Plastic surgeons Dr. Paul Nassif and Dr. Terry Dubrow travel the country in their new eight-episode series, Botched by Nature, changing the lives of people who were either born with medical disorders or impacted by traumatic accidents.
The dynamic duo shared their excitement with journalists at the Television Critics Press Tour earlier this month, just before the first episode’s airing on August 3rd.
“Most of these patients didn’t really have much expectations, because they were born with these problems. We are so lucky to be able to, hopefully, bring them back to being normal again – this is the best experience that we’ve ever had in our entire career,” said Nassif.
“That’s what the show is all about – helping people who were helpless up until now,” added Dubrow.
In the series premiere the doctors take a gamble in Las Vegas, where they meet a young woman with an immune disorder which has caused her to lose a lot of weight and “deflated” her breasts.
They then drive out to Merced, a farming community in central California. There they sit down with Nate, who has a twin brother that he doesn’t look like “at all.”
In some cases, the plastic surgery veterans were confronted with issues that involved very specific areas of medical expertise and required assistance from other doctors.
“Listen, we are probably the most skilled plastic surgeons in the world for what we deal with at this point, but there are things that we personally can’t do,” acknowledged Nassif.
“You have to watch and see – did we help them? Did we make them worse? Because there’s always that incredible potential to make them worse. And that’s part of the draw for this show,” said Dubrow.
Making the impossible possible
Both Nassif and Dubrow have made remarkable progress in finding innovative solutions to extremely challenging medical cases.
“We first started ‘Botched’ with these unfixable problems. And then after three seasons, we realized that a lot of these issues that are described in the textbooks as being impossible to fix – symmastia after breast augmentation for example – we can now do with our eyes closed, because we have this special experience,” said Dubrow.
Nassif has noticed changes in the patients’ emotional state as well. “When we help them, even if it’s 20 percent, they gain self‑confidence and don’t feel like they’re going to be bullied anymore. It changes their whole lifestyle – they’re elated.”
The doctors went out of their way to meet their patients at home, surrounded by friends and family, to ensure that they would be accompanied and in the right state of mind post-surgery.
Some build elaborate defense mechanisms to deal with their problems, noted Dubrow. “They avoid certain social situations. They’re very insular. So that’s why we had to get out of our offices to see them… It’s like suddenly winning the lottery. A lot of times, you win the lottery, it ruins your life. Well, what if they won the surgical lottery? We wanted to make sure they could handle it.”
Nose jobs: a breath of fresh air
Outside of the two series, the doctors still enjoy the day-to-day of their plastic surgery practice.
Said Nassif: “Terry and I have been doing difficult revision cases for most of our careers. When we come back and we’re able to do something as simple as a rhinoplasty – fixing a deviated septum, for instance – compared to what we’ve done, it’s actually a breath of fresh air.”
Dubrow recently had fifteen new patients. “Eleven were from out of the state with complications from plastic surgery who needed my help because I’m the ‘Botched’ doctor. So 75 percent of my practice now consists of revisional plastic surgery for patients who have had multiple procedures. But what’s interesting is that it used to take me two hours to do a breast augmentation. I’m not a slow surgeon, but I don’t rush – I enjoy myself. But I perform breast augmentations a lot faster now, because of these three seasons of doing shows in about 40 minutes. And I’m not moving any faster… We almost have surgical superpowers, I kid you not, because we’ve had this incredible experience.”
Catch Botched by Nature on Wednesdays at 9PM, on E!