4. “Long-term effects? Beats me.”
More than other specialists, plastic surgeons are under pressure to compete
with one another, and an easy way to get the upper hand is to offer all the
latest technology. Doctors are sometimes happy to try new techniques before the
long-term effects are clear. While still a small part of the overall market,
cosmetic vaginal “rejuvenation” surgery is popular in certain circles despite
concern by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and others
about the long-term safety and questionable ethics of the procedure.
Even when a procedure isn’t new or controversial, there’s hardly a wealth of
information on long-term results. While a prospective patient has only to do an
online search of a procedure to come up with half-naked pictures and commentary
from patients who have had it done at websites such as RealSelf.com, an online
community, most of the talk surrounds the procedure and its immediate results.
Fewer patients weigh in decades after the fact. And in their “after” shots,
surgeons don’t often include photos of a procedure years later.
“They’ll all say their techniques will give you the longest result,” says
Nicole Fallen, 38, a mother of three (including twins carried to term) from the
San Francisco Bay Area. She says she interviewed at least seven surgeons before
choosing one — based in part on his communication skills — to perform a tummy
tuck and breast lift that also corrected her pregnancy-related diastasis recti
(a separation of the abdominal muscles).