Thursday, January 31, 2008

Do Movies Influence Plastic Surgery?

If you’ve followed our blog, you already know some movies have used plastic surgery as a plot gimmick. (See
the posts on the films Time and 200 Pounds of Beauty.)

But do the movies influence the plastic surgeries that people want?

300 Pounds of Pecs?

One of 2006’s favorite movies was “300,” about the last stand of 300 Spartan soldiers in 480 B.C. when those few Greeks held off an invading army of invading Persians, got killed in the process but saved all of Greece.

Virtually all the actors playing Greeks had massively developed chest muscles (pectoralis major). Hey, just call them “pecs” like serious weight lifters do. But to the Persians, it must have looked like they had to fight through a wall of buff chests.

In a case where life may be imitating art, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported the number of pec implants increased 99 percent, jumping from a mere 209 in 2005. (There were no reports at all of pec implants in 2004.) Read more about the Pectoral Augmentation surgery.

A pec implant is something you really, really must want. According to a San Francisco Chronicle article, pec implants alone cost $1600 a pair. The surgery to implant them runs from $7000 to $9000. Read more.

(Pec implant before and after photos, courtesy of Sam Gershaum, M.D.)

So -- movies not withstanding -- why would a guy pony up that much for a buff, square chest? Tired of having sand kicked in his face? Always the last guy picked for touch football pickup games? Need to hold off a Persian army, maybe?

Actually, a personal trainer says the appeal is projecting power, strength, health and virility. Others in the know say some other psychological benefits are providing a really nice place for the weary heads of significant others to rest upon.

And isn’t that a sweet gesture with Valentine’s Day approaching?

Any readers out there ever had a pec implant? What’s it like?

Read more about the costs of plastic surgery.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Top Ten Things You Should Never Say to a Plastic Surgeon

1. I’m 45; Make me Look I did at 20.

A plastic surgeon can turn the clock back a little but
can’t reset your appearance to two decades ago. Read more.

2. Write me a ‘Script for Some Extra Pain Killers

Basically, don’t ask a plastic surgeon to break the law. Sure, you can have a prescription for a few pain killers, sleep aids or tranquilizers in connection with a surgery, but don’t try to cop a major score. More.

3. Make me Look like Angelina Jolie (Brad Pitt, etc. etc.)

One of the ways a plastic surgeon has of knowing you know the meaning of “realistic expectations” in plastic surgery is to exclude those who want to look like celebrities. The whole idea is to make the best possible version of you.

4. I want a Face Lift because (my wife divorced me; my husband is seeing his secretary; my dog died) and want to feel better.

Plastic surgeons are trained to screen out people who want the surgery for the wrong reasons. So having surgery when you are going through a divorce or some other deeply troubling event is usually out. More.

5. Why Do You Charge So Much for only Two incisions?

If you are in the office of a plastic surgeon who is board certified in plastic surgery, otolaryngology (head and neck surgery) or facial plastic surgery, it requires anywhere from four to seven years of extra training after he or she receives the M.D. degree. Not everybody has the smarts, coordination and determination to get there. More.

6. I Want Liposuction because I don’t like Working Out.

Actually, you’ll have the best results if you can get off the coach, watch what you eat and work out. Your surgeon may even tell you to go home and lose weight before he’ll give you liposuction, which is not a method of weight control. More.

7. I Want to Get off the Table Immediately Afterwards

If you want an invasive procedure, you must show the surgeon you have time to take care of yourself and let your body heal after surgery. More.

8. I Sued My Last Plastic Surgeon!

Among people for whom rejuvenation surgery is probably not right are some with an odd condition (body dysmorphic disorder) in which no amount of plastic surgery is enough. And no results are ever good enough. So they file ungrounded lawsuits. More.

9. Help Me Fudge a Health Insurance Report, Doc

See #2. Besides, almost all plastic surgery is paid up front.
Very few procedures are covered by insurance. More.

