News & Features

Plastic Surgery News: World Roundup May 2005

Poland: Cosmetic Enhancements -- on a Statue?
Australia: Odds of Needing Another Operation after Breast Implants.
Afghanistan: First Plastic Surgery Clinic Opens.
Iran: Nose Job Capitol of the World?
U.S.: Study: The Good-Looking Get More Breaks.
U.S.: Plastic Surgeons' Favorite Fat Sucking Music.

Poland: Cosmetic Surgery -- on a Statue?

Cosmetic Surgery... on a Statue? A small seaport village in Poland wants cosmetic surgery for a statue of a mermaid. No, make that out of date statue. The enhancement is important, city fathers say, because the mermaid is also on the Ustka city seal. And everybody in the town wants to catch up with the times.

Of course, no surgeon actually plans on putting a knife to the statue; but the surgical enhancements of so many people around the world have caused many to suggest changes for the unclothed statue of a mermaid in the public square at Ustka, Poland. Townsfolk think their statue is behind the times because it was crafted too long ago, when standards of female beauty were very, very different.

The improvements are considered necessary because Poland is soon joining the European Union, where the usual standards for feminine attractiveness apply and are admired (READ: slim hips and generous breasts.) But the statue has small breasts and what could kindly be described as a generously proportioned waist, hips and thighs.

Decades ago, when craftsmen first made the statue, the ideal of femininity was a stout female body type. Because the area is also farm country, it made perfect economic sense for 50 percent of the population to be hardy enough to work in the fields. Now, the town council wants the mermaid to slim down and get some serious chest enhancements.

All that hints that strong women who can heft hundreds of pounds of potato sacks during a 12-hour day in the fields are not quite as admired any more.

Says a town spokesman: "We are considering altering the mermaid slightly by making her breasts bigger and maker her leaner. She will become more attractive and Ustka will gain publicity."

Australia: Odds of Another Operation after Breast Augmentation

Odds of Another Operation after Breast Augmentation More plastic surgeons worldwide are telling their patients they should just assume the first breast augmentation - unlike nose jobs and other major cosmetic procedures - probably won't be the last.

"A rough rule of thumb is that any woman who has breast implants has about a 20 percent chance of going back under the knife," says Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Leslie H. Stevens, M.D. specialist in breast surgery. "In my practice, I recommend that silicone and saline implant patients be followed up once a year," Dr. Stevens says.

U.S. plastic surgeon James Romano places any woman's chances of developing capsular contraction at five percent.

Down Under, Australian plastic surgeon Dr. Eng-Peng Tan has crunched the numbers on his breast implant patients over the last twenty years and recorded the various chances of any one side effect cropping up after a breast implant operation.

Writes Dr. Tan on his website: "In spite of due care, cosmetic surgery results are not as predictable as we expect."

Here are Dr. Tan's odds of the possible side effects:

*Stretch marks: one in 500 cases. "If you already have stretch marks on your body, you are susceptible to this risk," writes the doctor.

*Asymmetry: 2 percent chance. "After augmentation, with equal size implants, asymmetry may become more obvious," notes Dr. Tan. "There is no perfect symmetry in the procedure."

*Capsular contracture: 2 percent chance if the implant sits under the chest muscle; 4 percent chance if the implant is atop the muscle.
*Inflammation and infection: very rare.
*Sudden hemorrhage: early or late, one percent chance.
*Seroma: (fluid formation :) two percent chance.
*Implant rupture: one in 1000 cases.
*Nerve damage: permanent nipple numbness: one in 500 cases.
*Symastia: Extremely rare. The joining together of the implants in the middle of the patient's chest and a total loss of cleavage. It happens in thin patients with soft subcutaneous tissue and large implants. (For a picture of a patient with symastia, go to:
*Mondor's Band: also extremely rare, at one in 1000 cases. Mondor's Band is uncomfortable vertical bands that stretch under the skin from below the incision to the navel. These bands go away without treatment in about three weeks.
*Unacceptable foreign body: over time, your body stands a one percent chance of developing an aversion to a foreign object - the implants - in your body. You might want them taken out then.

Iran: Nose Job Capitol of the World?

Nose Job Capitol of the World More foreign correspondents - from CBS News in the U.S. to The Guardian in England - are reporting that Iran has become the nose job capital of the world. CBS new correspondent Elizabeth Palmer -- who lives in Tehran - reports that Iranian women are spending their cosmetic surgery budgets on their faces, where it shows. Following tradition, most Iranian women keep their hair and figures under wraps but faces there are usually unveiled. Moreover, official standards have relaxed somewhat; the Iranian morality police used to confiscate eyeliner and lip gloss as being "un-Islamic." But clerics and other scholars say the Koran neither forbids nor approves of rhinoplasty. Ms. Palmer also reports the most desired look in smaller noses being inspired by Hollywood. Iranian surgeons say that many women shopping for new noses arrive at the surgeons' offices with pictures of Jennifer Lopez, Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise who are widely seen on Iranian satellite television.

