It’s no wonder plastic surgery has become so in demand, we see it on our screens and in our feeds every single day. From Keeping Up with the Kardashians to competitions on Facebook that advertise free boob jobs. While reasons vary over why people decide to go under the knife, She Society thought it would be interesting to gain insight into the ever-expanding industry, talking to plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr Dan Kennedy.
According to Dan, there are numerous reasons why people decide to get work done. “We’ve got at one end of the spectrum somebody who has a cleft lip and their nose is crooked because of it, having a rhinoplasty to straighten that. To somebody having a breast reduction for the release of pain or somebody having a breast augmentation because they feel anxious about their body image.”
“It’s very difficult to say that there is one key motivation for people seeking aesthetic surgery, but if I had to try and sum it up in one phrase, it would be to try and feel comfortable in their own skin.”
Reality TV has become a major influence, with stars such as the Kardashian’s and The Housewives of Melbourne setting the trends for cosmetic procedures including injectables and breast implants.
Dan believes that reality TV is trivialising plastic surgery and its complications, “I think reality tv has probably done people quite a disservice because it’s taken some of the seriousness away from plastic surgery procedures and made it somewhat more like going in and having a haircut.”
“It’s not, its serious, it’s having surgery and along with surgery goes the risks of complications, disturbance of tissue and disappointment with the results. It’s not like a haircut that grows out, it’s significant intervention and you don’t get over it as quickly as you get over a bad haircut.”
Dan’s most unusual request came from a patient who asked him to put little bumps in their forehead to make them appear more like a cartoon character. That request was understandably not adhered to.
“We do retain the right to say no, we don’t think that’s suitable for you, or I don’t think that’s a good idea. It’s not about providing a service that somebody requests, it’s about providing a service that they request and that’s appropriate for them,” Dan said.
“I think that many people feel a whole lot more comfortable with their appearance after they’ve had their procedure. Whether their breasts were too big, or they wanted them bigger, or their face more youthful, you notice a substantial change in people’s emotional comfort level and people look less anxious and less stressed after they get the procedure done.”
Dan said that he typically discourages people from seeking cosmetic procedures until they are fully developed, both physically and emotionally. “As a rule I would say the youngest I would think is appropriate is around 22 for a cosmetic procedure such as a breast augmentation or liposuction. I wouldn’t go any lower than 18 ever, but I would go as low as 18 in some instances where the particular feature complained of was more severe.”
Commenting on the new trends in the industry, Dan said that there has been a lot of interest and noise around freezing of fat. “It’s become extremely popular and to some extent its reduced the number of people seeking liposuction.There’s also been some enthusiasm around the idea of being able to treat sweating with a new device. It’s relatively difficult to access that, there’s only a few of them around the country.”
Dan Kennedy is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who is apart of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. Find out more information here.
Tell us your opinion on the matter, does reality TV influence your decisions around plastic surgery?
By Emily Facoory
She Society is a site for the women of Australia to share our stories, our experiences, shared learnings and opportunities to connect.