10. Don’t Bother checking my Blood Pressure (Glucose level; EKG reading, etc.etc.)

No way around it: you gotta be healthy enough for plastic surgery. Want to wind up like Donda West? If you have a chronic health condition like high blood pressure, diabetes or heart woes, the only way your plastic surgeon can go forward is to check your medical tests. Read more about why your plastic surgeon does not do the health checks him-or-herself.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Botox Has a Competitor!

Pretty bold, considering there are about 4 million Botox injections given yearly! The stuff is used to treat everything from wrinkles to damp palms to writer’s cramp to urgent bladders. Read more about Botox.

Zap “The 11s”

The new kid on the block is not another drug, but a machine that zaps the nerve allowing you to scrunch up the area between your eyes. (Plastic surgeons call that area “The 11s” because it looks like, well, a big number 11 on your forehead.) The treatment is known as GFX, or glabellar furrow relaxation. Read more.

Approved by the FDA, here’s how GFX works: the doc asks you to frown real hard so he can locate your frown muscles. (I don’t know about you, but I automatically go into a massive frown at the mere mention of doctor bills!)

No More Frowning

Then, the doctor numbs up your forehead and uses a small needle to find the nerve that triggers a frown. Next, a little RF (radio frequency) energy is aimed at the nerve to zap its activity. Presto! No more frowning, even if you wanted to. Even over doctor bills! The nerve isn’t destroyed; it’s just in total shock for a while.

Showing “The 11s”.

The upside: while it requires Botox a couple of days to show results that only last for three to five months, GFX is said to last anywhere from eight to 18 months.

Downside: Botox costs anywhere from $250 to $450 per treatment depending on where you live. But because only two U.S. physicians are currently delivering GFX, a treatment is running anywhere from $1800 to $3000.

Read more about plastic surgery costs.

Getting Older? Your Jaw is Getting Square!

It’s not drooping flesh. Or wrinkles. Not baggy eyelids, either.

It’s that curse of aging, the square jaw.

So declares the America Society of Plastic Surgeons in a special report studying images of 16 people taken when they were mere babes -- about 16 -- in the woods and again at “maturity,” meaning 56 or older. Read more.

So we wondered what famous people would have looked like with those jaws.

(Images courtesy of

Einstein would not look
much older with a square jaw.
It looks like maybe boxing promoter
Don King copied the hairstyle, though.
(I’ve read both guys comb their hair
with jumper cables.)

The Golden State “Governator”
only looks tougher and more determined
to “bee bach” with a square jaw.

With a square jaw, Bonnie Prince
looks like he’s ready to take
over the Royal Reins from
the Queen Mum and be a proper

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Top 10 Extreme Plastic Surgeries

1. Belly Button Surgery

Some people with “innies” want “outies” and vice-versa. Technically, the operation is known as an umbilicoplasty. Read more.

2. Toe-Besity Surgery

Got tubbie toes? Stubby toes? Slim them! More.

3. Eyebrow Transplants

There’s no woe like skimpy or no eyebrow woe! More.

4. Foot Facelift

A toe may be too long or short; maybe it’s the dreaded “high heel foot” condition or corns, bunions or hammertoes. Solution? Anything but sensible shoes. Puh-lease! Better: a toe tuck and foot facelift to look good in sandals.

5. Ear on the Forearm

You don’t see a lot of this but one “performance” artist
implanted a more-or-less real human ear on his forearm. Something to do
with seeing what he is hearing? I don’t get it either but, hey,
today’s avant garde is tomorrow’s ho-hum. More.

This is not Photoshopped. The ear
was grown from human cells in a
Petri dish in a university lab.

6. Rib Removal

I always thought this was taken care of in the Garden of Eden. Anyhow, some women who want an hourglass shaped figure have two or three ribs removed. But the patient also must have a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) for the whole concept to come together. More.

A patient shows her new waist just after her surgery, left,
and after things have healed better.

7. The Human Barbie

Sarah Burge, 46, an English woman, has had 26 plastic surgeries over the last 20 years, trying to make herself look like Barbie. It’s actually quite a lonely life because there is no Ken in sight. Any volunteers, guys? It has only cost Sarah $351,775 to get a certain Barbie look. So far, that is. More.

