10/31/02 - Plastic Surgery Surge

The Heartland doesn't seem like the kind of place where people are lining up for plastic surgery. But there's a good chance you know someone who's had a tuck here, a lift there.
In fact, some doctors have waiting lists. It's an issue we'll be examining every Thursday the next few weeks, a nationwide surge, plastic surgery up 20 to 30 percent. You may have noticed more surgeons in the area, even more television ads. The most popular, breast implants. Doctors just don't have time for everyone who wants them.
Plastic surgeon Dr. David Deisher says, "We receive inquiries from women wanting breast augmentation from early 20s up until late 50s." Doctors can re-shape a woman's body by just a few hours in surgery. "I think overall, society is trying to obtain a youthful appearance," Dr. Deisher says. "I think cosmetic surgery is no longer considered just for elite people out in Hollywood or New York City."
37 year old Beverly is far away from the big city, she lives in a small town in Southeast Missouri. She's at the doctor's office to get breast implants. She invited us into surgery, but didn't want us to show her face. "I wanted to increase my bust line to proportion myself out with the rest of my body," Beverly says. Beverly looked over sample implants, or sizers, to decide what size she wanted to become. She chose to go from a B cup, to a full size C.
"I'm not doing it because there are other people doing it, I'm doing it because I want to," Beverly says.
Dr. Deisher starts off by using a small incision along the breast bone to make a pocket, where he will insert the implant, into Beverly's breast. Then saline solution is pumped into the implant. When it's over, 375 ccs, which equals out to around eight tubes will be injected into each of Beverly's breasts. Beverly will be in surgery for an hour. She'll be in a recovery room for a few hours and then, go home.
Six days later, Beverly says, "I'm feeling a lot better than I expected to feel. I'm getting around good, I think it was worth it." But some say there are huge drawbacks to breast implants. Dr. Robert Hunt says breast implants come with risks. "I wouldn't necessarily encourage women to get breast implants. They need to realize there are a lot of risks."
Plastic surgery isn't necessarily a walk in the park. Recovery can be painful, and that can be the least of your worries. There's danger anytime you have surgery. You put yourself at risk of infection, scarring, and bleeding. Very common side effects of breast implant surgery are hardening of the breast, loss of sensation, and implants can cause cancer to be overlooked in a mammogram. Despite the risks, plastic surgery is something more women are wanting. "It's becoming more accepted, and there are new technologies that are not causing as much pain," Dr. Deisher says. "Patients can do something for themselves without them having to take a month or six weeks off."
Plastic surgery is also expensive. Breast implants cost four to five thousand dollars. Other surgeries may cost more. Usually, patients who have cosmetic surgery are healthy, and are medically cleared before having any type of plastic surgery done.