Heidi Montag Reveals She Had Her "Chin Sawed Off" And Nearly Died In A Series Of Painful Procedures

The reality TV star rose to fame for her role in "The Hills," and her many cosmetic procedures were well known in the tabloids. But now she's opening up about some of the painful effects those surgeries had on her.

By Gina Florio3 min read
Getty/Rob Kim

Heidi Montag, a 37-year-old reality TV star, recently reflected on her extensive plastic surgery in 2009 and its impact on her career, specifically the final season of her show The Hills, in which she appeared alongside her longtime husband, Spencer Pratt. Montag discussed the topic in detail on Page Six's Virtual Reali-Tea podcast, revealing that she had a challenging and painful recovery period lasting over a year. Montag is just one of many celebrities who have been opening up about their regret about plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures in the past. While celebrities used to hide the fact that they got any work done, we've moved into a new era of radical authenticity in which they are completely honest about the effects that these procedures have had on their life.

Heidi Montag Opens Up About Plastic Surgery Regrets and Reveals She Had Her "Chin Sawed Off"

In 2009, when she was just 23 years old, Montag underwent a series of 10 cosmetic surgeries performed by the late Dr. Frank Ryan. The procedures included a chin reduction, which Montag described as having part of her "chin sawed off," updated breast augmentation, rhinoplasty revision, brow lift, liposuction, facial fat injections, and pinning her ears back, among others. Contrary to her surgeon's assurance of a "quick recovery," Montag found herself unable to speak properly for months due to jaw issues, and experienced an immense amount of pain.

The reality star described the difficult period of recovery as a significant setback, admitting that she could not fully participate in filming the final season of The Hills. She told MTV producers at the time, “I’m not a person right now. I need to heal and recover, and I’m not doing well physically.” Montag had initially expected a quick bounce-back, similar to her experience after her first cosmetic surgeries—a breast enhancement and nose job. However, the extensive nature of her second round of surgeries made recovery exponentially more complicated.

"I had died basically."

Not only did the procedures interfere with her professional commitments, but Montag also faced life-threatening complications. She revealed a near-death experience where her heart rate dropped to an alarming five beats per minute post-operation. This occurred after she was allegedly administered an incorrect dosage of the opioid Demerol for pain management.

“They called Spencer at a point and told him I had died basically. I wasn’t doing well," she revealed.

For months after the surgeries, Montag needed nurses at her home to assist with her recovery. Amid this challenging backdrop, producers of The Hills continued to press her for show commitments. Montag expressed her and her husband's frustration at being pressured to perform for the cameras during such a critical time in her life, saying, "We can’t do this."

Though Montag acknowledges that undergoing the series of surgeries was her choice, she admitted that she was not fully "aware of the repercussions" it would have on her life. Her candid discussion offers an intimate look at the physical and emotional toll that elective cosmetic procedures can take, adding a cautionary tale to discussions around the realities of plastic surgery. It also highlights the ethical concerns regarding how far reality TV can or should push its stars, especially when they are facing significant health challenges.

Other celebrities, such as Blac Chyna, have admitted publicly that they regret getting so many procedures done that would cause a variety of health issues. Blac Chyna has been documenting her journey to have her butt implants removed, as well as several tattoos, encouraging women to be more comfortable in their natural skin rather than opting to go under the knife. The Kardashian women, known for their influence on beauty standards, are open about their use of cosmetic procedures like fillers, Botox, and surgeries. Kendall Jenner, often perceived as the “natural” sister, is scrutinized by experts who suggest she's had less obvious procedures like rhinoplasty and a brow lift. Kylie Jenner, noted for her "glow-up," famously turned her insecurity about her lips into a billion-dollar company.

Another influencer in the beauty scene is Bella Hadid, often hailed for her natural beauty. However, experts and social media influencers point out that she has undergone significant work, most notably the "fox eye" treatment, which alters the tilt and size of the eyes. These cosmetic procedures can be as costly as $13,000 and have set new beauty trends emulated through filters and makeup techniques. It's clear to see the extensive work Hadid has had done when you see her before-and-after photos.

Ariana Grande is another influential figure who has sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and plastic surgery. Observers note her transition to a more almond-like eye shape and the speculated "ponytail facelift," a procedure that could cost up to $100,000 and gives a pulled-back, high-temple appearance. Grande has also faced controversies for potentially "blackfishing" and "Asianfishing," as her appearance and musical styles have notably changed over the years. However, she and her team deny rumors of undergoing plastic surgery.

Today’s beauty standards are heavily influenced by celebrities who have access to costly, high-quality cosmetic procedures. While some are open about their experiences, others are more discreet, which can set unrealistic beauty expectations for the general public. New trends like the "fox eye" and "ponytail facelift" show how influential these public figures are in shaping cultural perceptions of beauty. The ethics surrounding these transformations, especially when racial and cultural lines are blurred, remain an area of debate. Therefore, it's important for public conversations to address not just the glamor but also the complexities and implications of these beauty standards. Young women deserve to know the truth about the long-term effects of these surgeries; Montag herself admitted that she wasn't fully aware of how much the surgeries could ruin her health. Perhaps if she had had a better idea, she wouldn't have gone down that painful route.

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