Recently I have heard about a few online sellers who have been offering breast implants for sale through the popular online auction site eBay. A couple months ago, two silicone implants from the 1970s were listed with an opening bid of $25, and more recently I saw another set, this time two 300cc silicone sample implants with an opening bid of $250 and a “buy it now” price of $500.
The listings for both of these items labeled them as “not for real use,” undoubtedly because eBay and other online auction sites have established strict regulations to prevent people from selling medical supplies and devices. However, as a plastic surgeon performing a full menu of popular plastic surgery procedures in Seattle, I still find it disturbing that these products were freely available to anyone with an eBay account.
Now that cosmetic surgery is better recognized for its potential to transform patients” perspectives and even their lives in very positive ways, it is all too easy for patients to forget that enhancement procedures such as Seattle breast augmentations are still significant surgical procedures that require careful consideration and wise choices.
Too often, surgeons hold consultations with new patients who think of cosmetic surgery as a kind of magical one-step process that will instantly have them looking just like their favorite pop star. While the vast majority of patients I see at my offices are healthy, normal women and men who have reasonable expectations for how to correct or enhance their look, as a doctor I worry that poorly informed individuals will look at something like these eBay listings and think they can get an inexpensive shortcut to achieve their dream look. Unfortunately, patients will often need to revise a poor outcome which they got at a “great” price from another surgeon.
As with all medical procedures, cosmetic surgery is most appropriate and effective when both the surgeon and the patient put safety and quality first. Yes, cosmetic surgery can accomplish amazing, even life-changing things, but only when a highly-trained surgeon offers individual treatment, appropriate techniques, and natural, customized results – things you definitely will not receive when buying implants on an online site.