As a plastic surgeon specializing in
cosmetic surgery, I have often wondered how our
specialty fits into traditional medicine. I have
concluded that it doesn't at least not easily.
Traditional medicine asks the question
"What's wrong?" and "How do I
fix it?" But these questions are
inappropriate for cosmetic surgery. The patient
is not sick. One doesn't need
cosmetic surgery like one might need an
appendectomy. Cosmetic surgery addresses
something else. Although I know what it is, I
don't have a word for it.
Imagine a whole specialty
whose members spend their lives treating
something unnamed yet something worth spending
their lives treating. If we did have a word for
it, its definition would be: An appropriate
concern that one's outer appearance match
one's inner being. The word we're
using is harmony. Cosmetic surgery creates
harmony between one's inner and outer selves as when you look as young and fresh as you feel
down inside. Some examples:
"I didn't look as young as I felt inside."
while looking in the rear-view mirror, I noticed
I had a double chin and heavy eyelids, and I
didn't look as young as I felt inside."
It is very common for our patients to tell us
that their mirrored-image does not reflect their
inner youth. Sometimes, as in Helen's case,
this realization comes quickly, and sometimes
Yet when that
"threshold" is crossed, cosmetic surgery can
make a powerful difference in not only one's
appearance, but also one's inner well being. The
goal at the Austin-Weston Center is to make the magic of
that transformation as beautifully as possible. As Helen
now says, "I look like me again!"
always wanted to be pretty"
JoAnn is an
accomplished executive who has climbed to the top rungs
of the corporate ladder. Always unhappy with her
appearance, she decided to do something about it. She
finally realized that the way she looked was up to her and she had the courage to change it. JoAnn came to the
Austin-Weston Center and underwent face and neck lift
including lifting of her upper and lower eyelids, lips,
and the corners of her mouth.While the photos demonstrate
a beautiful physical change, they also show the
magnificent inner shift which accompanied it. Look again.
Look in JoAnn's eyes. Look at her posture.
Although everyone knows that inner beauty is more
important that physical beauty, we've come to
recognize that the two are linked. And that improving
one's appearance often allows one's true inner
beauty to shine through.
thought I was tired"
Symbols: Bags beneath the
eyes say tired. Droopy eyebrows say angry. And a
downturned mouth says unhappy. Just symbols. But these
symbols often misrepresent and can affect the
way one really feels. "People always thought I was
tired because of my eyes," says Cathy. "After a
while, I was convinced I was tired!"
Removing the symbols (the heavy eyelids and bags in
Cathy's case) eliminates the misrepresentation, and
"wakes up" one's true inner self.
From these wonderful
patients and others like them, we have learned: