They slink into the offices of plastic surgeons – women and men with botched nose jobs, mangled tummy tucks, and other marks of missteps.
They’ve come for a corrective fix, anxious to undo what some other surgeon did wrong.
Little wonder they find their way to Beverly Hills, called the “Plastic Surgery Capital of the World,” in some quarters. The tony town also is home to a growing number of board-certified plastic surgeons who are increasingly busy putting their talents toward repairs in the wake of less skilled doctors and cosmetic surgeons.
Corrective procedures – also called “revision surgeries” – account for anywhere from 25 percent to 40 percent of the work at some Beverly Hills plastic surgery practices these days.
It’s a relatively new trend, physicians say.
“Five to six years ago, I started noticing an uptick in revisionist surgeries across the board – noses, breasts, lipo[suction] – botched, just fundamental errors,” said Dr. Rady Rahban, a Beverly Hills board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon. “I’ve got women who come in with humongous breasts, too large. They can’t go to work, they’re so embarrassed. Noses, totally collapsed. People who can’t breathe, nasal cripples.
“We’re at a state of crisis when it comes to plastic surgery.”
The often costly repairs reported by the Beverly Hills plastic surgeons working on body parts damaged by other doctors are borne out by recent medical studies that point to a largely unregulated market for cosmetic surgery.
Some so-called “cosmetic surgeons” can practice with as little as a few weekends of training.
It’s a lucrative market.
Americans spent a record $16 billion on cosmetic plastic surgery in 2016, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. That included 1.8 million plastic surgery procedures, from 290,000 breast augmentations to 255,000 liposuctions, 223,000 nose jobs and 131,000 facelifts.
What’s not clear is the skill levels or certifications of the doctors who performed the surgeries – whether they were done by board-certified plastic surgeons, or by non-certified cosmetic surgeons.
Nor it is clear how many of those 1.8 million surgeries were revisions to previous surgeries gone bad. Or whether they were the latest among the repeat surgeries sought to fix nostrils that had been over-clipped, liposuctions that had been over-suctioned and breasts that had been overdone, plastic surgeons say.
The list of botched surgeries doesn’t include less dramatic damages – poor stitching, infections, festering wounds and scars that can arise from cut-rate plastic surgeries performed by unskilled practitioners at home or overseas.