Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Randal Haworth offers his expert opinion on whether Jennifer Hawkins has gone under the knife. She has been the subject of ongoing surgery speculation due to her changing appearance over the years. Dr. Haworth told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday: ‘I often see pretty girls like Jennifer wanting to fine-tune their features to enter “supermodel” territory.’
Despite being a household name for 15 years, Jennifer does not appear to have aged a day and is arguably more beautiful now than she was in her early twenties. Dr. Haworth, who has not treated Jennifer himself, stated that the Australian model appears to have invested in some minor improvements to ‘improve facial balance as a whole’. In 2010, Jennifer attributed her drastic change in appearance to healthy eating, exercise and makeup during an interview with The Kyle and Jackie O Show.
While old photos of Jennifer reveal a noticeably thinner pout and fuller face, she has previously brushed off surgery speculation. Jennifer once told The Australian Women’s Weekly that it’s the nature of the fashion industry to be accused of undergoing cosmetic surgery. ‘When someone says “under the knife” I don’t have a reaction,’ she told the magazine.
Swapping his scalpel for a chisel, Beverly Hills plastic
surgeon Dr. Randal Haworth MD was hands on in the design
and construction ofhis new ojj‘ice lobby, which included a
mammoth reception counter made from Carrara marble
by lenniter Richinelli
When designing his new office for his plastic surgery practice in Beverly llills, CA, Dr. Randal llaworth MD was
drawn to while marble In create the look he envisioned.
ntients visiting the office of
I)renowned plastic surgeon Dr.
Randal Haworth MD in Beverly
Hills, CA, will observe firsthand
the doctor’s ﬂare for design. As the
former Chief Resident in Plastic and
Renonstructive Surgery at the UCLA
Medical Center and recipient of the
title of “Plastic Surgical Consultant
Of The Year for 1993-94,” I-laworth
excelled in science and medicine,
but always remained in touch with
his artistic side. As a result, it was no
surprise how intimately involved he
became in the design and construction
of his new office space, which features
an extensive amount of stone.
“My inspiration for the lobby was
simply the notion of lime,” explained
Randal. “Amongst the seemingly inﬁ-
nite number of both inorganic and
66 August Z01? | Stone World
For the lobby walls, an alternating formation of both protruding and recessed multi-tiled pieces was individually assembled in
sections from a 1-are and now unavailable source of distressed unfinished 2- x 8-inch marble tile veneer.
organic ‘things’ on this planet, only
the human being can be affected
psychologically by the idea of time
passing. Of course, everything on
this planet, including those entities
we consider permanent, such as the
mountains, oceans and atmosphere,
physically change over time. However,
it is only the human who can be con-
sciously aifectecl by the concept of time
and consequently react to the present
and plan for the future.
“‘l‘he bmwn, white and gray
palette, including the dual-toned aqua
and cobalt blue sofa, reflects the basic
molecular foundation of Mother Earth
herself, while the repetitive pattern
formalired by the textured shone walls
represents what is ostensibly immuta-
ble and ‘forever/” Haworth went on to
say. “ln contradisﬁncfion to this is the
massive 18-foot-long marble reception
counter, which is transformed from
violent, yet beautiful chaos, into a tra-
ditionally refined smooth surface. As
a metaphor of how modern plastic sur-
gery can make unappealing forms into
beautiful ones, the sculptural transfor-
mation reminds us we can change how
we appear over time.”
The doctor explained how he has
always been attracted to all types
of stone construction since he was a
child attending the King’s School in
Canterbury, England, which he said
is purportedly the oldest school in
the world. “Many of the classrooms
and dorms were based within ancient
Gothic stone buildings surround-
ing the 1,400-year-old Canterbury
Cathedral, so for me, stone represented
stability, strength and wisdom. Stone is
far more than just a construction mate-
rial — within its austerity lies timeless
beauty,” he said.
The lobby walls consist of an alter-
nating formation of both protruding
and recessed multi-tiled pieces –
totaling 120 square feet “l had each tile
section individually assembled from
a rare and now unavailable source of
distressed unfinished 2- x B-inch mar-
ble tile veneer that came in old wood
crates from Italy,” said Haworth. “The
oombinal-ion of the particular
texture — along with the pattern and
manner in which it was assembled –
was chosen to maximize depth.”
