Plastic Surgery Gone Wrong

Showbiz bloggers have come up with the term pillow face to describe celebrities with too much dermal fillers, which of course leads to the unnatural appearance. However, volumizers such as Restylane and Sculptra are not supposed to result in “plastic surgery look” as long as they are used in the right location and correct amount.

Dr. Karan Dhir, a celebrity Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who specializes in facial rejuvenation procedures, explains the techniques on how to maximize the effects of dermal fillers without resulting in chipmunk cheeks or pillow face.


*  It is not just about filling the hollowed area. One of the most common mistakes of inexperienced doctors is to “fill lines” and inject large amounts of dermal fillers without even bothering to reshape the treated area. This over-aggressive approach results in duck lips, chipmunk cheeks, and overall swollen appearance.

Dr. Dhir highlights the importance of contouring the face in a way that it looks natural and rejuvenated. For instance, lip injection can provide good results if the surgeon maintains the “bow” appearance.

*  Take the conservative route. Instead of dumping large amounts of dermal fillers, it is not uncommon for prudent doctors to perform two or more treatments performed several weeks apart. The idea is to wait for the patients to get used to their appearance and assess if there is a need for additional injections.

By avoiding the overfilled appearance, prudent doctors are able to preserve the natural shape of the eyes, cheeks, lips, and mouth area.

*  Understand that each dermal filler may have different effects. Sculptra is ideal for correcting the hollowed temples, jaw line, and cheeks because of its smooth consistency, leading to a more natural look and feel. Radiesse, meanwhile, is believed to be more suitable for deep lines and smaller facial depression due to its thicker consistency.

*  Correct depth of injection. While the superficial placement of fillers can correct the gaunt appearance, doing so could weigh down the skin, leading to the saggy appearance. For this reason, some patients also need additional support to achieve good results from dermal fillers.

Deeper filler placement is usually important in cheek augmentation via dermal fillers because it is ideal to create some support and lifting effect. But for this to be possible, the volumizer should be stiff enough or has the right consistency.

Proper angle and depth of injection not only provides natural results, but also prevents lumpiness, migration, and other telltale signs of dermal fillers.

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About 15.1 million cosmetic procedures, both plastic surgery and minimally enhancements, were performed in the US last year alone, according to a survey released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

With the growing popularity of plastic surgery that it has even become a common topic in many reality TV shows, it may be safe to surmise that the stigma once associated with it is gradually fading.  In fact, some people even think of it as a good investment to boost their career and romantic prospective.

But since surgical enhancement remains an expensive endeavor—and the fact that health insurance does not cover its cost—a few individuals have attempted to perform DYI plastic surgery, with many of them ending up at a hospital because of complications.

A recent report by CNN has shown the story of a woman whose hands, feet, and parts of her buttocks were amputated after she received silicone injections in a bedroom thinking that it could give her a fuller posterior.

Unfortunately, the only thing Apryl Brown received was a severe case of staph infection that nearly cost her life.  She was hospitalized for several days as her body was shutting down from the complication.

The victim of DYI plastic surgery also suffered from skin necrosis or death of tissue that her doctors were forced to amputate the affected areas of her body.  In an attempt to save her, she had undergone 27 surgeries over the course of several years.

The increasing number of DYI plastic surgery victims has worried ASPS.  Despite the inherent dangers of such practice, health authorities were shocked to discover the growing popularity of “party fillers” in some states wherein women are injecting themselves with non-approved dermal fillers sold online to augment their buttocks and breasts.


Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smaili is particularly concerned about the trend of DYI plastic surgery because most of the botched results are difficult to correct, and in many cases even irreversible.

“While the selling point of DYI plastic surgery is that it is really cheap, the risks are far too serious to ignore.  In fact, victims have spent thousands of dollars to treat the botched results and other complications,” the leading plastic surgeon warns.

To avoid botched results and serious complications, Dr. Smaili highlights the importance of choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon, or more specifically, a member of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ASPS.

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Earlier this month a South Texas woman was arrested and charged with the “unlicensed practice of medicine” after several victims claimed to have developed deformities caused by the liquid rubber injected to their body.

Despite constant warnings from health regulators and doctors, a lot of people still fall victim to “underground” plastic surgery, with some suffering from permanent deformities or even dying because of this illegal and dangerous practice.


The suspect, Nohemi Gabriela Gonzalez, allegedly traveled along the Texas-Mexico border to find clients and cohorts—e.g., owners and operators of spas and beauty parlors.  And while many victims had already filed a complaint against her, local authorities believe there are still more out there.

To make matters worse, the local authorities have found that there are at least four individuals in the same area who are also offering underground plastic surgery, which mostly targets sex workers and exotic dancers.

According to a recent news report, one alleged victim died several weeks ago after being injected with a material initially believed to be silicone gel injection, which is banned in the US and European countries due to visible side-effects, infection, permanent deformity, and even death.

But despite the dangers of silicone injection, it has arguably become the favorite of crooks who want to take advantage of the growing popularity of cosmetic plastic surgery.  And unfortunately, some people looking for cheap deals are not fully aware of the risks they are getting into.

With the growing number of victims of fake cosmetic surgeons and people illegally practicing medicine, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reiterates the importance of seeking procedures only to board-certified plastic surgeons and licensed medical professionals.

