Doctors: Younger patients seeking plastic surgery

by Leigh Frillici ,  KHOU | 2011-11-01

HOUSTON—Plastic surgery is becoming more popular -- especially among younger people. In fact, repeat patient business was up 13 percent last year, according to the American Society of Plastic surgeons. Sharon Frank said she has had at least 10 procedures over the years. She said she likes plastic surgery. “I would recommend it if you want to grow old gracefully and pretty, and if you don’t, so be it either,” she said. But it’s not just about aging gracefully any more, because the patients are getting younger—like 23-year-old Whitney Whatley, a "Big Rich Texas" cast member. She went on "The Doctors" television show and said she wants implants and plumper lips.

Michael Jackson, Heidi Montag and the plastic surgeries of countless other celebrities have been well documented. But is there such a thing as too much? “They’re continuing because they think there has to be some procedure that will make them feel beautiful, versus doing the internal work,” said Dr. Xyna Bell. “I think the people who can’t stop have a shame—they are trying to fix their shame through plastic surgery. They are trying to fix the outside without fixing the inside.” “It has to do with acceptance.  Acceptance of self and acceptance by others and that sense of shame that I’m not accepted,” she added. “So, if I’m just this size, if I just look this way, I will belong, I will fit in.”

However, Dr. Franklin Rose, with Utopia Plastic Surgery and Med Spa, said making people look good can actually help with that internal work.  “If you’re able to continually make patients prettier and happier with their self image and self esteem, you can do multiple procedures on patients,” he said. The pursuit of that kind of beauty can also be expensive. Rose performed five procedures on Ellen Nolan of "Bachelor Pad" in one day: a nose job, breast implants and liposuction that totaled more than $20,000. “I think it’s the most fabulous investment a patient can make,” Rose said.

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