While the Internet is a great resource for information, sometimes too much information can be a problem. In the plastic surgery arena, I refer to this as the Michael Jackson Syndrome, where patients are pushing for plastic surgery that results in an appearance that is either unrealistic or not at all in keeping with a person’s basic anatomy.
We often see patients in consultations armed with reams of information garnered from the Web who consider themselves to be virtual experts in the available plastic surgery options that could address their particular situation. Before even meeting with a doctor, they have already come to a decision about what will work best for them. These individuals, once the surgery has occurred, are also prone to become dissatisfied with very good results and request more modifications. Any attempt to explain to them that it is not in their best interest to have further procedures is usually met with transference to another provider.
In the case of Michael Jackson, most reading this blog are likely too young to remember Michael’s early years. Michael Jackson was actually a very handsome young man and when he first sought plastic surgery he went to a noted board certified local plastic surgeon named Steve Hoefflin. Dr. Hoefflin performed his initial rhinoplasty and chin augmentation; the results of which can be seen on the cover of the Off the Wall album. If you Google that album cover you will see those results from that first rhinoplasty were quite good. However, Michael returned to Dr. Hoefflin wanting increasing changes in his nose, which Dr. Hoefflin refused to do. Michael then left the care of Dr. Hoefflin and found another plastic surgeon in the Hollywood area that was willing to do whatever Michael wanted. His appearance began to deteriorate and his self-image issues took over.
But Michael Jackson Syndrome is not limited to just the rich and famous. It seems to cross all barriers of race and economic status. While I encourage patients to learn about their procedures from the Internet, I strongly discourage patients from trying to make decisions about what is best for them or what technique the doctor should use until they have a consultation with the doctor. Additionally, after the procedure, if your doctor is telling you that something should not be done please understand that this is a doctor who feels it is in your best interest. A doctor who will do anything to a patient simply for the money is a doctor to be avoided.