Entries in Cosmetic Surgery (27)


Male Breast Reduction Operations Sag in UK, Statistics Show

Keith Brofsky/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- In Britain, breast reductions for men are out and fat injections for women are in.

Last year, 20 percent fewer British men than the year before sought surgery to treat gynecomastia, better known as “moobs” or enlarged male breasts, according to just-released data from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.

And for the first time ever, British women had more fat injected into them than they had removed.  Demand for fat injection procedures that plump up the face and smooth out lumpy thighs and flat bums rose 13 percent, while former best sellers like liposuction and tummy tucks fell by more than 10 percent.

Face lifts, brow lifts and other anti-aging touch-ups for the face were up by double digits.  Eye lid surgery as well as face and neck-lift operations both soared in popularity for both sexes in 2012.

Of the more than 43,000 Brits who went under the knife for some cosmetic renovation, 90 percent were women.

Meanwhile in America, the ratio of men to women having cosmetic surgery is virtually the same as in the U.K.  Like the British, Americans have shown growing fondness for anti-aging fat injections as well.  Americans still love liposuction and tummy tucks, but the big rise was in chin lifts -- “mentoplasty” to pick up and reshape the chin rose by 71 percent in 2011, according to American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

One thing remained the same on both sides of the pond: The most common cosmetic procedure by far was breast augmentation.  In the U.K., nearly 10,000 women opted for breast enlargement last year.  In the U.S., more than 300,000 women surgically enhanced their breasts in 2011, the last time American statistics were released.

Cosmetic surgery in both countries remained big business despite a sagging economy.  Americans had nearly 14 million cosmetic procedures last year, to the tune of $10.1 billion.  In Britain, the number of cosmetic procedures performed rose by a little over 5 percent.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Hero Dog Missing Snout Beats Cancer

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Kabang, the hero dog from the Philippines who lost her snout and upper jaw while protecting two children, has beaten cancer and is one step closer to getting cosmetic surgery.

“There is no evidence of any remaining tumor,” Gina Davis, the primary care veterinarian at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California at Davis, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

The brave canine gained notoriety late last year after she threw herself in front of her owner’s daughter and niece to protect them from an oncoming speeding motorcycle. The children walked away unscathed, while Kabang lost her snout and upper jaw.

A grassroots campaign raised money to bring Kabang to the U.S. for treatment, but when she arrived, doctors found the dog had an aggressive sexually transmitted cancer and heart worms, according to the Chronicle.

With the cancer cured, Kabang must face grueling treatment to rid her body of heart worms before she can undergo the cosmetic procedure.

“These heart worms are literally like spaghetti, living in the major arteries and heart and lungs,” said Marty Becker, a veterinarian and featured writer at, who has not treated Kabang.

Treating the condition, which is often found in tropical and subtropical regions, is a very careful, deliberative process, Becker said, since veterinarians use arsenic.

“You slowly poison the heart worms,” Becker said. “It’s very expensive and done with a lot of finesse. The dog will definitely feel malaise.”

After everything Kabang has been through, Becker has faith the hero pooch will pull through.

“The great thing about this dog is it has such a strong spirit,” he said. “Whether you witness it in person or through this story, it’s so powerful.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Extreme Cosmetic Surgery: Mom, Daughter Go Under Knife

Keith Brofsky/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- For most mothers and daughters, bonding time comes in the form of a trip to the nail salon or a day of shopping at the mall.

For 65-year-old Lynda Trentholme and her daughter, 38-year-old Stefanie Trentholme, bonding time involves a more lasting, and life-changing, type of activity: cosmetic surgery.

The duo is no stranger to adventures -- they’ve zip lined, snorkeled and helicoptered their way around the world from their home bases in Montreal, for Lynda, and Los Angeles, for Stefanie -- so they figured they would continue their tradition by coming together for a nip and tuck.

“I thought this would be a nice thing for us to do together because we could be a support system,” Stefanie, a pediatric speech language pathologist, told ABC News’ Cecilia Vega.  “We [could] have a good three or four days together to vegetate and relax.”

Lynda saw the mother-daughter time together as an opportunity to get rid of what she described as a nagging sag on her neck.

