Dr Terry Dubrow tackles impossible cases as Botched returns

In this interview, the famous surgeon reveals his new techniques and critiques three dodgy new trends.

Plastic surgeons Dr Terry Dubrow and Dr Paul Nassif are back in the saddle – and correcting those saddle noses – in their plastic surgery reality series Botched on E! (DStv 124), with the second half of S6.

Despite the pair’s constant banter and one-upmanship with one another, they show maturity, kind-heartedness and level heads when it comes to taking on patients who’ve come to them desperate for help to fix previous plastic surgery blunders, or even with natural conditions that have left other plastic surgeons stumped. And there’s always a chance of celebrities and socialites dropping by for a touch-up and a fix-up.

In the coming episodes, we’ll see Drs Dubrow and Nassif tackle everything from patients who express themselves through body modification, to those chasing unhealthy ideals because of body dysmorphia, to those who suffered tragic accidents and are looking to be brought back to themselves.

And in this season they’re taking on the kinds of patients they have always turned down before. We knocked on Dr Dubrow’s office door for a quick consultation.

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Tucked, tweaked & uplifted

How did you select this season’s patients from the thousands of applicants?

This season is unique because for several seasons we took certain applicants for the show and we put them in a file of patients who had cases that, though very difficult and very interesting, we felt the risks were too high. But Paul and I have been doing this for six seasons now, and so we’re at a different level. We took on those patients who weren’t possible previously – just as long as they understood that we might make them worse before we made them better. We said to them, “Listen, are you willing to have many operations, some of which could go very badly and could even put you in the hospital before we can get you to a place where we can fix you?” And of course they said yes, because those were the most impossible cases.

Which of those cases gave you the most complications?

The fastest-growing operation in plastic surgery is called the Brazilian Butt Lift, where you take fat from one part of the body and you inject it into the buttocks. Now we had a number of people who had very deep scarring or who had lost portions of their buttock from that, so we took those patients to try make them a new buttock. But we said to them, “Some of your body tissue is going to die. I have to be able to do that in order to give you a good shape later.” Those buttock operations are the ones that had the worst complications.

What exciting new techniques that you have developed will we see you using this season?

I developed operations that make buttocks out of fat in the back. So if a person has lost their buttock, you can’t just put a breast implant in their buttock and expect them to have a buttock again. You have to move tissue and skin. So I developed an operation where I can move tissue from the back and make them a buttock. In addition, I have developed an operation where I can move tissue from the abdomen to the lower part of the breast, to give them a normal lower-breast crease. These are two of the things that Botched has taught me, or forced me to learn over the past 6 seasons.

Which cosmetic procedures would you advise patients to wait a couple of years for because the field is developing so fast?

I would say operations that involve putting strings in your face. These face-lifting strings come around every five years. That operation comes back (into fashion)… and every five years it goes away again because they don’t work. I would wait before doing that. Also, I would wait on this procedure that involves putting these specialised devices underneath the skin, designed to tighten the skin from the inside. Those don’t seem to work very well, and I am seeing a lot of bad complications, like burns from the inside. I would wait.

What is the most complicated thing to change about a body using plastic surgery?

When the body has lost a geometric structure in your face, a part of your face or your body that not only is irregular and has a lot of scarring, but one that actually has its own shape, like your buttock cheek or your left nostril (as we’ll see in episode 11). Those are things that are very, very difficult to restore because it’s not just moving a piece of tissue from one part to another, you have to re-shape that area to give you a new nostril or give you a new cheek. That is the most complicated thing.

Watch Botched S6 (B) from Monday, 8 June on E! (DStv 124) at 20:00

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