The boom in demand for cosmetic surgery has created a new kind of infidelity — one that has nothing to do with spousal cheating.
Detroit plastic surgeon Anthony Youn, M.D., discussed the phenomenon on CNN.com, one of several media outlets to which he contributes as a commentator on topics related to cosmetic surgery.
“As the number of people having plastic surgery rises,” he writes, “more and more feel the need to hide their procedures from their significant others.”
Dr. Youn surveyed his cosmetic patients and found that a third of them don’t tell their significant others about their treatments — hard as that might be to believe.
”While surgery can be difficult to hide, especially large operations with dramatic changes such as tummy tucks and face-lifts, less-invasive procedures such as Botox and filler injections aren’t as hard to conceal,” he explains.
Dr. Youn says patients want to hide how much they're spending. Some patients pay with cash, others pay half in cash and half in credit.
“Many of my patients have a certain threshold that they can spend on their credit card before their partner notices the individual charge,” he writes. “This amount usually ranges between $100 and $400. Often the patient will spend up to that amount on a credit card, then pay the rest in cash. Other patients spread small amounts over several credit cards.”
Some patients go to the extent of getting their procedures done while their partner is out of town.
“They use this alone time to recover, so that when their spouses return, they’re none the wiser,” Dr. Youn writes, adding that for less involved procedures such as lasers and injections, they’ll have the procedures performed on days when their partners have plans for after work. By the time they see each other, no trace of the procedure is apparent.
Women appear to have an edge over men when it comes to keeping their cosmetic procedures a secret.
“Men are notoriously bad at noticing changes in their spouses,” according to Dr. Youn. “In fact, a 2004 study in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that women are much better than men at remembering appearances.”
A case in point is a patient of Dr. Youn’s who’d undergone four facial procedures five days before her husband was to return from a trip.
“She stopped by the office to see me several hours before her husband was to return home,” Dr. Youn writes. “Her eyes looked like she went 10 rounds with Mike Tyson, her neck was taut as a pair of Spanx, and her lips resembled two Vienna sausages. ‘Give it another week or two and you'll look fantastic,’ I told her. ‘However, I’m not sure your plan to hide your plastic surgery from your husband is going to work.’ ”
“‘Dr. Youn,’ she deadpanned, ‘You don't know my husband.’”
According to Dr. Youn, the husband never found out.