The showpiece of the 240-square-
foot office lobby is the mammoth
reception desk made from two massive
slabs of Carrara marble. These were
divided into nine pieces in order to
complement the full 18-foot length of
“The stone materials were chosen
from both an aesthetic and practical
standpoint,” explained Randal. “I was
looking for a white purity for the wall
themselves, while the slabs for the
reception counter were chosen for a
certain multi-variegated pattern, as
well as thickness. The thickness was
needed to accommodate both violent
carving and impart mass in the end.”
The stone was supplied by Empire
Marble in San Fernando Valley, CA.
When it came to the stone installa-
tion, Randal was intimately
with the 1-ton reception
“Indeed, I rolled up my
carve and polish the structure and ulti-
mately camouflage its seams because,
it turned out, l was the only one who
knew what I envisioned,” he explained.
“l experimented with a number of
painterly techniques in order to visu-
ally unlfy the individual sections of
marble as one horizontal massive rock.
For the foundation, a pony wall was set
up as the main anchoring frame span-
ning frorn the left corner adjoining the
tiled wall to the right suspended hand-
icap accessible section.
Creating and anchoring the recep-
tion desk was a trial-and-error process,
explained l-laworth. “As experienced
and proficient as they were in their
craft, I realized my team was inad-
equately prepared for what I wanted
Stone World | August 2017 67
The Carrara marble slabs were
cut into nine pieces and then
assembled to create the mammoth
reception counter. ‘Work was then
dune ho smooth out the seams.
The main attraction of the ofﬁce lobby is an 18 -toot-long reception counter made tram
two massive slabs of Carrara marble.
to create,” he said. “It was basically
my fault because my inexperience did
not allow me to realize theirs in han-
dling this one idiosyncratic aspect of
the total project. It was as much about
structural engineering as it was about
art. I realized that when you are utiliz-
ing others to translate your vision of
something that is unique and out of
their comfort zone, you must seek top
specialists in that particular medium
you want to work with. For example,
despite the innumerable conversations
and detailed drawings I provided to
the architect, project manager. engi-
neer and marble craftsman, the form of
the counter during construction began
to differ widely from what I was envi-
sioning. lt was fortunate that l arrived
after surgery just in time before the
glue and mortar dried so that I was
able to have the nine stone pieces repo-
sitioned to my
“ln a similar vein, the person l
commissioned to do the carving was
woefully oft course in terms of ele-
gantly decreasing the texture of the
marble from left to right to convey the
analogy from chaos to perfection,”
Haworth went on to say. “With dead-
lines rapidly looming, I realized that I
had to take matters in my own hands
to become quickly proﬁcient with the
Makita saw, power sanding and the
plain old chisel and mallet until the
wee hours of the night.”
While there were some bumps in the
road during construction, Randal was
pleased with the ﬁnal outcome. “Since
and half years ago, the subjective raw
emotional feelings as an artist during
the act of creation have now dissipat-
ed,” he said. “I am affected by it in in
a more objective way. lam amazed that
I created what I feel is a magical, mod-
ern yet spiritual space which brings
an element of strength and peace that
will not vanish with time. Marble since
CrecoRoman times has fascinated
humans, as evidenced in temples nest-
ing our desire of eternity. Design today
still wants to echo the perpetual against
nature’s backdrop. Yet, nature will
always be ahead of us in our creative
search which can only be successful
if we understand and respect nature
before we attempt to perfect it.” El
68 August 2017 I Stone World
Beverly Hills-based plastic surgeon, Randal Haworth, M.D., says he needs to be comfortable and free to move in order to perform facial and body plastic surgery.
But space can be somewhat limited in an OR inside a boutique plastic surgery practice, he says.
“… so careful planning of the envisioned flow between patient, surgeon, scrub tech, circulating nurse and anesthesia provider must be done,” Dr. Haworth says. “In my case, I had to work with a rectangular operating room, in which case I first had to decide where the anesthesia machine would be situated, since its range of movement would be limited by the oxygen and vacuum hoses tethering it to the ceiling. Consequently, it was important for me to have a 180-degree turning radius for the operating table, so I could position it according to whether I am performing facial or body surgery. Of course, OR lights have to follow suit and must be very mobile and bright. My Trumpf LED [Trumpf Medical] system fits the bill nicely.”
