Since cosmetic surgery has become known and affordable for the general public, television producers have sniffed drama and higher ratings in this “appearance medicine”. A rash of makeover-type shows have resulted, not only in the U.S., but also in the U.K, Australia, and New Zealand.

Research Done in New Zealand

Recently, some studies were done by the University of Auckland Department of Psychological Medicine to discover what sort of influence the TV programs were having on people who opted to have cosmetic surgery.

One study showed that of each five patients who went for their first cosmetic surgery, four stated that they were influenced by “reality” TV. It also showed a similar dynamic working with cosmetic dentistry and “smile makeovers”. Other studies showed that numbers of people having cosmetic surgery, especially for weight reduction, is rising in the U.K., U.S., and Australia.

How TV Misleads

However, Professor Keith Petrie, speaking for himself and his co-authors, stated that TV programs are misleading. They:

  • Focus only on people who achieve the most dramatic results

  • Have a short duration which gives the false impression that cosmetic surgery produces fast appearance improvements with virtually no healing time

  • Barely mention complications or failed procedures, making it seem that they don’t exist

  • Photograph their participants in flattering light conditions, having used personal trainers, hair stylists and makeup artists

One result of all this is that the TV participants themselves often suffer a lot of stress, trying to meet filming schedules, maintain their weight loss, and appear perhaps more delighted than they feel. Another result is that viewers get a falsely happy-go-lucky impression of the cosmetic surgery experience and take that with them to a cosmetic surgeon in their area.

Professor Petrie recommends that ethical safeguards be put in place for these misleading programs, and that there be more research done on their effects for all involved.

Not Everyone is a Good Cosmetic Surgery Candidate

All reputable cosmetic surgeons will take time with a new patient to listen to what that person wants done, and why. Having realistic expectations is part of being a good candidate for cosmetic surgery.

At the Cosmetic Surgical Center, Dr. Rai will always explain your options to make sure that you understand the pros and cons of each one, and that you have only the best and most appropriate surgical work done. Everyone on our staff believes that a good education makes for the best type of patient and we will answer your questions clearly. Please email or call if you would like a personal consultation.