News & Features

Plastic Surgery News: World Roundup

“Most Armenian Nose Contest”
Armenian flag

In a land of larger noses, why would anybody want to make their own nose smaller? Many, it turns out, at least in Armenia where a contest was recently held to find the most Armenian nose.

BevHills plastic surgeon Garo Kassabian, M.D. traveled to Armenia at the invitation of the Saint Nerses Hospital, to donate plastic surgery to three finalists in the “Most Armenian Nose Contest,” held in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital city.

The contest was to raise funds for a new surgery wing at the hospital.

“It was all held in good fun,” says Dr. Kassabian who picked up the tab for his surgical team’s travel expenses, sat on a panel of local artists and other celebrities and helped select the most outstanding female and male nose in the nation. The finalists were chosen from photos submitted by newspapers, magazines, the hospital website and word-of-mouth. Within a week of announcing the contest, about 200 contestants entered. Thereafter, the hospital received about thirty applicants daily.

Armenia, a nation of about 3.5 million, is located in Asia Minor, east of Turkey and north of Iran.

After the judging, Dr. Kassabian volunteered to perform surgical reductions on the three unseemly proboscises.

“In Armenia or Beverly Hills, it’s human nature to want to improve on what Mother Nature gave you,” says Dr. Kassabian.

“One of the things we considered in choosing a winner was finding a nose that had little or no compatibility with the face it graced. So the three finalists had noses which, in size and appearance, had somehow become a hindrance. The first place winner, in fact, had broken his nose five times.”

Accordingly, tiny, thin or delicate beaks were out. The reshaped nose had to match the usual standards of Armenia beauty and mesh well with other desirable facial characteristics of people there. Those characteristics are, most notably, a broad forehead, large almond eyes and expressive eyebrows.

The top finalist, not incidentally, was able to breathe better and, with renewed confidence, figured he stood a far better chance of landing his dream job – that of a TV newscaster.

According to hospital spokesperson Narineh Aslanyan, the contest raised enough cash to begin construction of the new wing, with completion slated for some time in 2005.

Dr. Kassabian is currently looking into the feasibility of organizing the same contest in Southern California where many people of Armenia extraction and birth currently live.

Only time will tell if any broken noses show up in the Southern California version of the contest.

From Russia With – Poison?

Russian  flag In the rough-and-tumble world of Russian influenced politics, it can seem like anything goes.

Whole no run-off elections – at least in the modern era – have been decided by Russian roulette, Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko threw his hat in the ring in elections for his nation’s prime minister and suffered a serious case of dioxin poisoning for his trouble. The incident caused his face to be disfigured and now he is heading for what has reported to be a leading – but unnamed -- plastic surgeon in Israel to repair the damage.

“It’s going to be a long, long procedure,” says dermatologic surgeon Jeff Dover, M.D., in Boston. “I’ve seen cases of dioxin poisoning on the arm from industrial accidents. The substance causes hundreds of weeping bumps, cysts and pustules.”

News reports from wire service say Yuschenko also must be treated for liver problems and other ailments as a result of the poisoning.

Yushchenko’s wife Kateryna, who was born in Chicago, told Reuters her husband’s facial disfigurement increased over a period of weeks.

“My husband was known as a very handsome man and I know he’ll look the same again.”

According to plastic surgeon William E. Silver, M.D., a vice president for public relations for the Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in Virginia, Yushchenko’s disfigurement is normally seen by physicians on industrial workers who have spilled chlorine cleaners.

“The condition normally requires huge does of Vitamin A to help the liver which is the organ that clears the substance from the body,” Dr. Silver says. “Yushchenko’s liver would probably show some sclerosis which is just the scaring that a damaged liver makes while it tries to heal itself.”

While Dr. Silver has not examined Yuschenko, he reckons the treatment will be either with a laser or dermabrasion to open the cysts, allowing them to heal without forming crusts.

“He could be seen in pubic two weeks later although his skin will be reddened but that could be covered by makeup,” Dr. Silver says.

Six to nine months later, the healing process would be more complete.

But due to the liver condition, Yuschenko would have to do something few, if any other, Russian politicians have ever successfully done well.

“He would have to be very, very careful about drinking any alcohol the remainder of his life,” Dr. Silver says.

