Can a Plastic Surgery Procedure be Undone?

by Marisa Amorasak
10/17/11


Plastic surgery is characterized by the fact that it gives patients permanent changes to their physical appearance. Breasts are made perkier, noses straighter, and thighs slimmer. Of course, not all patients who’ve undergone surgery are satisfied with their results, leading them to seek out revision surgery. So just how common are these so-called “touch up” surgeries, and what exactly drives patients to get them?

"Redos are very, very common," explained Dr. Tony Youn, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Michigan. In fact, Youn says up to 20 percent of the patients he treats are seeking revision surgery. That means two possible things: surgeons aren’t satisfying their patients and patients aren’t afraid to go after exactly the look they want. The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery revealed that out of nearly 300,000 breast augmentationsurgeries performed in 2010, 21,714 of them were considered revision surgeries. Revisions are most commonly performed on rhinoplasties and breast augmentations—according to Youn, patients either feel that their look has changed too much or not enough. Who can forget when Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey got a nose job and couldn’t find work again?

But a revision surgery is quite different than a total un-doing. In terms of plastic surgery, what’s already done can seldom be un-done. Former reality television star Heidi Montag has garnered some recent headlines for stating that she regrets her infamous 2009 plastic surgery makeover, which included breast implants, rhinoplasty, liposuction, collagen lip injections, Botox, chin augmentation, and liposuction—all in one day. The now 25-year old blamed her ego and Hollywood for allowing her to succumb to aesthetic pressures. “If I could go back, I wouldn’t do it,” she said in a recent interview.

It looks like Heidi’s out of luck, because many of the procedures that she had done are virtually irreversible. Very large implants, like Heidi’s 700 ccs, tend to stretch out the skin of the breasts permanently. If removed, they would run a high risk of looking like empty, hanging sacs. Similarly, liposuction can’t be un-done, unless a plastic surgeon were to tediously inject fat into the liposuctioned areas. As for plastic surgeries that involve shaving off bits of bone—certain rhinoplasties and chin reductions—the only way to go back to a similar look is to opt for an implant.

That’s not to say that there aren’t some temporary cosmetic treatments. Many minimally-invasive procedures such as Botox, Juvederm, Restylane, and collagen last for only a few months before they are naturally absorbed by the body and the effects are reduced. New adjustable implants have also entered the cosmetic market. The implants can be gradually filled with saline solution over several office visits.

Ideally, plastic surgery patients wouldn’t have to go in for a revision surgery at all. If you are considering going under the knife, be sure to go to a surgeon with reputable experience who communicates well. Many surgeons offer digital before and after predictions during consultations in order to come to a visual compromise with patients. Signature Forum’s exclusive network of board-certified plastic surgeons is dedicated to providing top notch aesthetic enhancement to all of their patients. They also perform revision surgery for patients not satisfied with the results of a previous surgery. If you’d like to learn more about revision surgery or any other plastic surgery procedure, contact our representatives today. We’ll happily set up a free consultation with a plastic surgeon in your area.

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