8. Plastic Surgery for Kangaroos.

Feznick, a popular Hollywood movie star, (well, in roles that call for a kangaroo,
anyhow,) was bit by one of his neighbors where a lot of acting animals live. Hey,
this is California, you know! Because his close-ups would be ruined, he had
plastic surgery on his snout. More

9. Michael Jackson

Need we say more? Some plastic surgeons figure 10 to 15 surgeries on that nose. More

10.Jocelyn Wildenstein

Ha! You didn’t think we could top Michael Jackson, huh? Jocelyn’s bill for plastic surgery -- no wait, make that bad plastic surgery -- is said to be over 3 million dollars, thanks to a multi-million dollar inheritance. More.

Jocelyn, aka “The Cat Woman”

Monday, January 21, 2008

Koreans Put Plastic Surgery into their Movies

While American, British and Australians are fascinated with T.V. plastic surgery programs, Koreans like to go to the movies for their plastic surgery entertainment.

If you’ve followed our blog, you already know about 200 Pounds of Love, a Korean rock ‘n’ roll movie that used plastic surgery as a plot device.

Three Hankies

Now, for a three-hanky review! Star-crossed lovers deal with, not demanding families and feuding gangs, but plastic surgery and appearance.

The latest is Time, now playing on the Sundance Channel. The flick has a Korean sound track with English subtitles. Read more about the film.

While it’s a touching love story, it shows something American, British and Australian plastic surgeons (and probably many others, worldwide) would, and should, not do: provide plastic surgery to a person who wants it for all the wrong reasons. In this case, a patient is afraid her boyfriend will tire of her looks.

Take a knife to this face? Are you kidding?

Here’s what happens:

She-hee, the already gorgeous young woman above, becomes insecure about her appearance two years into a serious love affair. Her solution? Plastic surgery.

While a surgeon tells Seh-hee he can not make her any more pretty, she insists on having a surgical makeover. Afterwards, she splits on her lover, Ji-woo, while her face heals. The poor guy is heartbroken and searches everywhere for her. After six months, Seh-hee returns to him with a new name and is unrecognized. They start seeing each other again.

Another Plastic Surgery

Eventually, the boyfriend catches on and goes in for a total surgical facial makeover, too. Now it’s Seh-hee’s turn to go searching. Because she knows Ji-woo has a new face, she stops many handsome guys but the only way she can tell if a guy is really Ji-woo is by how the guy’s hand fits into hers.

I won’t give away the ending but it involves one more plastic surgery by one of the main characters, again for all the wrong reasons.

Seh-hee and Ji-woo before plastic

The 98-minute movie is also worth seeing because South Korea looks modern, clean, uncrowded and with delicate Asian touches everywhere. As you might have guessed, the nation is also becoming a plastic surgery hot spot.

To read more about the right reasons for having plastic surgery, try the following article about choosing a plastic surgeon -- and why a plastic surgeon just might send you on your merry way.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Top Ten Myths about Breast Augmentation

Breast Augmentation is the number one plastic surgery for 2006, the most recent year for which statistics exist. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 329,000 breast augmentation procedures were done in’06.

Myth #1: Breast Implants Cause Cancer
Studies and experimental data have not been able to link breast implants with cancer.

Myth #2: Breast Implants Must be Removed Every 10 Years
No specific data exists on the duration for implant replacement. Implants may last a lifetime or only a few years depending on various medical factors.

Myth #3: An Underwire Bra Should Never Be Worn with Implants
Underwire bras can be worn after healing. Over time, without proper support, the weight of the implants can create significant sagginess and stretch the breast tissue and skin. An underwire bra can prevent that.

A silicone breast implant

Myth #4: Shaped Implants are more Natural than Round Implants
Imaging studies have shown that both shaped, or anatomical, and round implants appear to have a similar natural slope when properly placed under the chest muscle. One complication of the shaped version: the implant bag can rotate and lead to disfigurement.

Myth #5: Loss of Nipple Sensitivity is Associated Only with the Periareolar Surgical Approach (through the nipple area).
Numbness can occur from any surgical approach if the nerves are stretched or traumatized during surgery.