2. A Quality Monitor and Sound System
Having a big monitor with a good sound system for music is not only a luxury but a necessity for the modern plastic surgeon. Having the monitor in constant view is a must, according to Dr. Haworth.
3. Intelligently Designed Cabinetry
Proper cabinetry, design to maximize space and efficiency, is essential, according to Dr. Haworth.
“You can never have too many cabinets from the get-go, since these promote organization and obviate the need for vulgar retrofits in the future,” he says. “When it comes to designing my clinic or the operating room, I think that creating and maximizing the feeling of unrestricted space is important for both the patient’s sense of security and the staffs’ sense of clarity.”
4. Don’t Cut Corners
Don’t cut expenses, when it comes to safety, according to Dr. Cohen.
5. Seek Expertise
Dr. Cohen says cosmetic surgeons should tap experts in designing operating rooms.
“Reach out to architects with experience in both the design and credentialing processes,” Dr. Cohen says. “Ultimately, certain third-party inspections may be required, and you don’t want to be caught off guard.”
Dos and Don’ts for the In-office OR
Erin Metelka, an interior designer with Studio Four Design, offers these design dos and don’ts.
Use a sheet flooring, with heat welded seams and sanitary cove base.
Use bleach cleanable/non-porous products.
Use clean/calming colors.
Provide a variety of adjustable ambient lighting options.
Utilize floor patterns to designate the extents of the sterile zone and care-provider zones.
With the wide variety of procedures that occur in an operating room, often times, the table is moved in order to accommodate the most efficient workflow with the other equipment in the suite. The floor patterns can also be used to dimension the proper location of the table for these various scenarios.
When creating several operating rooms, utilize an identical layout (not mirrored). Often, physicians are moving into adjacent operating rooms for a procedure, while a room is being turned over and sterilized. Having identical layouts increases efficiency and reduces error.
Do not have extraneous items of décor within the suite, such as artwork.
Do not utilize fabric of any kind such as curtains/draperies. If there are windows, create privacy with natural light by using integrated frosted glass. If an upholstery is required for a physician stool or other items, a bleach cleanable vinyl is a suitable alternative, ideally with a Crypton or nano-technology finish applied (these finishes work to prevent moisture penetration to the cushion and function as an antimicrobial).
Do not place any direct down-lighting, with the exception of the surgical boom, directly over the table.
“Time is a cruel thief to rob us of our former selves. We lose as much to life as we do to death.” Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey
Living in the modern world becomes more complex and harder as life in the 21st-century becomes faster and faster. We are burdened with responsibilities and distracted by an interminable onslaught of media in all forms including the capricious internet. It seems as if everything is competing for our attention in one way, shape or form while stealing precious time we could otherwise devote to family, friends and simply to our own selves. Therefore, when it comes to saving time, the need to heal quickly after any cosmetic procedure is almost rapacious.
Unfortunately, there is no magic pill or formula to bypass the post operative inflammation of bruising, swelling and discomfort at this current time. As one of the top plastic surgeons in Beverly Hills, Dr. HAWORTH has seen a thing or two about how patients heal after the thousands of surgeries he has performed over two decades. As a facial plastic surgery expert, he has performed thousands of primary and revision rhinoplasties, brow lift, facelifts and blepharoplasties not to mention the breast implant operations throughout his career and has realized there are things you can do both at home and in the clinical setting to accelerate your healing.
First of all, it is a good idea to focus on whole foods as much as possible while avoiding processed ones as the former will contain the highest levels of vitamins and amino acids your body will need for a speedy recovery. Amino acids help wounds heal faster and obviously, these are found in chicken, meats, egg whites, fish, brown rice, healthy nuts like walnuts and almonds or sunflower seeds. Taking supplemental vitamin C in your diet while increasing zinc in your diet can be helpful. Instead of taking vitamin C for a bottle, you can eat strawberries, papayas and citrus fruits which are great sources of vitamin C. 500-1000mg is the usual amount that is taken. Zinc is found in oysters which have one of the highest levels of zinc found in any food. If you are going to take a supplement, 15 mg of zinc daily is the recommended amount but you can increase your zinc intake to 30–50 mg for 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after surgery, using zinc picolinate.
Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Haworth also recommends these useful supplements to take in preparation for your surgery include:
B12 and Iron – Iron and B12 both aid bone marrow in forming new blood cells, so incorporate foods like fish and eggs.
Vitamin B6250mg, twice a day for a week, starting 3 days after surgery. This helps reduce post-surgical fluid retention, such as swelling of the face, hands, feet or legs. With B6, you can experience substantial reduction within 24 to 48 hours.
CoQ10- Surgical trauma (particularly from cardiac surgery) causes an increase in free radicals, which damage cellular function. For this reason alone, you should take at least 50 mg of CoQ10 as part of your daily routine before your cosmetic surgery and 100–200 mg/day for at least 4 weeks after.
Fiber and probiotics – This combination helps boost the immune system and also keeps your digestive tract moving along. Eating yogurt with granola is just one easy way to get a serving of both fiber and probiotics! When choosing a probiotic, consider one that contains acidophilus and bifida bacteria (follow label instructions for dosage). Surgical patients often receive oral or intravenous antibiotics in the hospital, which creates the potential for yeast infections, digestive disturbances and diarrhea. A probiotic may help counteract these problems.
One amino acid that has been shown to speed with healing is glutamine and a study from Harvard and Dave showed that it shortened healing by about four days. Apart from supplements, glutamine can be found in beef, chicken and all types of fish. Dairy products such as cheese, milk, yogurt and eggs contain glutamine with ricotta and cottage cheese being the two richest sources. Vegetarians can find glutamine in beans and lentils.
For most of his patients, facial plastic surgery specialist Haworth recommends supplemental Arnica Montana, Bromelain/ Bromezyme (this pineapple enzyme helps prevent blood clots, aids digestion while decreasing inflammation and pain after surgery) and Pycnogenol/Pine bark. This triumvirate is aimed at reducing bruising, soreness and inflammatory edema.
Apart from the above, many patients inquire about any other additional medications, exercises or procedures that can be done to maximally reduce their healing times after surgery. Of course, all patients should ask their individual physicians or surgeons about their own personalized recommendations to speed up recovery which is beyond the scope of this post.
Bioptron® Light employs a combination of polarized infrared and visible light (480nm-3400nm) considered beneficial in the treatment of wound problems and injuries by exerting its effect at the cellular level. Bioptron® therapy has a low energy density (fluency) of 2.4 J/cm2 at a distance of 10 cm and can penetrate the skin up to 2.5 cm.
It has been used effectively in the treatment of burns, pressure sores, leg ulcers, wounds, pain and recently, postoperative healing. Dr Haworth have found it very useful in his clinic to reduce both swelling and bruising. Supporting his experience, other plastic surgeons here and abroad have noted decreased resolution times of eccymosis and edema following surgery by over 33% with Bioptron®. Indeed, it has been used to also reverse the course of cutaneous necrosis as well as accelerate granulation of open wounds, either alone or in conjunction with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or tube. It is a well-established treatment for decompression sickness, a hazard of scuba diving. Other conditions treated with HBOT include serious infections, bubbles of air in blood vessels and non-healing wounds as a result of diabetes or radiation injury.
In a HBOT chamber, the air pressure is increased to 3 times higher than normal air pressure and under these conditions, your lungs can gather more oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure. However, there is some confusion about what actually is “true” HBOT. Those employing “soft” tent like enclosures are essentially useless since they are unable to obtain a true hyperbaric environment of 2 to 4 atmospheres absolute (ATA). In fact, these personal or home-use “hyperbaric” tent enclosures can usually only attain a pressure of 1.3 ATA. There is a debate as to how much and how many treatments are necessary to speed up recovery after plastic surgery. While most plastic surgeons perhaps recommend one preoperatively and at least 3 to 5 postoperatively, experts in the field say one needs at least 15 to 20 treatments in order to see significant results. In my experience, 3 to 5 treatments are all that is necessary to achieve the more modest goals of reducing edema, bruising and discomfort resulting from elective plastic surgery.
