Most plastic surgeons will tell you: The best plastic surgery is a subtle transformation—not a drastic change where everyone who looks at you thinks you look completely different. “The biggest giveaway of ‘good’ plastic surgery is when someone looks just too young for their age,” says New York facial plastic surgeon Konstantin Vasyukevich, MD. So how does the bad stuff show? These dead giveaways you’ve had some (ahem…not-so-good) plastic surgery done are ten-plus more reasons it’s vital to find a plastic surgeon who is properly board-certified, up-to-date on the latest techniques, and has an aesthetic vision that’s in line with yours.
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The Honing Effect
Plastic surgery that creates an immediately identifiable change in a patient’s appearance—and causes the observer to “hone-in” on that one feature—is what New York plastic surgeon Daniel Y. Maman, MD calls a telltale sign of some not-so-subtle results. “Good plastic surgery should be subtle, difficult to identify, and consistent with the patient’s other features. The operated area should look as if it was always intended to be that way.”
A “Pulled” Look
Dr. Vasyukevich says this one is probably the most common sign of “bad” plastic surgery. “That happened a lot with the old-fashioned facelift,” he says. “Fortunately, it is exceedingly rare today. Bald spots in the temple, pulled ear lobes, visible scars that are placed in front rather than inside the ear, wide, cross-hatched appearing scars, and stretched lips are a few other telltale signs of an ‘old’ facelift. All these unsightly changes have been resolved with modern-day facelifts. With an expertly performed facelift, it becomes exceedingly difficult to notice any signs of surgical rejuvenation. The facial contour appears natural and the incision lines are well-placed in the areas around the ear where they are not visible.”
Troy, MI plastic surgeon Anthony Youn, MD says this is the term for an elongated earlobe that results from pulling of the earlobe after a facelift. “I avoid this in my patients by securing the facelift to the cartilage of the ear. But if the facelift is secured only to skin, the earlobes can pull down and look like the earlobe of a pixie.”
One dead-giveaway of breast implants is wrinkles on the side of the breasts when a woman bends over. “This is due to wrinkling of the implants, which is especially worse with saline implants,” Dr. Youn says, and adds silicone implants can reduce this issue.
Belly Button Anomalies
Tummy tucks can produce belly buttons that are too round, too narrow or too tight and have a visible circular scar around them. “This is often a dead giveaway for a tummy tuck.”
“When you hug someone and it feels like two cantaloupes on the chest, then it could be that she has excess scar tissue around breast implants, called capsular contracture,” Dr. Youn explains.
“If any neuromodulator is injected into the forehead in a certain way, some men and women can develop an over-arching of the brow, resembling Cruella de Vil,” Dr. Youn says. The good news: Even though it looks odd when it happens, it is easily treated.
The Botox Cosmetic Brow’s cousin is the Frozen Forehead. “This is what results when too much Botox Cosmetic is injected into the forehead, causing it to lose all movement. In some people, it can cause the eyebrows to droop unnaturally as well. The only treatment is to wait it out.”
A conservative amount of filler in the cheeks can look naturally youthful. “But too much can cause a person to look like a muppet (aka pillow face),” Dr. Youn says.
“Some doctors remove too much cartilage from the tip of the nose during a rhinoplasty, resulting in a pinched nasal tip. The nose can look skinny and the nostrils can even cave in with breathing. Although this can occasionally be found naturally, in many cases this is a dead giveaway for a nose job.”
Dr. Youn says a “tiny waist with big butt, thin figure with massive breasts” equals unnatural proportions that are often dead giveaways for plastic surgery.
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