Myth#6: Mammograms are Not Possible with Implants
Placing silicone or saline implants under the chest muscle helps with Displacement Technique Mammography and allows excellent results.

Myth#7: Over 50 Women Should not have Breast Augmentation
Patients of any age may undergo implant surgery as long as they are healthy, in good medical condition and free of breast cancer. Lab work is required for all surgical candidates while a routine mammogram is required for anyone over the age of 35 or with a family history of breast cancer.

A patient selects a breast implant

Myth#8: The Most Common Reason for Reopening the Incision is the Patient’s Desire to Remove the Implant Entirely
Actually, deflation (18 percent) and capsular contracture (also 18 percent) are the top reasons for reopening or undergoing a second procedure.

Myth#9: More Women Want to Go Larger on the Next Surgery, Believing They Went Too Small at First
That is not a myth but a true statement! Women get used to the swelling that generally occurs during the first two to three months after surgery. When the swelling subsides, they miss the fuller feeling and ask to have slightly larger implants put in.

Myth#10: It’s Easy to Detect a Rupture or Tear in a Silicone Gel Implant
Silicone ruptures are often silent because the implant holds its shape and may go undetected for years. An MRI is the most definitive method for determining a rupture or tear.

Source: Stuart A. Linder, M.D. F.A.C.S.
from his book, The Beverly Hills Shape: The Truth about Plastic Surgery.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Plastic Surgery Prices Explained

If you’ve ever wondered why the costs of plastic surgery vary so much from place to place in the United States, read more about it in a special report explaining at least some of it!

Media Watch -- 36 DD for a Day

British reporter Clover Stroud, below left as she normally looks and while having the equivalent of a 36DD breast implant applied.

Stroud, a reporter for the Daily Mail in London, England, wondered about all the fuss over breast enhancements.

So a movie makeup artist applied the bosom of a woman who has 36 DD implants. Stroud then wore the getup for 24 hours and walked around London while noting the different ways men -- and other women -- responded to her.

Wrote Stroud about a range of odd reactions: “But what had inspired this frankly odd behavior from complete strangers? Quite simply, it was my pair of perfectly perky 36DD breasts.” Read more.

NEXT: Toe-besity: There’s a surgery for that!

Dox: Got Pain? Take a Computer Game!

If any surgical procedure, including cosmetic plastic surgery, has left you hurting, skip the anti-pain drugs and try a video game instead.

Researchers at the University of Barcelona in Spain are using computer games and virtual reality helmets to measure how much high tech gizmos can reduce pain. So far, researchers have found the technique reduces the need for sedatives. Video games seem to work because you can only pay so much attention to any one thing; the games or virtual reality helmets distract your brain from your pain by more fully involving your other senses. More.

The Spanish are not alone in trying e-cures.

Researchers at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, have done experiments that show patients who are distracted in a virtual reality world like a 3-D skiing adventure, report less pain than others using drug-based pain therapy. More.

But it’s not so bad when you consider that surgical pain is just weakness leaving the body.

Physicians can read about it here: Article: Wismeijer, AAJ; Vingerhoets, AJJM, "The use of virtual reality and audiovisual eyeglass systems as adjunct analgesic techniques: A review of the literature", Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 30 (3): 268-278 DEC 2005

Chewing Gum Makes Breasts Grow?

The most excellent blog, Truth in Cosmetic Surgery, written by John Di Saia, M.D, a board certified plastic surgeon in San Clemente, California,
found a hilarious commercial for a type of chewing gum known as “Boobie Chew.”

Take a look:

The video seems to date from the 1980s; nobody is sure if it ever actually aired because its medical claims never got assigned to the precise category in science known as “believable.”

Nonetheless, you can still find chewing gum that purports to increase breast size. For instance, in Japan B2UP (short for “Bust Up Gum”) is a big seller.

The magic B2UP ingredient? Extracts from the Kwao Krua plant which is said to make breasts grow, improve shape and tone. Hey, what’s this? Breasts now have tone? Well, maybe a G would be all right with most people but I imagine a B flat would be a big fizzle. Read more.