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Lil’ Kim’s appearance seems to change almost every year, not because of the effects of aging but with plastic surgery procedures that look overdone.  Just recently, fans were shocked after photos of the pint size rapper circulated the Internet, showing her almost unrecognizable face.

After a recent night out in Los Angeles, the rapper and former “Dancing with the Stars” contestant was spotted with a lighter skin, overly “contoured” eyes, prominent cheekbones, and smaller “pinched” nose which of course looks unflattering.

A few months ago, the star has been rumored she had countless of plastic surgery procedures including rhinoplasty, aka nose job, and eyelid surgery.

As years go by, the rapper and singer’s skin has also become lighter and lighter, almost resembling that of the late Michael Jackson.  And even her nose could make her look like the King of Pop’s fraternal twin—well, that’s according to the description of some online commenters and fans.

With her alleged addiction to plastic surgery, she has even been rumored to have procedures right after stepping out of jail.

The star, whose real name is Kimberly Denise Jones, has been said to undergo major surgical enhancements that included breast implants, nose job, cheek implants, tummy tuck and eyelid surgery.  Also, many people speculate that she constantly receives Botox and collagen, leading to the much-dreaded “pillow” face.

For years, the celebrity has been dubbed as the “mother of botched plastic surgery” because instead of achieving an improved appearance, her face is becoming more and more unrecognizable.  Her overly large breast implants have also become the favorite topic of critics, especially that they made if difficult for her to dance during her short stint in “Dancing with the Stars.”

Some plastic surgeons, despite the singer’s denial, believe she has some form of facelift surgery, which is has been overdone—leading to a “surprised” appearance.

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It seems like rapper Lil Kim, who is known (or more like infamous) for her outrageous attire with an attitude to match, is turning into one of the members of Jackson family because of her overdone nose job that left her with a very narrow nostril and cheekbones that are too prominent, which are believed to be the result of cheek implants).

During the recent L.A. Price 2012 festival in West Hollywood, Lil Kim’s posed for the shutterbugs and fans who were shocked with her new look, which can’t be denied as a good example of plastic surgery gone bad.

Some celebrity plastic surgeons—who did not treat the rapper—commented on Lil Kim’s shocking transformation.  One doctor noted that she might have undergone brow lift that left her eyebrows too high.

Another plastic surgeon noted the celebrity’s nose job which has excessively narrowed her nostril and resulted to a very pointy nasal tip, which of course destroyed her once beautiful ethnic feature.

Leading Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smaili, who did not treat the rapper, said that botched nose job could have been avoided with ethnic rhinoplasty which is a technique that preserves a patient’s ethnic features.

“When dealing with African-Americans, nostril reduction is not always necessary.  But if this is really needed to create great results, a good plastic surgeon should be very careful when doing this as it can lead to a Greek-like nose that looks out of sync with the African face,” Dr. Smaili said.

Some celebrity plastic surgeons also mentioned Lil Kim’s extremely puffy cheeks, which are believed to be a result of cheek implant surgery.

Also, the 37-year-old rapper’s notably smaller lips also shocked her fans.  Many cosmetic surgeons who commented on her new look believe that it is most likely the result of lip reduction surgery.

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The current trend in breast augmentation surgery is the natural look—something that can be easily achieved with the use of small breast implants (at least between 300-350 cubic centimeters) and appropriate surgical techniques.

To achieve natural-looking breasts, the most important thing is to look for a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in breast augmentation surgery.  Patients should realize that bad results and complications often happen to women whose doctors are non-specialists.

The “porn star” breasts come in many definitions, but more often than not, this term is used to describe unnatural or sometimes even bad results.

In many instances, this is a euphemism used to describe fake-looking breasts, which are often caused by inappropriate implant size (too big for the body), wrong implant placement, or incorrect implant type.  In some cases, the unnatural appearance is due to more than one factor.

The stereotypical “porn star” look is having a bust size that is too large for the body.  Fortunately, this can be easily avoided by using small- to moderate-sized implants during surgery.

For women with less tissue and fat, it is highly ideal to avoid breast implants that are larger than 600-700 cubic centimeters that often result to DD cup.  The logic behind this idea is that the risk of visible and palpable wrinkling is higher because there is little coverage between the implant shell and skin.

Inappropriately large implants also lead to higher risk of bottoming out since the tissue is stretched sometimes to the point that it can no longer support the weight of the devices.  And because the breast volume mainly consists of synthetic device rather than natural tissue, of course the result will be most likely appear unnatural.

Aside from the “heavy top look,” the fake appearance is also manifested by wrong implant placement (under the muscle vs over the muscle).

When it comes to giving a rounder look and more obvious cleavage, the over-the-muscle implant placement provides a better outcome.  However, the technique often results to fake appearance particularly if a woman has little tissue and fat.

By contrast, under-the-muscle implant placement tends to provide a more natural outcome because the implant shell is covered by the muscle, which also prevents visible and palpable wrinkling.

While over-the-muscle technique can provide great results, the problem is that some women insist to have this method even if their tissue and fat is quite limited.  A good plastic surgeon will turn down these patients, although unfortunately there are some doctors who will proceed with the surgery despite some potential complications.

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