Heidi Montag: 'I'm Not Addicted' to Plastic Surgery

Reality-TV star Heidi Montag is recovering from 10 procedures in 10 hours.

January 18, 2010, 6:47 PM

Jan. 19, 2010— -- After two months of dodging the cameras, reality-TV star Heidi Montag is back in the spotlight with a "tweaked" face and body, courtesy of 10 plastic surgeries in 10 hours.

Montag, 23, has been in hiding since the operations in November only to re-emerge amid controversy about what she had done. Critics accused her of being addicted to the knife.

"I would say that none of those people know me at all," Montag told "Good Morning America." "And that's just a judgment. I'm not addicted."

"The Hills" star said she had surgeries done three years ago as well, but that the intervening procedure-free time proved she was not addicted.

"If you're addicted to something, you have to do it all the time, not once every couple years, if even," she said.

Montag's surgeon, Dr. Frank Ryan, said many young people get cosmetic surgery, and that it is a popular elective surgery in Hollywood.

Although critics have focused on the number of procedures Montag underwent, Ryan argued they weren't major facial and body procedures.

"I disagree that it is that much plastic surgery," Ryan said. "These are little tweaks and things we did. ... These were all kind of small things."

Some hospitals, such as Manhattan Eye and Ear and some medical associations, have specific recommendations against allowing elective plastic surgeries to last more than six hours.

"You're pushing the envelope there definitely, from a medical point of view, where you're going to set up complications," said Dr. Thomas Romo, a plastic surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital. "And that's irresponsible from a medical point of view. ... My ethics would say that you don't put your patient at that risk."

Romo said that statistics show the risks of complications rise after a surgical patient has been under anesthetics for more than six hours. "After seven hours, you're written up at our hospital," he said.

Juliette Harris, a spokeswoman for Ryan, responded in a statement, "Dr. Frank Ryan adamantly refutes the idea that the decision to perform Ms. Montags procedures were in any way unethical or unsafe. Dr. Ryan is one of the most qualified plastic surgeons in the country. Although the media created controversy may make for an 'interesting' story, and viewers might disagree with Ms. Montags choices, the safety or propriety of the surgery are not and should not be in question."

Beauty on the Inside ... and Out

Despite criticism from fans who said she looked like a "Barbie," Montag said she likes her new look.

"I hope I get my own Barbie one day," Montag said. But she said she doesn't feel like a Barbie.

"I think I just look like a different, improved version of myself," she said.

Montag said she wanted her admirers to know that beauty is on the inside but seemed to realize how her surgeries could undercut that message.

"I'm also in a different industry than they are," she said. "You know, I'm in a limelight. I'm in a different industry. And I have to do things that are going to make me happy at the end of the day. I'm living in my skin, and I look in the mirror and it's my career, my life.

"You only have one, so I want to take advantage of everything and be the best me in and out every way," she said.Montag is also embarking on a new career as a pop star. The title of her debut CD is "Superficial."

She said she's gone broke pouring her life savings into an independently produced music album.

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