After certain surgeries, body contouring plastic surgery expert Dr Randal Haworth may also recommend selective lymphatic massage/drainage to resolve edema (swelling) of the extremities, particularly after liposuction or liposculpture.
The above aforementioned vitamins, nutritional supplements and clinical interventions may not be the panacea to surgical healing which comes in a pill form, but they certainly are a step in the right direction in making recovery from any procedure as smooth as possible in 2017.
While we in the cosmetic industry are getting better and better at delivering the results that patients expect, I still hold fast that 60 to 70% of modern high-tech materials and devices in plastic surgery over promise and under deliver !
Considering that the future of plastic surgery will be less about actual surgery as more more and more technological advances are made in the lab (think genetic engineering, better fillers, better lasers, etc.), this 60-70% statistic is rather disappointing. What makes this all the more egregious is the fact that doctors are forced to pay an arm and a leg for such underperforming technologies (Ulthera ® Thermage®, etc.). In light of the fact you can get a state-of-the-art Tesla with all the bells and whistles for around $100,000, paying $150,000 or more for a machine that just delivers fuddy-duddy ultrasound technology through a wand to aid in liposuction is frankly outrageous. However, the medical tech companies can’t be solely blamed for this-they are basically governed by the FDA’s policies which, in turn, are a response to precedents extrapolated to an absurd degree by lawyers.
Unfortunately, I have seen it all too many times – a new plastic surgery technology coming out amidst a flurry of media only to fade into relatively rapid obscurity. This is similar to a Billboard chart topper only to turn out to be a one-hit wonder!
In my opinion the latest overhyped snakeoil is Kybella® from the big pharma conglomerate Allergan®, proud makers of Latisse®, Botox®, Voluma®, Juvéderm®, etc.
I was glad to hear from some of my esteemed colleagues at the recent American Society of Plastic Surgery meeting in Los Angeles that their thoughts on Kybella ® echoed mine.
Taking into account Kybella’s negative points, which include:
1. relative risk of damaging important facial nerves,
2. cost (though one treatment is less expensive than liposuction, more often than not multiple treatments are necessary and these, of course, add up),
3. associated pain,
4. longer recovery (which, ironically, is worse than surgical liposuction since remarkable swelling can occur after every injection session)
5. inferior results to those obtained with aesthetically and skillfully performed liposuction
…there is little to no advantage in utilizing Kybella® for my patients except perhaps for its superior multi-million dollar marketing campaign! Indeed, micro liposuction can provide unprecedented control in removing fat to treat a double chin while refining the jawline and addressing the jowls as well-all with less downtime and more economically so in the end.
Case in point:
The idea of wearing a bra to bed is nothing new. I estimate approximately 6% of women already realize the benefit sleeping in a bra either because they were advised to do so by a buxom relative with ample bosom or are clever enough to understand how the laws of physics will affect their breasts in the long run.
BREASTS WITHOUT BRAS
Breasts are affected by gravity just in the same way that Sir Isaac Newton noted that an apple is. If the apple is not prevented from dropping to the ground, it will do so and often get damaged in the process. During the day, breasts get pulled towards the earth in the same way and if no support is provided to counteract this force, breasts will eventually elongate and narrow complemented often times with downward facing nipples.
After examining thousands of breasts throughout my 20 years of private practice, I have come to realize that those who sleep in a brassiere generally have perky breasts than those who don’t. Specifically, those who wear a bra during the day and not one at night tend to have breasts which are wider, yet flatter and concave on top with their nipples still point upwards.
Oblique cross-section of breast showing inner anatomy including Cooper’s suspensory ligament’s.
Apart from being blessed with good genetics to imbue your breasts with strong Cooper’s ligaments, collagen and skin there is nothing one can do to to protect your breasts from drooping except good old fashion commonsense prevention – and that comes in the form of a bra.
There is no muscle in the breasts therefore neither exercise nor yoga positions will help. There’s even poorly conceived research stating that wearing a bra creates more drooping of the breast because “they limit the growth of supporting breast tissue, leaving the breast to wither away and degrade more quickly”! In other words, they imply that the stress of gravity is good for the breast, training it like a muscle. If that were the case, patients could simply gain and lose excessive weight repeatedly in order to” train the skin” so that stretch marks can be avoided. OK…but I then wonder why pregnancy results in abdominal stretch marks…hmmmm?
