Plastic surgery addiction: How common is it?

Plastic surgery addiction: How common is it?
While there are some people who find the results of aesthetic procedures addicting, others only undergo one or two procedures to improve their appearance.

News headlines that highlight extreme surgically enhanced physical transformations and certain celebrities can make plastic surgery addiction seem like a common phenomenon. However, it may not be as frequent as the media portrays. While there are some people who find the results of aesthetic procedures addicting, others only undergo one or two procedures to improve their appearance.

The reason for multiple procedures
While addiction could be what leads some patients to seek a variety of procedures, there are many other causes. One could be related to age. As people grow older, they experience physical changes that they could want to improve upon throughout their lives. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reported that a typical sequence of surgeries throughout a woman's life could include a breast lift after childbirth, liposuction in her middle age and a facelift in her older years. Additionally, some procedures are typically performed at the same time to produce more desirable results. Multiple procedures of this nature don't necessarily indicate addiction.

Another reason a person may seek numerous surgeries is to maintain previous procedures. Breast augmentation, for example, requires additional future surgeries, as the Food and Drug Administration warned that breast implants have a shelf life. The administration reported that keeping the same implants for too long could be dangerous.

"The longer you have the implant, the more likely you are to have complications," Jeff Shuren, the FDA's medical device chief, told CBS News.

Identifying an addiction
There can come a point when a person's plastic surgery becomes extreme, and it typically stems from psychological issues, according to Everyday Health. Body dysmorphic disorder is one condition that can lead to an addiction to plastic surgery and other appearance-altering activities. Although it's rare, the condition can severely impact people's quality of life, as they spend a considerable amount of time obsessing over their appearance and believe that changing their physical features could solve their problems. While plastic surgery can help a person feel more confident, it's unrealistic to think a procedure will eliminate all of life's stress.

When seeking plastic surgery, it's essential to reflect on the reasons for getting the procedure. Everyday Health noted that plastic surgeons often ask their patients questions to identify whether they have a serious obsession with their appearance. A board-certified plastic surgeon should be able to recognize an issue, and can help a patient choose which procedures are necessary to produce the desired results.