As with just about anything in life, there are many things that can go wrong with plastic surgery. But just as we don't hear news reports about the millions of planes that have taken off and landed safely, there is not the same attention devoted to the many success stories of cosmetic surgeries as there is to plastic surgery gone wrong. There are risks involved with this type of surgery, as there are in undergoing operations of any kind, but the usual difference is that while no doctor can force a patient to have surgery of any kind - even if it is a life-saving operation to remove a cancerous tumor - plastic surgery is generally a little more elective than the other.
And perhaps this is why we seem to delight in hearing about plastic surgery gone wrong. Nowhere is our interest in celebrities as heightened or as vicious as in this arena. While assigning the delight we find in the personal disaster of another human being to jealousy might be overly simplistic, there is doubtlessly a sense here of revelling in the fall of someone we thought - or felt they thought themselves - to be untouchable.
It seems that regardless of the expensive doctors they might have access to, the rich and famous are as susceptible to the vagaries of happenstance as the rest of us - sometimes, things simply just go wrong. Plastic surgery has literally been the death of some, and side effects can be life threatening. Even relatively minor mishaps can be unsightly and embarrassing, and plastic surgery gone wrong includes an enormous range of problems, from capsular contraction in breast implants (where the implants harden painfully) to problems with the wound and the slippage of implants inserted in a range of locations, including cheeks, chin, and butt. Surely we wouldn't wish these accidents on our worst enemies - unless they were in the public eye.
So celebrities might have thousands of things we think we want, but they are as subject to the whims of higher powers just as the rest of us are. Above all, we are all human, and plastic surgery gone wrong, regardless of the paycheck of the life it affects, is a painful and upsetting time. Let's just hope they get well soon.
Jeff Lakie is the founder of Plastic Surgery Resources a website providing information on cosmetic surgery.