this is the first time that I have heard of it. Ms. Delany claims that hair dye is now her only anti-aging "secret".

Breasts...Pamela Anderson's breast implants are world famous. They have been in, out, and in again. “I’m not against plastic surgery, what I’ve had done will stay with me and that’s fine, but I don’t want anything else."....for now!

Filler Diaster...Priscilla Presley definitely chose the wrong doctor, Daniel Serrano. Oops, "Dr." Serrano wasn’t even a licensed doctor. Serrano was jailed in 2006 after pleading guilty to conspiracy, smuggling and use of unapproved drugs. He injected her with industrial low-grade silicone that he smuggled illegally from Argentina. Ms. Presley ended up with lumps in her face and lips -- although she was luckier than some of Dr. Serrano’s other A-list patients, who complained of paralysis and holes in their skin. Avoid your friend's "doctor" who comes to the house or hotel room with a suitcase of injectables!

Breasts...Tara Reid suffered unfortunate humiliation after a wardrobe malfunction was captured on the red carpet revealing her botched breast augmentation. “I cried and begged the photographers not to print it, but it was everywhere. I was on the Web sites as having the ugliest boobs in the world.” The same surgeon botched her abdominal surgery. She had corrective surgery by a competent surgeon and needed psychological counseling for one year following the damage done to her body (and mind).

The Queens of Plastic Surgery...What would a review of celebrity plastic surgery be without "props" to the Ambassators of plastic surgery, the great comedians Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers? Ms. Diller said, "My phtographs don't do me justice...they just look like me" and "It's a good thing that beauty is only skin deep or I would be rotten to the core" Joan Rivers after a lifetime of plastic surgery lamented, "I wish that I had a twin, so I would know what I look like without plastic surgery"
Joan's book, a guide to plastic surgery for women, "Men Are Stupid...and They Like Big Boobs" documents her experiences with plastic surgery and advises women curious about the subject.

For now, it's time to get back to our clinic and keep our celebrity patients looking their natural best so that they continue to remain off these lists in the future. Less is more not only for celebritiy patients, but for all of our patients. Be well.