Hair, Italian Style

hair In Italy, at least one politician is tickled pink with the outcome of a cosmetic procedure.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, 68, says he feels a quarter century younger after having a hair transplant and seeing new hair appear on his once increasingly shiny pate.

For months previously, the Italian media had been scratching their collective heads over the meaning of the prime minister’s pirate-style bandana which he had been wearing on his head for at least six months. Berlusconi even sported the colorful doo-rag when he met with English Prime Minister Tony Blair, hosting the Brit and his wife Cherie at this digs on the Italian island Sardinia.

Finally, a plastic surgeon from Milan came forward and told a local newspaper he had performed hair transplantation on the prime minister, surgically removing some hair from the back of Berlusconi’s head for replanting on his chrome-like dome. And, when a youngster told the prime minister the bandana “looked cool,” the prime minister was heard muttering, “a little more hair is even better.”

However, Berlusconi is no stranger to plastic surgery. A year before, during the ’03 Christmas season, he had cosmetic surgery around his eyes (which he described as “a slight readjustment” to his eyelids) and told reporters that plastic surgery is a way of showing respect to those who share your well as a way of showing respect to those whom one represents on an international and national stage.

And for that, more hair is very much in demand.

U.S.: The Voice Facelift

voice Does your voice ever crack with emotion? Or does it just crack?

Even after the wrinkles are smoothed and the lips are filled, there may be one more cosmetic consideration keeping you from achieving a more or less youthful appearance—your voice. For some, like radio and TV announcers, actors, politicians, sales people and corporate executives, a sound voice is a bread-and-butter issue. Until now, surgery to correct voice pitch and repair damaged vocal cords has only been performed on those who have suffered trauma to the neck or to reverse birth defects. But for people who simply want to sound as young as they look, a procedure known as a ‘voice lift’ can be done and may become a new trend in a world where people are trying to correct every aspect of aging.

Your vocal folds, as with any other muscles, weaken with age, become stiff and lose some of bulk. When this happens, air rushes out in raspy bursts, changing the pitch of the voice and making you sound older than you feel. Plastic surgeons use several procedures to improve voice quality. Robert Thayer Sataloff, M.D., a surgeon at Philadelphia’s Graduate Hospital, inserts implants into an incision in the back of a patients’ neck to bring vocal cords closer together. Dr. Sataloff also uses substances like the patient’s own fat or collagen injections to plump up the cords and restore that youthful limberness. Those who aren’t squeamish may opt for a procedure done by Dr. Peak Woo, director of the Grabscheid Voice Center at Mt. Sinai Medical Center. A product known as Cymetra -- made from the ground-up skin of, gulp! human cadavers -- are said to leave your voice rejuvenated and without an old timer’s rasp. Call them “throatox” injections, if you will.

“Adding Cymetra to the vocal cords adds bulk and helps the cords meet better,” says Dr. Woo. “We inject the substance from outside the throat into the vocal cords.” Of course, a young voice won’t help much if you keep repeating yourself and endlessly talking about the good ol’ days when you walked five miles to school through waist deep snow.

England: Surgery, Live on Five!
england live surgery

Ever get tired of watching plastic surgery on television that has been filmed and edited beforehand? Many films showing plastic surgery operations blank out certain areas of the body that some think should always remain discreetly draped. Then, even more editing happens when the surgeon runs into some messy work, say, a lot of blood pools on the operating table or the viewer can clearly see internal organs or other unusual parts of the human anatomy.

Well, if you like your surgery raw, real and uncensored, then England’s Endemol UK Productions had a show for you, “Cosmetic Surgery Live.” The reality program features, in real time, the surgical work of British plastic surgeon Jan Adams, M.D., who also supplied a running commentary on the procedure as he operates on real patients in a Manchester clinic. According to Nick Dear at Endemol, the program was shown late every night for two weeks on Britain’s privately-owned Channel 5 and also featured filmed operations by several U.S. surgeons already known to U.S. viewers, Robert Rey, M.D. of “Dr. 90210” and Grant Stephens, M.D., of the Discovery Channel, along with U.S. plastic surgeons David Matlock, M.D.; Robert Ersk, M.D. and Taby Mayer, M.D. Procedures shown included – no pun intended – cutting edge operations like buttock implants, genital enhancements

Dr. Adams rounded out the show by unmasking some celebrities who denied ever having plastic surgery by showing discreet scars you would not otherwise notice.

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