Dr Oz: Melissa Gilbert Breast Implant Removal + Body Image


Dr Oz: Melissa Gilbert

As Dr Oz said, many people watched Melissa Gilbert grow up, ever since she starred as Laura Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie. She wanted to come on the show just three weeks after major surgery to talk about the health decision that changed her life. At the age of 10 she starred in the show and became one of the most successful actresses of her time, and was also one of the youngest actors to ever receive a star on Hollywood’s walk of fame.

Behind the scenes, however, Melissa struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, and then went through a divorce while trying to stay current in Hollywood. She eventually got Botox and breast implants, which is a decision she’s regretted ever since.


Dr Oz: Melissa Gilbert Breast Implant Removal

Dr Oz: Melissa Gilbert Breast Implant Removal + Body Image

Dr Oz talked to actress Melissa Gilbert about her decision to have her breast implants removed and the pressures of Hollywood. (s_bukley / Shutterstock.com)

Just three weeks ago, Melissa underwent surgery to have her breast implants removed and she said she’s a little tender, but she feels much better. She said the surgery took about five hours, and because her implants weren’t leaking, they “came right out.” She also got a lift done, which is what took the most time.

She was 28 years old when she got the implants, and now she’s 50 and is at a place where she’s happier and healthier. She said she doesn’t feel the pressure to look a certain way, so she made a decision that whatever it takes, she’s going to age as “gracefully and as naturally” as she can. She said she just became a grandmother, so she really wants to be healthy so that she can see her grandchildren graduate high school.


She felt like having something foreign in her body wasn’t a healthy decision. She also shared that what a lot of people don’t know is that when you get implants, you have to change them and get new ones every 10-15 years.

Dr Oz: Melissa Gilbert Growing Up In Hollywood

Melissa shared that when she was growing up in Hollywood, she never felt like she fit in. When she was doing Little House on the Prairie, during the last few years of the show, she was 16-17 years old, and a decision was made for her to wear a padded bra. In her head, she thought her own chest wasn’t enough.

“The pressure of just growing up is hard enough, but growing up with everybody watching makes it even more heightened and weird,” Melissa said.

Dr Oz: Melissa Gilbert On Pressures Of Hollywood

Melissa also shared that her co-star and friend Alison Arngrim grew a large chest, and she thought it was “just so unfair.” Melissa said all the women around her were gorgeous and her grandmother was Miss Brooklyn. So being the athletic tomboy that she was, she felt like she didn’t measure up, and didn’t feel right in her own skin.

When she first got the implants she felt like she looked great and was confident and happy. She said she felt all the things that were missing, and now she looks back and thinks it was sad. She said it was all about what was on the outside then. She talked about the Botox and fillers she previously got, saying that she’s an actor and it’s really not good if she can’t use her face. She then showed Dr Oz her best “Botox face.”

Dr Oz: Melissa Gilbert Body Image

Dr Oz then put up two pictures of Melissa, one from her after the implants and the other from after Botox and fillers, comparing them to how she looks now. Melissa said she feels good about herself most of the time and she thinks a lot of it has to do with the fact that she’s happy and healthy. Dr Oz shared that it makes sense because we are actually at our happiest at age 50. Melissa said it’s not a giddy sort of happy, but more of a “quiet, peaceful, settled” happy.

Melissa said the key is finding a way to love yourself exactly as you are, which takes a lot of work. She said she’s still in therapy and has been for 30 years, but the key is to know that you are enough. She said aging is a gift, not a curse.

Dr Oz then pointed out how Melissa made the decision to marry Timothy Busfield and then move to a small town in northern Michigan. Melissa said it was part of settling down and having a quiet life. She said in L.A. when you go to a restaurant, as soon as the door opens everyone turns to see who just walked in, and that doesn’t happen in Michigan.

Melissa also wrote a book called My Prairie Cookbook.


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