Plastic Surgery, Addictive? Who Would Have Thought

June 2, 2015 Updated: April 23, 2016

It wasn’t that long ago that plastic surgery was used to repair birth defects or do an occasional nose job. Now, people, led by Hollywood’s example, are appearing to become addicted to plastic surgery — or “body sculpting.”

The trend is growing despite some well-known bloopers in the body reconstruction business.

As more and more people strive for the “perfect” appearance, more mistakes are bound to be made.

Whether a person just has a little “nip and tuck” using traditional methods or going for a more sculpted appearance using the latest in vaser liposuction, there is little dispute that repeated cosmetic surgeries may indicate an addiction.


When many people hear the word “addiction,” they think of alcohol and drugs. While substance abuse is some of the most common dependencies, addictions can show up in other ways.

One far-reaching addiction, frequently overlooked, is plastic surgery addiction, PSA. PSA is in the behavioral, or process, addictions category. When an individual has a behavioral addiction, they are addicted to a particular behavior despite negative consequences.

While drug users suffer from chemical addiction, plastic surgery addicts experience mental obsession with altering their bodies and faces.  Based on underlying insecurities and desires to look a certain way, plastic surgery addicts are obsessed. They can’t have just one surgery and be satisfied.

Experts also claim that men and women who compulsively go under the knife are suffering from hidden mental or emotional issues and are using the surgery as their relief valve.

Currently there aren’t any laws on the books denying people from receiving multiple cosmetic surgeries and if the patient has the money, most doctors will do the surgery. Since there are few regulations on the number of procedures a person can have, addicts continue to seek satisfaction through many surgeries.

Skewed Priorities

The idea of “beauty” is skewed in society with many believing they will only be beautiful if they have the same features as their favorite movie star.

Plastic surgery addicts go to great lengths for the “perfect” chin, lips or breasts. They don’t understand that there is no such thing as a perfect face or body and after the first surgery, addicts will come up with an excuse to have a second, third…and so on, in their journey towards their idea of “perfection.”

People who undergo multiple and excessive surgeries often end up damaging their muscle tissues and skin permanently. Surgeons have also reported collapsed muscle tissue and gross scarring.

Plastic surgery addicts strive for perfection only too frequently end up with damage that permanently changes their appearance.

Why Celebrities Do It

Almost everyone can name a celebrity that has repeatedly gone under the plastic surgeon’s knife.

Michael Jackson, Cher and Micky Rourke come to mind for many.

Celebrities do have some reasons, which are understandable, for seeking out repeated cosmetic surgery.

First, the obsessive need in showbiz to look as good as possible.

Second. They have the money and can afford it.

Empirical research carried out among celebrity patients undergoing plastic surgery have routinely shown that between 5 and 15 percent have Body Dysmorphic Disorder, or (BDD).

BDD manifests itself as a preoccupation with an imagined physical defect or an exaggerated concern about a small flaw. Often, the perceived weakness isn’t even noticeable to other people. Even people who are outwardly attractive can perceive themselves to be unattractive.

The American therapist, Dr. Katharine Phillips, has examined the relationship between BDD and cosmetic surgery. In one of her team’s studies of 58 BDD sufferers who had cosmetic surgery, they reported that the majority — 83% — of their patients didn’t report a change in how they felt following the surgery.

Its Invaded England as Well

England’s celebrity-wannabe, Sam Barton is pushing the country to give him a lifetime’s supply of Botox — on the house.

Already called Britain’s vainest man, Barton has applied for free Botox for life and he wants the National Health Service to pay for it. While he’s getting the Botox, he also wants the government to pay for an operation to pin his ears.

Barton has told doctors he must have the free cosmetic treatment to fight symptoms of sweating caused by anxiety due to his “new-found fame.”

Barton’s problems arose, according to him, when he made national headlines in Britain by revealing how he has already received a free $5000 nose job in his bid for the perfect looks.

Now he wants the health service to approve the Botox and ear operation.

Barton’s biggest complaint, other than the sweating and anxiety?

“I have over 20,000 followers on Twitter and I do get trolled sometimes by some nasty individuals,” Barton said.

plastic surgery

It’s difficult to be surprised with what people will do to get attention. One woman has taken attention-seeking to a new level.

Mayra Hilla has turned chest enhancement into an obsession never seen before — and many think her attempts are disgusting.

The German model has a measurement of 59-28-36 and observers say she has the record for the largest chest in the world.

Hilla already has about 40 pounds of saline and she isn’t shy about showing them off.

Jerry Nelson is an American freelance photojournalist and recovering alcoholic. Based in South America, Jerry is always interested in discussing future work opportunities where the focus is social justice issues.  Contact him today: and follow him on Twitter.