The Guardian's Robert Tait, who also lives in Tehran, reports as many males as women going under the knife for a svelte nose. Patients there tend to be in their early 20s and usually have a convenient "medically necessary" anecdote - like a broken nose or breathing problems - for getting a nose job. Although exact figures are hard to crunch, some physicians are also telling Tait the Islamic republic has the highest rate of nose surgery in the world.

Afghanistan: First Plastic Surgery Clinic

Afghanistan: First Plastic Surgery Clinic When Afghanis lived under the harsh rule of the Taliban, women were not allowed to leave their homes. Beauty shops, seen as pure vanity by the no-nonsense Taliban, were outlawed and it was even illegal to sell cosmetics.

But, four short years later, anybody can obtain cosmetic surgery at the Hamkar Surgical Clinic in Kabul, the first such clinic in the nation. When it opened, the clinic mainly treated cleft lips and palates, bullet wounds, burns and other injuries caused by 23 years of war. But after several years, patients started asking for eye lifts, nose jobs and facial wrinkle reduction. Breast augmentations are available, although only one woman in the war-torn nation has inquired so far. The concept of cosmetic surgery is so new to the nation, plastic surgeon Dr. Hamkar insists on a letter from a therapist certifying the patient's sanity.

And the beauty shops? They are now everywhere in Kabul and other Afghani cities and rapidly spreading.

U.S.: Study: The Good-Looking Get More Breaks

The Good-Looking Get More Breaks You might think it was somewhat self-serving if a group of plastic surgeons did a study that found good looking people get more breaks in life.

But you really have to take the results seriously when it's a group of bankers who crunched the numbers that revealed the gorgeous are more likely to be better paid than we plain folk.

Research analyst Kristie Engmann and economist Michael Owyang writing in the April, 2005, issue of The Regional Economist, analyzed hundreds of previous research and surveys looking at the possible link between appearance and wages. They found you are likely to make more money if you are tall, slender and attractive.

Among the studies, one found a "plainness penalty" of nine percent in wages. That study revealed that people with below-average looks tended to earn nine percent less than those with average looks.

For many, it boils down to the bottom line that many cosmetic and plastic surgeons have telling us a facial or body rejuvenation will provide: heaping amounts of self-confidence. Engemann and Owyang also think the good-looking make more because they are also more self-confident.

U.S.: Plastic Surgeons' Favorite Fat Sucking Music.

Plastic Surgeons' Favorite Fat Sucking Music Plastic surgery patients may have never noticed - being unconscious during their operation and all -- but several Denver-area plastic surgeons have created appropriate music for different surgeries.

"There are fat sucking, facelift and breast lift playlists and others," says John Grossman, M.D. a plastic surgeon with offices in Denver and Beverly Hills.

Here are a few samples of Dr. Grossman's playlists:

Liposuction Music

"Can't Get Enough of You," from 90's Sweat Mix Vol. 2
"Lay All Your Love on Me," ABBA
"Wiggle It," from 90's Sweat Mix Volume 2
"Jive Talking," Bee Gees
"Against the Wind," Bob Seger
"Fat Bottom Girls," Queen

Facelift Music

"Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens," B.B. King
"Nice and Easy," Michael Buble
"We Open in Venice," Frank Sinatra
"I Wish I Were in Love Again," Frank Sinatra
"Take Me Home," Phil Collins.
"Best Friends," Basia
"No One Said It Would Be Easy," Sheryl Crow
"Running with the Night," Lionel Ritchie

Finishing Tunes (when ending surgery)

"Stars and Stripes Forever."
"Semper Paratus" (Always Prepared, the U.S. Coast Guard anthem
"Hero," Mariah Carey

Partner Dr. Capraro concentrates best during delicate surgeries - like eye lifts, face lifts and rhinoplasties -- with classical music from the likes of Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban and various soundtracks like the Godfather and Legends of the Fall.

For Liposuction, Dr. Capraro prefers straight, upbeat Disco because the surgeon repeats a constant sawing, back and forth motion with the instrument he pushes in and out of fat deposits. During breast surgery procedures, Dr. Capraro listens to Shania Twain, Elvis, Elton John, Beatles and Paul Anka. For tummy tucks, lower body lifts and thigh lifts, he cues up Elvis, Lynard Skynard, Southern rock and the occasional - no pun intended -- cut of acid rock.

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