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This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

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It’s gotten so ubiquitous and seemingly, well, transforming that plastic surgeons say patients literally rip out the celebrity pages from magazines, point to so-and-so’s lips, chin, ears and/or cheekbones and, in When Harry Met Sally style, place their order for a makeover along the lines of “I’ll have what she’s having.” But it’s hardly that simple. Though the plastic surgery obsession has been tempered by the current economy, it’s still about a $10.7 billion–a–year industry. We aren’t doctors, nor do we necessarily condone or encourage surgery, but we called on top-rated surgeons, as well as other experts in the field, for the following overview of The State of Plastic Surgery Now.

Plastic Surgery Advisory Board

Robert M. Bernstein, M.D.: Dermatologist and hair-transplant surgeon who pioneered the Follicular Unit Transplantation procedure;

Jeffrey S. Dover, M.D.: Founding editor of Journal Watch for Dermatology and laser-surgery dermatologist who has authored more than 350 scientific publications;

Felmont F. Eaves III, M.D.: Specialist in minimally invasive endoscopic plastic surgery and coauthor of the first textbook on the topic, and former president of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS);

Gervaise Gerstner, M.D.: L’Oréal Paris consulting dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine;

Joe Gryskiewicz, M.D.: Coinventor of the Insorb surgical stapler and expert in breast augmentation, rhinoplasty and body contouring, and chairman of the ASAPS Emerging Trend Task Force;

Gerald Imber, M.D.: Manhattan plastic surgeon, author of The Youth Corridor (William Morrow) and a pioneer of the limited-incision short-scar facelift;

Harold Lancer, M.D.: Dermatologist and creator of the Lancer method and skincare line, a three-step beauty routine with minerals from the Dead Sea, and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at UCLA School of Medicine;

Michael F. McGuire, M.D.: Past president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and a director of the American Board of Plastic Surgery;

J. Peter Rubin, M.D.: Chief of plastic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh and an innovator in post–weight loss body-contouring surgery;

Amy Wechsler, M.D.: Dermatologist and author of The Mind-Beauty Connection (Free Press), a nine-day regimen intended to reverse stress-induced aging;

Robert Weiss, M.D.: Associate professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and past president of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery;

Plastic Surgery Viewpoint

“Any licensed physician can call himself or herself a plastic surgeon or, for that matter, a neurosurgeon or a psychiatrist. That’s the law. It’s been left to hospitals to determine who is trained to do what. But cosmetic procedures usually don’t take place in the hospital, and there is often no oversight at all. Yes, there’s a healthy overlap between specialties. For example, dermatologists are fully qualified to inject fillers and Botox—it is not rocket science; they are also laser experts. There are, however, gray areas beyond these simple shared efforts, and that is where issues with outcomes and patient safety arise. Patient safety, as differentiated from the quality of the results, is generally lax when individuals perform procedures for which they are not adequately trained. The best is available—why would anyone settle for less?” —Gerald Imber, M.D.


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