My job as a plastic surgeon is to not just simply do the surgery and wish my patients all the best as they fade into the sunset. I feel it is my responsibility to also provide an “instruction manual” so to speak on how to manage their aesthetic wellness outside of my clinic and operating room.
For example, after facial surgery I recommend specialized skin care regimens and after body sculpting, certain diet and exercise. However, after breast surgery, few if any plastic surgeons recommend long term breast care except for incision/scar management, implant massage and mammograms. You only have one set of breasts and whether or not you choose to undergo plastic surgery, it is equally important to invest time and not just money in protecting their aesthetic wellness as appropriately early as you can. As soon as a young woman’s breasts are large enough to fall off the side of their chest when they are lying down is the ideal time to prevent them from doing so!
In the same way that gravity exerts an affect on a woman’s breasts when she stands, it also profoundly affects them when she lies down. However, wearing a regular, daytime bra to bed simply did not provide the specialized support that was needed when on one’s back and side. When calling the support specialized, I am referring specifically to secure lateral outside support to keep the breasts from falling off to the side in addition to inner or middle support to prevent the upper breast from falling onto the lower during side sleeping.
There were no bras on the market that addressed these important issues. It is for that reason that I developed NightLift ®. It had to fill three criteria:1. First and foremost, it had to be comfortable, like a second skin if you will. Despite providing unparalleled support, no underwires exist within this bra.
2. It had to work. 48 prototypes were developed over several years to ensure ultimate support without wire or compression. We call this technology B.U.S.T. ® (bilateral uplift support technology).
3. It has to be stylish and sexy so a woman not only feels fabulous but also looks great, whether she’s alone or with her partner.
Whether a woman has undergone breast surgery or not, I recommend night list to all of my patients if she is concerned with aesthetic wellness of her breasts. After breast surgery (including breast augmentation, mastopexy or breast reduction) I fit my patients in NL a week after surgery when most swelling has dissipated. Since NL provides incredibly comfortable support without hurtful underwire, patients fall in love with this and it soon becomes a staple within their lingerie collection.
Randal Haworth MD
To learn more, go to Nightlift.com
“Botox plays in important role in keeping fine lines at bay”, says plastic surgeon Dr. Randal Haworth MD renowned for achieving naturally beautiful results. Haworth suggests conservative use of Botox (from $500, the Haworth Institute) in the 30s to diminish fine lines and crows feet.
Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Randal Haworth MD Bellafill ($1200, The Haworth Institute) to permanently diminish deep folds and fill out eyelid hollows.
Wier excisions are very powerful tools to augment a rhinoplasty. This is a procedure that I usually perform at the conclusion of a nose job in order to refine and narrow the nostrils while controlling the flare when smiling.
Most people and surgeons alike equate this procedure to simply narrowing the “floor” of the nostril by cutting out some skin but it is actually more nuanced than that. The design of the excision can be customized by changing the angulation, the position and the width of the cuts which, in turn, can change not only the dimensions but also the curvature of the actual nostril itself. A deep permanent suture is often used as well to prevent re-widening of the nostrils and reduce tension across the scar. Reducing tension across the scar as well as accurate angulation is important to achieve a nearly invisible scar. So many times I have seen obvious notching that is visible from 5 feet away and is a definite giveaway of having had a rhinoplasty.
Weir excisions can be also be performed in conjunction with an upper lip lift adding to the complexity of the procedure. As a rhinoplasty and lip lift expert, I have performed hundreds of these combination techniques with excellent results.
All facial plastic surgery, whether it’s primary or revisional, is challenging but taking the time to address all the details and plan them accordingly can maximize the aesthetic outcome that is not only beautiful but natural as well. The devil is in the details so to speak.
In addition to facial rejuvenation, buttock and breast augmentation, stem cell marketing has reached such peaks that one may posit that they harbor the solution for global warming.