Also available for the chewing gum and bosom-challenged public are Zoft Breast Gum (Contains Phytoestrogens! Chew less! Grow More!) and Breast Success, among others.

Here’s an odd but related item about chewing gum:

While chewing gum really can make surgical incisions heal faster, the one thing it does not do is make breasts grow larger, says Dr. Si Saia.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Chopstick Bra

Rarely do you see such an, ah, uplifting story.

Here’s the heart of it: Cut down fewer trees while creating more cleavage for all those who want it. It might even replace breast augmentation procedures.

As a nation, Japan throws away some 25 billion chopsticks yearly, causing large swaths of forest to be cut down.

And what’s the best way to stop that waste?

Why, silly, wearing a chopstick bra!

If you want to see the chopstick bra in action, check out this video:

Lingerie maker Triumph Internal Japan developed the support garment so the wearer could insert several pair of reusable chopsticks into the bra’s underarm panels. See where this is headed?

Triumph didn’t explain it fully but additional chopsticks can be used against the bosom to create a more flattering d├ęcolletage.

But don’t be mislead by the woman posing for the above picture. One cup resembles a rice bowl and the other a soup bowl (Chopsticks for soup? I don’t get it either!) but it’s all a grab for media attention.

The production model bra will most likely be just ordinary cloth cups with plenty of chopstick pockets. So far, nothing special is in the works for guys who want to carry collapsible eating utensils. Maybe a longer shirt pocket?

By the way, Triumph is a fashion designer with an odd sense of style. Read more about their take on the top eight most bizarre bras.

And if you’re interested in new bustlines, here’s a more-or-less normal story about adjustable breast implants.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Top 8 Far-Out Uses for Breast Implants

The world is filled with the results of unintended consequences. Sure, you can use cat litter to provide traction on an icy sidewalk, but whoever thought so many unintended uses for breast implants would crop up? We present the top eight:

1. Book Title

To win a $100,000 bet, Brian Zembic stepped up when another gambler put up the cash against Brian keeping 38C breast implants in his chest for one year. (Tip for guys: Women were fascinated and not the least bit put off by the enhancement. Maybe having a beefy chest is not such a bad thing, after all? Maybe forget the gynecomastia surgery?) The outcome? Brian became $100,000 richer and then was featured in the book, Man with the $100,000 Breasts. More. Casting for the movie continues but, so far, every leading actor has turned the role down because none wants to be seen with a bustline.

2. Airbags

Perhaps inspired by a Bulgarian woman whose 40 DD breast implants served as airbags and saved her life in a car crash, Japanese technology company Takata, the world’s leading supplier of auto safety belts, used a giant double implant template and came up with an improved air bag for cars. More

3. Man Pacifier

A San Francisco blogger known only as donnauwanna noted her life partner seemed to consider her breasts a source of comfort. So the clever donnauwanna decided to take matters into her own hands and created a squishy breast shaped stress reliever, modeled after one of her own. (We are NOT making this up. Read more.) Her fondest hope? “Maybe now he’ll leave me alone so I can get important things done!” Anyhow, here’s how to make one. But you really must want to do this because you start with a plaster cast of one breast. However, if the lady love is (understandably!) unwilling to slather her torso with cold, clammy plaster mix and sit still, waiting four hours for it to dry, some wives just toss their mates a silicone breast implant. Why? Silicone is like the real deal.

Of course, all this could easily be nipped in the bud because a new scholarly study found breast feeding can make kids more resilient to stress. More.

4. Ebay Sale

Mary Carey, an adult film start who ran for governor of California in 2003, put her 36 D implants (removed only because she wanted 36 DDD implant replacements ) up for sale on Ebay. As of January 8th, bidding was at U.S. $316.00. More.

5. Solve Crimes

A British murder victim was missing her hands and head when police found the body. But the woman had breast and buttocks implants, both of which carry serial numbers. The numbers cracked the case. More. Similar I.D.-by-breast-implant cases have taken place in New York and in Georgia.

6. Get-out-of-Army pass.

“ACHTUNG!! Today, D Cups! Tomorrow, Triple D Cups!”