For her daughter, it would be a time to fix her chest and slim down her waist.

“Something I have noticed as I have been getting older is that my bust is hanging lower,” Stefanie said.

In late May, Lynda traveled to Stefanie’s home in Los Angeles so that both mother and daughter could be under the care of Dr. Peter Fodor, a Los Angeles-based plastic surgeon who says the mother-daughter approach is great in his business.

“I love it,” Fodor said.  “The patients who start with a supportive relationship, they really help each other and I welcome that.”

Fodor performed a neck tuck and inserted cheek fillers on Lynda, while her daughter got a breast lift and a tummy tuck.

Nearly seven weeks post-surgery, in July, both mother and daughter said they were happy with the results of their extreme bonding adventure.

“I definitely notice a difference obviously with my stomach,” Stefanie said.  “I am really thrilled about my bust.”

“I feel really great about myself,” echoed her mom.  “I am able to wear chokers and things I never wanted to before that would address my neck.”

“Now, bring it on,” she said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Couple’s Cosmetic Surgery: Husband and Wife Go Under the Knife

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Heather and David Robertson have done everything together for 18 years, so when she decided to go under the knife, he didn’t think twice about doing it, too.

“You know what, hey, whatever, I am game for it so let’s see what happens.  It’s got to be a bonus.  It can’t hurt right?” David told ABC News.

Time has been great to their marriage, but it has taken a toll on their bodies.

“Well, Heather has had four children, we have had four children together and you know it takes quite a toll on our bodies,” he added.  “So if anybody deserves to get a tummy tuck, I think she deserves to get one done.”

David has gained 50 pounds over the years and has a double-chin.  He opted for a chin lift.

“Well, if you’ve seen me when we first met and I think that is the image she has of me in her head, I was about 135 pounds and was all muscle and now I am about 185 pounds and there is not as much muscle,” he said.

This will be a new chapter in their lives, Heather said.

“I know we are still young but we are getting older, and just another new chapter, another new adventure,” she said.

Dr. Anthony Youn, a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in cosmetic surgery, said he is seeing more and more couples like his patients Heather and David Robertson getting cosmetic surgery.

“A lot of couples want to play together, they vacation together, they want to raise kids together.  Now they are having surgery together, too,” said Youn, director of the Youn Plastic Surgery clinic in Troy, Mich., and affiliated with the city’s William Beaumont Hospital.

On the day of their surgeries, David had his procedure first, then Heather. Six weeks of healing later, and the extra skin on David’s chin is gone.  Heather’s baby fat after her four children is non-existent.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Is Cosmetic Surgery for Feet the Solution for Shoe Lovers?

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Charmaine Gumbs is a self-proclaimed high heel shoe fanatic with everything in her shoe collection from Jimmy Choos to the same ’40s-style pair of heels once worn by Madonna.

“A beautiful pair of shoes can suck me in,” Gumbs, from Brooklyn, N.Y., told ABC's Good Morning America.

But for Gumbs, her love of high heels came with a price: living with pain in the ball of her foot when she wore her favored shoes.

“It burns and it’s like fire,” she said.  “I have my New Year’s Eve Jimmy Choos that I have not put on my foot yet because I am afraid of them…that heel.”

Gumbs chose to take action to fix her pain, becoming one of a number of women across the country choosing to fix their toes instead of giving up their favorite pumps, or even their sandals.

When Jennifer Pyron, a 27-year-old from New York City, had to stop wearing her favorite summer shoes because they were being ruined by sweat from her toes, she decided to have a cosmetic procedure.

“A lot of people have the problem, especially women that want to wear great shoes,” said Dr. Suzanne Levine, a podiatrist at the Institute Beaute in New York City who treated both Pyron and Gumbs.  “They [women] don’t want their shoes ruined.  It really is quite a problem.”

Dr. Levine injected Pyron’s feet with Botox to lessen the sweating.  She treated high heel shoe-lover Gumbs’s pain by injecting a biodegradable cushioning into her foot, a filler similar to what people have injected into their smile lines.

The cushioning, which replaces the natural cushioning in the foot, will last about nine months, according to Dr. Levine.

