No Pain, No Gain: Five Cosmetic Procedures that Really Hurt

Anonymous_1 on 10 Mar 2011 at 12:00am

le="text-align: center;"> “The pain passes, but the beauty remains.”

--Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1841-1919

Renoir may have been born before the invention of the tummy tuck, but his quote still applies today. After all, no one ever said plastic surgery came without suffering.   

But there are degrees of pain. Some procedures are more excruciating than others, according to the RealSelf community.  

Certainly a consultation before any procedure with a board-certified physician will provide an educated understanding of the potential pain and any risks involved. Patient and doctor can then work together to minimize any anticipated suffering.  

Also, the Worth It Index for any procedure is an excellent guide to overall patient satisfaction with a surgery, including pain experienced in proportion to happiness with overall results. A procedure can be very painful, yet still receive a high Worth It Index – again, the old no pain, no gain theory.  

But sometimes there’s just no getting around the fact that it’s gonna hurt.  

Ready to wince? Steel yourself for five procedures that really hurt…at least according to reviews from these patients below:    

  1. Rhinoplasty
    73% of those who underwent this procedure say it’s Worth It

    So let’s get this straight: when you get a nose job, your nose is typically broken first so it can be reshaped. Really? How is that fun on any level?

    Well, according to RealSelf community member Prettynicky, apparently it's not: "I will not lie to you, the first 72 hours post surgery I wanted my boyfriend to knock me out cold, I was taking two Percocet every three hours and between the meds and the pain I regretted the whole choice.”

  2. Restylane
    60% Worth It Index

    Injectable facial fillers bring back smoothness and glow...but may come with a side dish of misery, says community member Chloe713 : “LOVE the look, the most painful experience. Oh my gosh...I did not realize the pain that would be involved in the process - they even numbed me! I could barely touch my lips for 3-4 days…”
  3. Zoom teeth whitening
    53% Worth It Index

    A little sparkle in the teeth is the end goal for this procedure, but it came at a price, apparently, for community member Jaimemoo: “I have a high pain threshold and expected discomfort due to reading horror stories of Zoom patients. The pain is very very bad. I completely understand why [another] reviewer did shots of vodka. I am dying to down some whisky but I have two small children to take care of.”
  4. Fraxel Laser
    54% Worth It Index

    Treating skin texture with lasers seemed to have been fairly unpleasant for RealSelf review
    RealSelf reviewer after Fraxel laser  provider Judith G Wigren-Slack: “If I had known how miserable I would feel I never would have done this. They said ‘slight swelling for a day or two and then some reddening and bronzing’. What a laugh. I look like road kill and there is no way in hell I would get another treatment …No way would I do this again.”

  5. Breast augmentation
    86% Worth It Index

    This is one of the most frequently performed cosmetic procedures - but that doesn’t mean it’s a cakewalk.

    Says community member
    lollipop: “If I would have known how bad the recovery was, my chest would still be flat…For 2-3 days after my surgery, I could not physically sit up. If I was lying down, someone would have to pull me up, after catching my breath, I would stand and feel like an elephant was sitting on my chest.”

Want the inside scoop on a procedure’s ouch factor? Check the Worth It Index and read answers to community members’ questions. Then be sure to consult with a board-certified physician, who can explain all of the risks [and potential pain] associated with an elective procedure.  

Oh, and you’re never too old to bring a teddy bear or clutch your best friend’s hand to make the pain go away.

  Some community members’ answers have been edited for clarity
Rhinoplasty photo credit: RealSelf member Ashley Kuykendall
Fraxel photo credit: RealSelf member tracie