Australian women increasingly unhappy with cosmetic surgery outcomes

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Cosmetic surgery has always been fraught with unrealistic demands and sometimes legal action in cases of dissatisfactory results. Tens of thousands of cosmetic surgeries are performed each year and the numbers are climbing fast. A new study shows that Australian women who volunteer for cosmetic surgeries often have such unrealistic expectations for the outcomes of the surgeries.

This survey conducted by the Australian National University (ANU) interviewed women most of whom seemed dissatisfied with the results of the surgery saying that the outcome did not match the computer generated images that were shown before the procedure. Some also complained of discomfort after a “too-tight” facelift or “too big” breast implant.

Study author and ANU health sociologist Associate Professor Rhian Parker said, "It would be wrong to say, 'if women go into cosmetic surgery they can get exactly what they want'…There are TV programs showing us people being transformed: it doesn't show us the risks involved."

There are malpractices according to her. For example cosmetic surgeons do recommend an additional eyelift along with a face lift to improve on their profits. She thinks this is a moral and a serious issue. She said, "It's very difficult to say, 'no, I don't want that', if a doctor in a position of authority suggests something."

Prof Parker, author of Women, Doctors and Cosmetic Surgery: Negotiating the ‘Normal’ Body, said many of the 32 women in Victoria she interviewed for her book also revealed that the entire procedure was undertaken in secret with even “close family and friends” as well as their GP in the dark about the procedure.

Her interviews included 19 plastic and cosmetic surgeons, dermatologists and GPs. She said that these women need to be better informed about the procedures as well as the different qualifications and scopes of the specialists. She wished that cosmetic surgery come out of the "peripheral shadows of medicine" and to be made more accountable so that people make better choices that can result in more real demands. According to her ideally all women going under the knife need to discuss the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ and also interview at least 3 surgeons about their experience with similar cases and rates of satisfactory outcomes.

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


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  1. Rosane Rosane Canada says:

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    Would the Smartlipo be better, since this procedure sends lazer under the skin rather than on top of the skin, like the Zerona does?
    Any answers regarding this matter would be extremely appreciated.

    Thank You

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