Friday, November 15, 2013


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, 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).