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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Plastic Disasters
Plastic Disasters
HBO // Unrated // September 19, 2006
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted November 6, 2006 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

Plastic surgery is a booming business these days, with tabloids pinpointing every detail that a celeb has had fixed and customers lining up to get their (blank) done just like (fill in blank celeb)'s. While some people have plastic surgery to correct serious issues or boost self-esteem, others do it in a potentially endless persuit of what they consider perfection. With the rise in plastic surgery these days, are there unqualified doctors trying to cash in on the craze? Are too many patients scheduled per day?

"Plastic Disasters" is a one-hour documentary that looks into a few cases of people who went in for plastic surgery for various reasons and whose surgeries were botched. It's a very saddening piece and quite a troubling one at times. Anyone thinking about having plastic surgery - whether for cosmetic or health reasons or both - should certainly view this program before deciding whether or not to go through with it, or consider alternate treatments.

One of the first cases is Mona, seemingly a very nice, average older woman who saw an ad for a plastic surgeon and figured that it would be the best way to remove some excess weight. Although her husband was initially skeptical, when they thought it would be a way to help her diabetic condition, he agreed to it. After the surgery, Mona became increasingly ill and began to have trouble breathing. When the plastic surgeon, who kept telling her that "she'd be okay" finally told his nurse to tell her to go to the hospital, the area where the surgery had been done had become so infected that the doctors at the hospital worried if she'd be able to recover. Mona was devastated and eventually, due to lack of activity due to her injuries, one leg had to be removed. Shortly after, she lost the other.

Tony originally went in for a bit of a vanity reason: to fix his nose. He thought that it would be an in/out procedure that wouldn't be a big deal and increase his self-esteem. The first surgery was botched, then a revision went poorly and a third revision that included a silicon implant that was not inserted correctly, was a complete disaster. A fourth procedure? Further damage and now, not only was the appearance not correct, but Tony faced breathing problems. At that point, it became less about vanity and just trying to find someone who could get his nose to look normal again.

I found each one of these stories to be absolutely devastating to watch. These are people who went in to these surgeries with the hopes of improving their lives, but all of them were tragically harmed by what they thought were simple procedures. In Tony's case, follow-ups were botched and lead to worse issues. In the other cases, the patients didn't know where to turn or, such as in the case of Lucille, found no one willing to listen to their pain.

"Plastic Disasters" is, again, a must-view for anyone contemplating cosmetic surgery. As one doctor notes in the documentary, "Cosmetic surgery is still surgery." As this documentary certainly shows, severe problems can occur with procedures thought to be simple.


The DVD

VIDEO/AUDIO:: Clear, crisp 1.33:1 full-frame transfer, with only some slight shimmer and a couple of instances of artifacting. The stereo sound is documentary-style audio, with clear dialogue. There's not much else to it.

EXTRAS: Nothing.

Final Thoughts: This is a saddening, horrifying and troubling documentary that shows how dangerous "simple" cosmetic procedures can be. The DVD presents fine audio/video quality, but no extras. The documentary has fairly limited appeal aside from those considering cosmetic surgery, but anyone interested in the topic should definitely consider a rental or purchase.
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