A recent study came out in our esteemed, peer-reviewed journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery addressing stem cell enriched fat transfer versus “regular” fat transfer (PRS Journal: stem cell rich fat transfer). In essence, this study showed there was no difference in the effects of a fat transfer whether it was enriched with stem cells or not. This was essentially the same conclusion of a blog post I wrote a few years back. However, what makes this news different is that it comes from a well-designed, randomized prospective study.
You may then ask yourself why are there so many doctors promoting stem cell facelifts and fat transfers as being the chalice of youth or life’s elixir to immortality and aging. The simple answer is finance and marketing. By promoting your fat transfer as being different, labeling it with the trendy buzz prefix of “stem cell”, prospective patients will naturally think they are getting something better, longer-lasting and more natural.
You may then ask yourself why their before-and-after photos are impressive. The simple answer is that for every before-and-after photo of a stem cell-enriched fat transfer there are 10 equally-as-impressive before-and-after results from regular fat transfers. The bottom line is that one can achieve equivalent results from a regular, well-performed fat transfer-specifically, one in which the fat is appropriately harvested, cleaned and transferred by the physician with precision and artistry. Fat is basically serving as a filler, but one that is extraordinary. Extraordinary because it is not only permanent but is actually living as well-consequently it can grow or shrink depending if the patient gains or loses weight, respectively.
Stem cell science is in its infancy and we have much to learn. Indeed, many stem cell scientists now believe that the byproducts of stem cells (cytokines, etc) play a far more important role in healing than the actual stem cells themselves.Fat is a rich source of stem cells but to assume that the stem cells, when transplanted into the face, can miraculously know how to uniquely reverse aging is pipe-dreaming at best.
In light of recent photos of Renee Zellweger, a conversation has begun about plastic surgery. (Zellweger responded to the uproar, telling People magazine, “I’m glad folks think I look different! I’m living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I’m thrilled that perhaps it shows.”) But whether or not Zellweger had plastic surgery is irrelevant, and the reality — and potential repercussions — of going under the knife is worth exploring in further discussion. We spoke to “The Swan” contestant Lorrie Arias about her experience to get a better handle on the reality of undergoing such extreme physical change. This is her story.
Ten years ago, at age 34, Lorrie Arias underwent approximately $300,000 worth of plastic surgery. In 1995, she lost 150 pounds; in 2002, her husband died; and, in 2004, she became a contestant on “The Swan.”
The program, which Jennifer L. Pozner called “the most sadistic reality show of the decade“ in “Reality Bites Back,” took its title and premise from a literary fairy tale, “The Ugly Ducking.” Two women deemed to be “ugly” underwent a total transformation at the hands of a panel of specialists, including a plastic surgeon. At the end of each episode, one was eliminated and the other went on to compete in the pageant that ran as the show’s finale. It aired for two seasons in 2004, before being canceled in 2005 as a result of low ratings.
After losing a significant amount of weight, the then-police department volunteer auditioned for the show in hopes of a tummy tuck. Arias was frustrated that she had worked so hard to get healthy and still had so much extra skin. As a result of her “sad story” the selection committee chose her for the show.
Once Arias got to the set of “The Swan,” doctors and producers set up a much more intensive transformation than she had expected. Over two and a half months of filming, she had a tummy tuck, buttock lift, inner thigh lift, dual facelift, upper lip lift, upper and lower eye lift, endoscopic brow lift, rhinoplasty, breast augmentation and breast lift — the most procedures of any contestant on the show.
A decade later, she told HuffPost Entertainment she is depressed, bipolar, agoraphobic and believes she continues to suffer from body dysmorphic disorder. She has regained the weight she lost in 1995 and refuses to leave her home, save for trips to see her therapist every few months.
There is relatively little research regarding the psychological fall out from plastic surgery, both because extreme alterations are rare and it is not in plastic surgeons’ best interest to participate in or fund such studies. Some work has been done on the effect of TV representations on adolescents’ body image and the ways in which unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment following a cosmetic procedure. In terms of diagnoses, the topic most often discussed is body dysmorphic disorder.
“That refers to essentially an over-focus on a certain body part as being deformed or problematic, to the point that the person becomes obsessed with it,” Dr. Paul Puri, a psychiatrist, said. “Many times an individual believes getting surgery will fix it. In the research and literature, this has not been show to be a solution. It can be a problem with self-esteem, anxiety or other underlying issues, and surgeries don’t typically solve those other issues.”
