David B. Reath, MD
Knoxville, TN (865) 450-9253
HKB Knoxville Staff

New “Bridalplasty” Show: Bad TV. Even Worse Medicine.

As if there were not enough tasteless and questionably ethical TV shows involving plastic surgery, there is one more to top the list. And it is, most unfortunately, being done by a Board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Terry Dubrow from Newport Beach California. (This is not necessarily a California thing as I have several close friends in Newport Beach who are among the most ethical and careful plastic surgeons that I know.) Dr.  Dubrow, who in the past has brought us The Swan, is now bringing us Bridalplasty on E! network.

It seems that brides to be will be competing for a “wish list” of plastic surgery procedures that they want to have prior to their wedding. These competitions will involve writing vows, planning honeymoons, and who knows what else. Maybe I’m crazy, but wouldn’t you want to write or plan these things with your husband to be? Each week one bride to be is awarded a procedure from their wish list, and the “last bride standing” gets her entire wish list.

Now here’s the really great part. The winner who gets it all, will reveal her new appearance to her family friends, and husband at the wedding — on the altar, so to speak (don’t go there, girlfriend…..). Can anyone out there come up with a more lame, more awful, or more inappropriate idea?  I can’t. Oh, and this just squeaks by the ASPS code of ethics on a technicality because each contestant will have a consultation with this plastic surgeon before the contest to develop her “wish list”.

To see if my reaction is a bit off base, I did some research online to see what others were saying about this.  Here are some of the titles to posts:

    • “Calling all psycho brides”

    • “Bridalplasty takes wedding TV to the next level of crazy”

    • “E! Bridalplasty delivers lipo, boob, and nose jobs for the dysmorphic bride”

    • “The bride wore bandages”

    • “Bridalplasty: when reality TV hits rock bottom”

Okay, I guess I’m with the majority opinion.

Why This Is Bad Medicine
On a more serious note, the reasons why this is bad medicine, and bad for marriages are numerous and profound. Don’t get me wrong: I see a lot of women planning for big events, such as weddings, who want to have something done before — and some of them are even brides. However, these women are doing this with the support and knowledge of the families (and husbands to be). They are not interested in an altar rail shocker. Also, if they wish to do it, they will do it — it’s not a competition.

If something is going to improve how a bride feels about herself on the big day, she has time to recover, and it’s realistically in her budget, it can be a very beneficial thing. However, I would not do a so-called extreme makeover. For one thing, the recovery time from multiple operations will require these to be done 4 to 6 months before. (I don’t think this is in E! network’s time line.) And what if there was a problem or complication? How will this be good for the wedding plans and marriages. For even the very best of marriages, weddings can be stressful. How much more stress from the recovery from extensive surgery should be added on to this?

This is terrible for plastic surgery. I have devoted my professional life to plastic surgery. In recent years this has been primarily cosmetic surgery. My goal is to perform the right operation(s) for the right patient in a safe and conscientious manner. This raffle-type surgery flies in the face of what is important to me and my profession. I really wonder what the people who are perpetrating this travesty are thinking. What I and most of my colleagues do is not about making headlines, staring on TV, or lining our pockets no matter the endeavor. What we do is serious, and should be taken seriously. Shows such as this really debase my profession, and add fuel to those who feel plastic surgery is a bad thing, no matter what is being done. When, in fact, plastic surgery whether cosmetic or reconstructive has helped countless individuals.

Plastic surgery, like marriage, “should not be entered into unadvisedly.”

All the best,

David B.

P.S.  Sorry if I got carried away!

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