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Summary: Plastic surgery has a reputation for going big. That’s not terribly surprising. From breast augmentation to liposuction, many patients are looking for a large and noticeable shift from before to after. Even Minneapolis liposuction surgeons have websites full of such before and after photos. But there are benefits to subtle plastic surgery. Among the top of such benefits is the notion that people won’t necessarily notice your plastic surgery: they’ll just notice and how good you look. This subtlety can be applied across a wide variety of procedures.

the benefits of subtle plastic surgery

The Celebrity World

So, the internet rumor mill is in full swing, this time with the supposed news that Ellen DeGeneres has gone in for (more?) plastic surgery. I use the word rumor because this report comes out of The National Enquirer, and a grain of salt is always required when discussing celebrity plastic surgery. According to the Enquirer, DeGeneres underwent some kind of facelift or neck lift procedure. As proof, the Enquirer reached out to a plastic surgeon (not DeGeneres’s) who then pointed to a series of slight scars on the daytime talk show host’s neck as proof of a facelift or neck lift.

This kind of stuff always gets be roiled up. First, it’s not really anyone’s business but DeGeneres’s. Second, that’s not very much proof to go on, even coming from a highly-qualified plastic surgeon. Either way, it’s a conversation that’s so superficial that it borders on silly. But that doesn’t mean that DeGeneres’s plastic surgery (or lack thereof) can’t inspire a conversation worth having. Because here’s the thing (and maybe the only thing that matters). If DeGeneres did get plastic surgery—she’s doing it right.

The Benefits of Subtle Plastic Surgery

Here’s what I mean by that. Some plastic surgery procedures land squarely in the realm of the obvious. Certain types of breast augmentation or breast reduction procedures, for example, are very noticeable. The same could be true of liposuction or tummy tuck procedures or even of plastic surgery that repairs deformities or defects. These operations aim to produce a noticeable difference. The upside is that you get the look you want. The downside is that others may make judgments about you because it’s obvious you’ve had plastic surgery (we’re not saying you should listen to those judgments or even pay attention to them—simply stating a fact).

To many plastic surgery patients, this is the desired result. You want noticeable before and after changes. After all, that’s what you paid for. But for some other plastic surgery patients, there’s a definite advantage in trying to fly below the radar, and—if she has indeed has plastic surgery done—that seems to be what Ellen DeGeneres is trying to do. So, what are the advantages to that approach? Well, when the results are relatively subtle, it means that people will just think you look good—that you’ve been working out or getting more sleep. They’ll chalk up any changes to natural causes.

An Approach That Suits Many Procedures

This isn’t just true with facelift or neck lift procedures, each of which do offer patients subtle options. But it’s also true with other plastic surgery procedures—often defying stereotypes. Let’s use breast augmentation as an example. Many people assume that anyone who wants to undergo a breast augmentation is simply looking for a newly enormous bust, the kind that gets everyone’s attention. That isn’t entirely true. Indeed, often women are simply looking for a more even or pleasing set of proportions to their body.

So, even breast augmentation surgery can be performed with some subtlety and finesse. The key here is smaller and more natural looking breast implants. Indeed, when women opt for smaller implants (usually made of silicone, but increasingly composed of purified fat in a procedure called a fat-graft) more insertion options become available. With small implants, plastic surgeons can actually insert the implant through a small incision in the arm pit. This means that not only do you get subtly larger breasts (which you could pass off as wearing a more flattering outfit or bra support), but you also avoid any of the tell-tale scars associated with breast augmentation procedures.

Happy Patients Take a Cue From Celebs

It’s true that those scars fade quite quickly and that most women who do opt for larger breast sizes find a great deal of satisfaction in those implants. But that doesn’t mean we should be quick to discount smaller, subtler options. Like I said, sometimes it’s about proportion—and sometimes people will just assume you’ve been working or getting a little more rest.

In other words, there are many plastic surgery options out there. That doesn’t mean you always have to go with the biggest and the loudest. It also means that sometimes the best plastic surgery is the one that no one notices. Now, every patient is different and is going to be seeking out different desired results. But there’s more than one way to skin a cat, so they say. As Ellen DeGeneres no doubt knows (one way or another), sometimes the best plastic surgery is on the quieter side.

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