Enhancing one’s own natural beauty is at the heart of the goals that plastic surgeons strive to achieve. The right procedure can boost confidence as a patient looks and feels their best. Though there are transformations that go wrong, we can learn from these instances to ensure that your procedures turn out just right.
One celebrity who encountered issues on her quest to preserve her beauty is Priscilla Presley. This natural beauty, who was married to Elvis Presley, is an actress, businesswoman and even had a stint on “Dancing With the Stars.” Unfortunately, she is also known for falling prey to a plastic surgeon to the stars who was not the professional he portrayed himself to be.
Presley was one of many celebrities who received injections from Dr. Daniel Serrano, a charming man who made house calls, gave treatments at parties and operated out of his Beverly Hills medical office; promoting a potion he deemed a miracle cure for aging. Promising his clients that this advanced European silicone treatment would put an end to wrinkles permanently, some of his celebrity patients wound up with paralysis, lumps and holes in their faces. He actually injected his patients with industrial-grade silicone that is similar to the material used to lubricate auto parts. This industrial-grade silicone was smuggled from Argentina, not the costly European silicone that he described. Presley received attention from the drastic change to her face, after the injections. She was a documented victim of his scheme and suffered lumps and partial paralysis from the botched work. Since then, she reportedly has undergone additional procedures that may include a facelift and brow lift which has restored her youthful beauty.
And what happened to Serrano? He did not have a license to practice medicine in the United States. He was found guilty of conspiracy as well as smuggling and use of unapproved drugs, serving 18 months in federal prison before being deported to Argentina.
Lesson: Always check your doctor’s credentials including where they studied and their hospital affiliations.
If you watch Bravo’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, you have undoubtedly seen Lisa Rinna and her iconic pouty lips. Her first lip augmentation was at the age of 24, when she had a collagen injection. As this treatment wears off in about three months, Lisa searched for a longer-lasting solution, opting to have her top lip injected with silicone permanently. For a decade, she loved her lips and the attention that they brought, until the silicone started seeping through her top lip, resulting in hard, lumpy scar tissue. In 2010, lip reconstruction surgery helped by taking out some of the silicone and re-contouring her lips. Botox and facial fillers became part of her norm until saw a photo of herself at a party and realized that she had used too much filler and decided to back off. She tried it because her friends loved it but learned that less is more.
Lesson: Experiment and enjoy treatments but know when to stop.
International supermodel Linda Evangelista recently posted on Instagram about a treatment that changed her life and derailed her career. In 2015, Evangelista underwent multiple CoolSculpting procedures to contour her thighs, abdomen, back, flanks and chin but a very rare side effect changed everything. Instead of the slimming effect that the procedure normally produces, the treatment kicked off a condition called paradoxical adipose hyperplasia -or PAH-,which resulted in protruding, hard fat masses across her body. This condition is extremely rare, with the makers of CoolSculpting reporting that less than .1% of patients develop it, with the most at risk groups being men, patients with fibrous fat and Hispanic patients.
Lesson: All treatments carry a degree of risk. Weigh your options out as you work with your plastic surgeon to find the right treatment for you.
Dr. Jennifer Levine is double board-certified and triple Ivy League trained with 20 years of experience. Let her guide you into your best self. Call 646.362.5245 today to schedule a consultation.