The Latest Plastic Surgery Reality Show Is Flawed

A plastic surgeon breaks down why E!'s new program really is botched.

plastic surgery

Pre-plastic surgery image via shutterstock

First, there was Extreme Makeover. Then came The Swan, followed by Dr. 90210. Now, the latest plastic surgery “reality show” is E!’s Botched, which I first heard about when patients began asking about it last week. Apparently, the American public still has an appetite for magical physical transformations on television.

“What do you think about the show Botched?” the patient asked. I responded that these are extreme examples of patients who had a bad experience with plastic surgery. But as a plastic surgeon, I found it harder than I expected to talk about “botched” plastic surgeries.

Yes, unexpected complications and bad outcomes during surgery are always a possibility when having any surgery, “plastic” or otherwise. I think that there are some viewers whose fears and concerns of having plastic surgery are overwhelmingly confirmed with this show. It offers a sensational, “Wow, look at that person!” kind of shock value. However, there’s also a plus side to plastic surgery. I’ve seen a plethora of quality outcomes and even patients reporting an improved quality of life from after getting this procedure.

Shows like Botched are bad for plastic surgery, and unfortunately can misguide the public. If you are considering plastic surgery, do your research. Make sure your plastic surgeon is board certified, and has completed a full plastic surgery residency, or training program.

Even board certified plastic surgeons have complications. Here’s the “real” reality: Is it ok to be potentially watching your neighbor being operated on under general anesthesia after dinner? Is surgery on real people now OK for public viewing? My opinion is no. Let’s try not to trivialize medical treatment and, in this case, plastic surgery. Not everything you see on TV is how it is in real life; do your research and be an informed consumer of information.