(Actually, the headline reads: “The German Army will not allow my bustline.”

A German female soldier, 24-year-old Alessija Dorfmann, must leave the Army because she has D-cup size silicone breast implants. A German Army spokesman, Harald Kammerbauer, explained there is an increased risk of injury. More.

“I chust vanted to be all I can be,” lamented Alessija.

The case is under review so Fraulein/PFC Dorfman may be able to become the army medic, she signed up for after all.

7. A Curvy Tattoo

Above, Lane’s right leg. He is editor of
a body art and tattoo magazine in Edmonton, Alberta.

Thinking that a 2-D tat was too tame, Canadian Lane Jensen
asked a tattoo artist and wannabe surgeon to open his leg and surgically
implant tiny breast implants in the anatomically correct position of a
buxom woman tattoo. (Note: Do not try this at home. While these people were
totally untrained professionals working in a dangerous environment, they were lucky!
Lane still has his leg which is a miracle in itself!) More (without the
breast-or-leg man quips!)

8. Body Armor

(Photo by mzacha)

A woman’s silicone breast implants stopped a piece of shrapnel “inches from her heart” after a rocket attack in Israel. “The implants saved her life,” said an attending physician.

If you’re still interested in breast implants and how they are used by more-or-less “normal” people, read more about inserting breast implants through the belly button.

Next: Implants? Who needs ‘em anyhow? Chewing gum claims it can enhance breasts!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Human Fat-Powered Speedboat?

The vast majority of plastic surgeons don’t have a use for the fat they suck or melt from your body during liposuction.

Of course, a few noble souls are searching. Some even freeze patients’ fat in case some future discovery is made. A few surgeons move fat from one unwanted location of your body to another while research labs constantly look for medical uses.

Suddenly, a really practical thing comes along. Now, human fat can be used to power your speedboat! Why didn’t somebody think of this before? Will bass fishing ever be the same?

The Earthrace -- World’s
First Blubber Boat

In New Zealand, Pete Bethune, a former oil industry worker, created the Earthrace, a US$3 million dollar ship that will try to break the world’s speed record for zipping around the globe. The boat is powered by natural biofuels which usually combines recycled restaurant grease with some diesel fuel. Actually, Pete wants to promote biofuels more than snaring the world record.

To attract attention, Bethune and others underwent liposuction, collecting two gallons of fat that can drive the boat about nine miles.

Is that to say human blubber only gets four and one half miles per gallon? Well, it depends on what you’re driving and how fast you are going. At 23 tons, the Earthrace is a really big boat that goes really fat, er, that is, fast at a blazing 23 to 29 mph.

If all goes according to plan, the boat should take 75 days to race 32,000 miles around the world, thereby breaking the record by 10 days.

Unless they have to stop to take on more fat.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Top 10 Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Stories for 2007

1. Botox Injections at Home and Work
Beauty is now being delivered to your doorstep or office. Read more.

2. Birthmarks: Getting the Blemishes Removed
Millions of people are afflicted with marks they want removed. More.

3. NBC’s Biggest Loser
Losing 311 pounds is the way to grab this prize! More.

4. Plastic Surgeons Recall Volunteering on 9-11-2001
A 110-story building fell on one plastic surgeon volunteer . More.

5. Can Plastic Surgery Cure the Blues?
Everybody feels better when they look better. But some patients lose their depression after plastic surgery. More

6. Breast Enhancement -- via Fat Grafting
It’s big in Europe -- using your own fat to enhance breasts.
A New York City surgeon shows the way. More.

7. Eyelash Transplants
Skimpy eye winkers? Hate gloppy mascara?
Transplants might brighten your eyes. More

8. Botox & Restylane for 20-somethings
Cosmetic plastic surgery is no longer just for old-timers. More.

9. Repairing Tubular Breasts
Many small breasted women don’t know they have a deformity. For tubular breasts, the surgeon must do a breast enlargement, lift and reduction -- all at once. More.

10. SmartLipo
The new liposuction kid on the block melts fat with a needle-sized, laser-tipped wand. More.