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Drastic Surgery
plastic surgery imagesphoto courtesy of Los Angeles Times
After “Botox parties,” it shouldn’t be that far of a stretch to learn those in the business of erasing age and lifting body parts might expand their marketing strategies to a new group of women. Enter plastic surgery “divorce packages.”

Plastic surgeons across the country are creating special services to accommodate the expanding market of women anxious to reinvent themselves and their post-marriage appearances. According to the results of a study conducted by the National Women’s Health Research Center, divorced women are more likely to consider plastic surgery than married or single women.

During the study, 15 percent of the 1,600 women surveyed said they would consider breast augmentation, but nearly 30 percent of the divorced women said they would consider the same procedure. Similarly, 22 percent of all the women surveyed said they would undergo liposuction while, 34 percent of divorced women said they would get the same procedure.   

Dr. Stephen Greenberg, a plastic surgeon based in Woodbury, N.Y., began customizing packages for newly divorced women in 2008. Since then, more than 100 divorcees have purchased one. Packages can range anywhere from $6,000 to $16,000 depending on the type of procedures. Dr. Arthur Perry, a plastic surgeon with offices in New Jersey and New York, also treats divorced women. “It’s extremely common for divorced women to get plastic surgery,” Perry says.

Divorce can devastate a woman’s self-esteem, says Carina Sudarsky-Gleiser, a psychologist who specializes in female issues and body image. Sudarsky-Gleiser says that when some women get married they seek validation and when that marriage collapses, those women have to confront the same insecurities they felt before they got married. But for others, the trauma of going through a divorce eats at their confidence. Women in both groups may feel they need to drastically change their appearance to attract a new man or to prove their worth to their ex-husband. However, Sudarsky-Gleiser says, it’s never the right reason to undergo plastic surgery for someone else, over yourself. 

Some plastic surgeons also recognize that newly divorced women may be too distraught to make such an important decision. Perry carefully screens his patients to make sure they’re mentally and physically ready for the life-changing effects plastic surgery brings.

“We turn down a lot of people. I refer them to a psychiatrist all the time,” Perry says. Sudarsky-Gleiser cautions women against making rash decisions right after a divorce, “In any time of crisis, any type of major life changing experience, people can make decisions that they wouldn’t necessarily make in a calm state.”


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