Of course, sometimes, people get surgery later in life due to social pressures based on standards of beauty and youth. “Those are two largely different reasons as to why people get plastic surgery,” Puri clarified. In cases involving dysmorphic disorder, it tends to pre-exist the surgery and then be exacerbated when the results differ from what the person desires. “The case may be that if someone fixes all of their hopes on surgery, it can be extremely disappointing and actually worsen their anxiety if it is not fixed,” Puri said.
After appearing as a contestant on “The Swan,” Arias faced a lot of negative reactions from those who knew her before the surgery. “You get a lot of crap,” she said. Arias felt that some friends and family were “jealous,” and others uncertain of who she had become. The latter group included the eldest of her two sons, who said at the time, “she doesn’t look that much like my mom anymore.”
“He has told me that he felt afraid,” Arias said. “That makes me feel guilty, because I realize that if the shoe were on the other foot, I would have freaked out too.”
Perhaps the most unnerving reaction came from Arias herself. The reveal is set up as a surprise for the show’s contestants. Arias said she had caught a slight glimpse of her reflection in medical equipment, but all mirrors were covered in the two and a half months she spent undergoing her various surgeries. It was only on stage that Arias was given access to a mirror. She reacted with quiet surprise, only losing it once the cameras turned off.
“I was screaming for the executive producer,” she said. “I was screaming, ‘I want my face back!’ That’s how freaked out I was. Intelligently, I knew that was impossible. But it was so weird. It was like looking at somebody else, but it was you.”
That feeling has become less difficult to reconcile over time, but Arias was happier before the show. “I’ve had self-esteem issues all my life,” she said. “But before, I was functional. Then I go and have all this stuff done that people would give their leg for, and I’m confined inside.”
Immediately following “The Swan,” Arias experienced what she calls a boost of confidence. “Going out gave me a little bit of self-esteem,” she said. “I liked my chest. My breasts were my badges of self-esteem. I would go out and wear low-cut tank tops and see women hit their husbands for looking at me. That was never the kind of thing I would do before. I would wear normal shirts.”
Soon, though, those old feelings of insecurity came creeping back. Arias said the symptoms leading up to her current condition began shortly after filming ended, and have only worsened. She raved about her plastic surgeon, Dr. Randal Haworth — “I was blessed to have him” — but blamed the show for not providing adequate therapy to help process such an extreme change.
While on “The Swan,” Arias did receive psychological care, though those sessions largely focused on loss of her husband. In February of 2013, she spoke to the Post citing a lack of follow-up as the cause for her mental health issues.
Arias kept the 150 pounds she lost off for nearly 10 years, and shed 10 more for the show. However, after “The Swan,” she says, she lost a sense of control over her body. “I started to yo-yo,” she said. “I was 155 on ‘The Swan,’ now I’m sitting here at 248. And I’m miserable.”
To stop feeling that way, she would consider more surgery. “I would do it in a heart beat. If I had the money, I’d do the weight loss surgery first,” she said. “This is going to sound weird, because I’ve already had so much done. I would have a new breast augmentation. I would have another brow lift. I would have another facelift. I would get more liposuction. I would do all that and my arms.”
Arias would also be willing to do the show all over. “Crazily enough, I would do it again,” she said. “Knowing what I know now, knowing I would gain weight again, and knowing I wouldn’t have that other face. At least I could be a big and pretty person. I can’t imagine myself any differently.”
Arias acknowledged that stance might be incomprehensible for someone who hasn’t undergone such extreme plastic surgery. Despite wanting more surgery, she is able to recognize that her insecurities are internal. “I thought a tummy tuck would give me all the self-esteem in the world. Of course, it didn’t. All I want now is for my story to help others, so they won’t think that going under the knife is a cure-all,” she said. “For a while it may be, but everything still comes back up.”
And yet, Arias still believes the upset over female celebrities and plastic surgery comes from an inherent desire all women have to change their appearances. “The uproar every time something like that comes up in the news is personal jealousy,” she said. “Most women would like to have something done, but maybe they’re afraid or they just can’t afford it.”