Namon Eugene: How long have you been practicing and why did you choose cosmetic surgery?
Dr. Michael Jones: I’ve been practicing for 17 years. I chose cosmetic surgery because I started off as a cancer surgeon, and although I was able to save many, many lives, there were patients who I got to know very well, along with their family and friends, and I was not able to save them. That was not ideal for my personality, so I decided to change direction and work with patients to make them happy, and help them improve their self-esteem outlook on life. Knowing what I do helps a patient long term is more suited with the kind of surgeon that I am proud to be.
Have you seen opinions about cosmetic surgery change throughout the years? If yes, would you credit the change to anything in particular?
I’ve definitely seen more people of color looking and seeking to have cosmetic surgery performed. Why has it increased? Because of the media. Plastic surgery is no longer for the rich and famous. You have accessible media icons having procedures done on TV and reality shows, which in part, focus on every day folks seeking life-changing transformations. Being able to see people just like yourself go through radical transformations to get their desired look, makes it all the more enticing for all of us to be able to feel like we can have that too. Plus, the price is more economical given the increase in the surgeons in the field now. Plastic surgery prices have fallen and made it much more affordable to the everyday person, especially with financing.
What is your process like to prepare a client for surgery? Is there any conversation about why a client would want a particular procedure? Has their been a time when you’ve had to decline a client because you didn’t feel the procedure was the right thing to do?
We offer free consultations to every potential patient. During the consultation, we are striving to obtain what procedure they’re looking to have and what changes their looking to make. I am always curious to know a patient’s motivation for surgery, and that usually dictates whether they’re ready or not. For example, sometimes patients want to get something to please their significant other, and I usually advise against that. In those instances, I try to persuade them, as its personal and will be life changing, that you can’t make life changing decisions solely for someone else’s benefit.
It’s my job to make sure patients understand the risks, benefits, and alternatives to surgery, and to prepare them for realistic expectations on what they’re going to achieve, as well as the recovery process.
Surgery is not like going to the hair dresser. If your hair doesn’t turn out the way you hoped, you can always undo the process — not the same with surgery. So any good surgeon will drive home that point to make sure a patient is mentally prepared for everything that will come as a result of their procedure.
I would say Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj were huge influences to women (and some men) wanting bigger butts. Currently, is there any one particular public figure your clients reference when preparing for their procedures? If so, what specifically are they admiring about that person?
We still get a lot of Kim Kardashian perfect bottom seekers, but more so, our patients reference JLo. When describing the perfect butt, especially with Brazilian butt lifts, patients talk about a perfect apple bottom, and they almost always reference wanting Jennifer Lopez’s bottom.
Speaking of bigger behinds, I don’t seem to hear about butt lifts as much anymore. Are they still popular? Are there any new, or unique, cosmetic surgery trends on the rise?
Bigger butts are one of our biggest procedures. We do a lot of Brazilian butt lifts, but we only do Brazilian butt lifts or fat transfers to the butt. We don’t engage in silicone butt implants or butt injections, as those are almost always regretted at some point. We want our patients to have the best and most natural looking results, and Brazilian butt lifts help patients achieve that.
In terms of cosmetic surgery trends on the rise, PRP (which is platelet rich plasma injections, which uses the patient’s blood) is being incorporated into all kinds of cosmetic surgery, both invasive and non-invasive. On the invasive side, it speeds up the healing process, decreases pain or inflammation, and reduces scarring. On the non-invasive side, vampire facials, like what Kim Kardashian did on her show, are quite popular.
Last, technology now exists for people of color who are prone to keloids, and who may have shied away from breast augmentations or tummy tucks in the past, to prevent keloids from forming.
Do you see a lot of male clients? If yes, what are they coming in to improve upon?
Yes, we have a strong base of male clients. Typically, they’re getting liposuction, eyelid surgery, or rhinoplasty. I think it’s important to note that the playing field has changed, and cosmetic surgery is no longer a female thing — and it’s not taboo for males, like it was in the past. Men, just as much as women, are concerned about their features, and not afraid to improve upon their look.
I have a theory that, even more than mainstream media, social media is pushing people to look their best. Would you agree or disagree, and why?
Absolutely. If you look at Instagram, Facebook, and all these photo sharing platforms, they’ve made people more accessible — people that you would have otherwise never heard of or known about. Now, people are following glamorous people and wanting to look like them, not realizing they may have a whole team around them. It’s like social media are what magazines were to us in the ’80s and ’90s, only there’s a new magazine every second that you can check out and want to model yourself after. The danger is that it can create unrealistic expectations, so that’s something we always want our patients to be mindful of.
I’ve always wondered… Is it inappropriate or inconsiderate to ask if someone has had any cosmetic surgery? If not, I gotta ask: Have you had any work done?
I don’t think it’s inappropriate. It’s natural to wonder if someone has had any enhancements, especially when it’s someone you admire. I’ve not had any major work done. Only non-invasive stuff like botox and PRP facials. Very conservative things.
Are people starting to see cosmetic surgery as an alternative to changing their body in a natural way (i.e. working out, eating differently)? Should they see it as an alternative?
Yes. To some people, plastic surgery is no different than getting their hair done or working out.
At the end of the day, all of those things lead you to looking and feeling better about yourself. Whether people see it as an alternative, that’s hard to say, as it’s personal. But to some, yes, and to others, it’s far too drastic to be considered an alternative. We get a lot of patients who were referred to us by their therapist. People want to feel better about themselves, and the psychological aspect of feeling better considers lots of roads. Plastic surgery just happens to be one of them.
Do you have any words to people who are considering cosmetic surgery for pure enhancement, but are unsure about going though with it?
My advice to anyone is to do whatever makes you happy. You’re in the driver’s seat and as long as whatever you’re considering is only for you, and truly will make you feel much happier and satisfied with yourself, then go after it. There’s nothing wrong with wanting the person on the inside to reflect the person on the outside.