plastic surgery

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My Mother’s Surgery And One Doctor’s Substance Abuse

By Karen Shiffman
Guest contributor

USA Today reports more than 100,000 doctors, nurses, technicians and other health professionals struggle with abuse or addiction. This wasn’t news to my family.

Some 20 years ago, my mother was mauled by a dog. She was on vacation in Florida and went over to a friend’s house for dinner. To understand what happened next, you need to know a few crucial facts about her: She is afraid of dogs and barely five feet tall. When her friend opened the front door, her daughter’s dog — an Akita- tore out of the house and lunged . My mother turned away quickly. The dog lunged again. Because of her short stature, his teeth sunk into her calf. He all but ripped it off.

(Alex E. Proimos/flickr)

(Alex E. Proimos/flickr)

Blood everywhere. Screams. Tears. Ambulance. Thirty-nine stitches at the ER. She would need a skin graft.

And then there was the drama with the friend. Turns out, this wasn’t the first time the dog had bitten someone. Still, the family didn’t want the dog put down. Eventually, he was. My mother and her friend of 30 years never spoke again.

Back home in Boston, my mother was referred to a plastic surgeon at what is now Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He was kind and I agreed with my mother that he should do the surgery.

The operation went well. I went with her to the post-surgery checkup. We both thanked the surgeon for doing such a great job and for taking such good care of my mother.

So, imagine my shock, in 2008, to read in The Boston Globe that my mother’s surgeon was fired for being impaired in the OR. And that he had been struggling with substance abuse for the past six years. Continue reading

Blame Michelle: Arm Lift Plastic Surgery Soars — Up 4,000% Since 2000

Who can blame us, yearning for arms like Michelle’s? Wanting the option of sleeveless dresses once in a while? Wanting to take a run without hearing the sad flap, flap of loose, shapeless flesh, a sure sign that even with all the yoga and juice cleanses, aging is, indeed, inevitable?

Even so, who would have guessed that the First Lady’s sleek, powerful arms could have such a profound impact: According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, arm lifts in women have increased more than 4,000 percent in just over a decade. The society reports that “in 2000, more than 300 women got upper arm lift procedures. Last year, more than 15,000 did.”

Here are the latest numbers for 2012, according to a news release:

–Overall: 15,457 – up 3% since 2011 / 4,473% since 2000
–Women: 15,136 – up 4,378% since 2000
–98% of arm lift patients were women
–Most popular with patients over 40. The majority, 43%, of patients were ages 40 and 54, 33% were over age 55.
–Average surgeon fee: $3,939 / total spent on arm lifts: $61 million Continue reading