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Expert Evaluates the Best and Worst Plastic Surgeries For Your Career

Remember Gordon Patzer, the author of Looks: Why They Matter More Than You Ever Imagined, who predicts that plastic surgery will become a tool in career advancement just like education? He's not a surgeon but he has spent his career researching what US News calls "the phenomenon of physical appearance." Patzer and a couple other cosmetic experts chose the three best and worst plastic surgeries for your career. US News has paired their picks with physician's fees that don't include the additional 20 to 40 percent cost for anesthesia, implant, and operating-room costs. Are the expenses and pain worth any possible benefits?

The Best

  • Eyelid surgery, average cost: $3,134. Patzer says: "Facial symmetry correlates to attractiveness, as do perceptions of youth and health. Eyelid surgery can be a good investment."
  • Face-lift (for women over 50), average cost: $5,031. Denise Thomas a New York cosmetic surgery consultant, says: "The minute the woman has her face-lift, she becomes bouncier, happier — just happy with herself."
  • Rhinoplasty, average price: $3,833. Lois Stern, author of Sex, Lies, and Cosmetic Surgery says: A nose job, like a face-lift, can give confidence to someone who has long felt the feature was holding him or her back.

Find out which surgeries are the worst when you


The Worst

  • Forehead lift, average cost: $3,092. Thomas says: "A forehead lift can leave a man with a constant surprised look, as though he's about to ask a question. And you ask yourself: How intelligent was this man? Did he check it out?"
  • Breast augmentation, average cost: $3,816. Thomas says: "A major breast enhancement may backfire professionally for a woman who works in a conservative setting like a bank."
  • Liposuction, average cost: $2,982. According to Stern: "Liposuction cuts the fat quickly, but if patients aren't upfront with colleagues, relationships can be damaged by the secrecy behind the improved appearance."


Join The Conversation
Dr-Gordon-Patzer Dr-Gordon-Patzer 9 years
SavvySugar, Regarding your post on May 30, 2008, (titled, "Expert Evaluates the Best and Worst Plastic Surgeries For Your Career"), the reply comments are right-on-target correct and representative of the world today and the variety of related thoughts and perspectives. While good looks are valued and important in the workplace and really throughout life (for males as well as for females), the consequences and implications, including sometimes unrealistic pursuits of greater levels of physical attractiveness, poses discomfort among many of us. Although discomforting, and not something that I support, based on the objective facts it is correct to predict a logical progression that follows from the consequences of "physical attractiveness phenomenon." Those consequences begin with a world that accords benefits to the good-looking people and forces detriments upon the not so good-looking people. In other words, increasingly more people now increasingly spend unaffordable time, effort, and money in pursuits of unattainable higher levels of physical attractiveness, and do so with unrealistic hopes. Accordingly, I often say, "beauty is ugly" or, at the least, "beauty can be ugly." Gordon _________________________________________________________ Dr. Gordon Patzer author of, "Looks: Why They Matter More Than You Ever Imagined"
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Wow crazy...
brunchattopshop brunchattopshop 9 years
If I were to undergo surgery, it'll probably be an eyelid surgery. I usually have to stay up at night for school and so my eyebags are HUGE. People always tell me I look tired and stressed and it pisses me off.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Wow, this makes me mad. I always thought plastic surgery was nice for minimizing the appearance of a disproportional feature, or subtly helping reverse the aging process for some people, anyway, but to help your career? This is probably the grossest thing I've heard. We should start doing appearance-blind interviews....
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I'd like to think that people don't need surgery to get/keep a career. Should your looks have anything to do with your career? Not unless you're in the entertainment industry.
MindayH MindayH 9 years
Still wouldn't do it.
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
Wow, now I'm going cancel that consult I had scheduled with a plastic surgeon.
stephley stephley 9 years
I don't like the idea that lately plastic surgery is being sold as a career tool. Here in L.A. there are plenty of people who have had work done and too often you can tell instantly - their faces are too smooth to explain their droopy neck, their hands give away their age. And I've overheard plenty of conversations between people discussing what work co-workers have had, and whether it helped. If you want to do it fine, but unless you're in a field where looking a certain way matters, don't think it's going to buy you a longer or better career. A cosmetic surgery consultant may say you seem happier and bouncier, but your co-workers are just as likely to see you as desperate.
carhornsinapril carhornsinapril 9 years
wow, i didn't know that rhinoplasty is so cheap.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Interesting, sometimes I really wonder about how people view looks.
girlgreen girlgreen 9 years
sorry, i went a little quotation crazy, lol
girlgreen girlgreen 9 years
the reasoning they gave for liposuction is vague and could be applied to most of the other listed procedures. i think any of them could be considered "beneficial" if done tastefully. i also think that most of the time, the person's newfound confidence contributes to them being "treated better" just as much as their "improved appearance" does.
girlwparasol girlwparasol 9 years
ha, i like the mention of breast augmentation and working at banks. at a previous employer - a bank, incidentally - i worked with a woman who weighed about 90lbs, was 4'11", and definitely sported big, fake e-cups (and she liked to spend her lunch break telling the tale of how she got them in mexico). let's just say she did very well with the male customers.
sparklemeetspop sparklemeetspop 9 years
I recently heard about how it can be considered a career investment. Strange thought since plastic surgery can be related to non respectible careers...hehe
tiff58 tiff58 9 years
Not all breast augmentation is "major". Many women choose not to go for a size that looks unnatural, so I don't see how this could hurt your career.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I had a septo-rhinoplasty and it did nothing for my job.....ha ha.
ckeller825 ckeller825 9 years
Breast augmentation, average cost: $3,816??? maybe if you want your breasts to look like softballs
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
ah, without all the extra fees. i always saw rhinoplasty as around $3500, so i was shocked when my ENT doctor told me it was $5500! One has to wonder if this can be treated like an investment. If you really will end up making more in live/being treated "better", can you recoup the costs?
silly3 silly3 9 years
This is interesting. I've never thought of plastic surgery as an option for me, but I was concerned when I heard what a difference appearance makes in hiring later in life (I'm in my 20s, so looking youthful shouldn't be a problem for a bit). I'm just being agressive about skincare and hope that does the trick!
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