The patient, Gumbs, said she realizes that the procedure may seem crazy to others, but it is worth it to her.

“Not when you love shoes,” she said of the other option, to not wear high heels.

One week after the treatment, Gumbs found herself pain-free.

“I feel not so frightened by my shoes anymore because I love them,” she said.  “I look forward to wearing them in comfort, not in agony.”

Pyron also found relief in her feet after her Botox injection.

“Once it kicked in I totally noticed a difference,” she said.

Not all doctors agree, however, that operating on one’s feet to be able to wear a certain type or pair of shoes is a good idea.

“I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with plastic surgery,” said Dr. David Levine, Assistant Attending Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City (and no relation to Dr. Suzanne Levine).  “I have no problem if someone wants to change their nose, or change their boobs.  But you don’t walk on your boobs.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


How Social Media Is Spurring Plastic Surgery

Courtesy Dr. Richard Ellenbogen(LOS ANGELES) -- Triana Lavey was about to undergo a radical transformation. And she was doing it for a radical reason. She wanted to look better online.

With the help of Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, she was changing her chin, her nose and the shape of her face.

Lavey is a 37-year-old television producer in Los Angeles. For work and socially, she spends a lot of time on Skype, Facebook and other sites. She said she didn't like the face staring back at her from her computer screen.

"I have been self-conscious about my chin, and it's all stemming from these Facebook photos," she told ABC News correspondent Cecilia Vega.

The more she saw herself online, the more she said she wanted to change.

"I think that social media has really changed so much about how we look at ourselves and judge ourselves," Lavey said. "Ten years ago, I don't think I even noticed that I had a weak chin."

Lavey tried to change the camera angle. She even untagged herself in photos she didn't like. But none of it was enough.

"Here is a weak-chin photo that I didn't untag myself in ... because I was working out really hard that summer, and I am pleased with everything else in the photo," Lavey said. "But it's my darn chin that bugs the living daylights out of me in this photo. ... You keep looking and looking, and now it's the first thing I look for in a photo. It all started with Facebook."

Surgery was the only way to fix it. Simply cutting down her social media use wasn't an option.

"That can't happen. ... Where my career is headed and the industry is headed, I have to be on social media," Lavey said.

Lavey is not alone. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, chin augmentations have increased 71 percent in the last year. Doctors confirm that more and more patients are asking for the Facebook facelift -- plastic surgery for the iPhone generation.

At Lavey's consultation, Ellenbogen showed her what her new online-ready face would look like.

Ellenbogen explained that augmenting the chin should be balanced by adjustments to the rest of the face with procedures like fat grafting -- adding a bit of fat to the face -- and rhinoplasty (a nose job).

Given that social media are supposed to make life easier, did Lavey feel she was doing something extreme?

"Plastic surgery should be a last-ditch effort," she said. "It should be after you work out, after you diet."

"I am blessed; I can afford it," she said. "I feel really lucky. I have worked my butt off, and I feel like if I can afford it, if it's something I can do to feel good and feel confident, why not? It's 2012."

The surgery Lavey got costs between $12,000 and $15,000, Ellenbogen said. Lavey is a friend, so she got a discount.

Is our eager embrace of social media creating a culture of Internet narcissism? And can't we just move the webcam to improve the angle from which it shoots us?

"It definitely is, and most people should do that," Ellenbogen said, "but there are people who have tried to do that, to make themselves more attractive, and they just need a little bit of a boost."

More than a month after her surgery, Lavey was ready to show her 692 Facebook friends her new face.

She said she felt more confident.

"It extends all the way from Skyping with people [to] having people tag me in a Facebook photo," she said. "If the camera comes out at a party ... I am fine with it. I am excited to see them. Before, I used to want to hold my chin, but now I want to show my face."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Surgery for Fat Toes on the Rise

E.R. recently went in for surgery to reshape his big toe. (Courtesy Dr. Oliver Zong)(NEW YORK) -- When patients seek out cosmetic surgery from New York-based Dr. Oliver Zong, they're often looking to remove fat, but not from their bellies or thighs.

Zong is a podiatrist, and one of his specialties is slimming down people's fat toes -- "toe-besity," he calls it. He's been in practice for about a decade, and when he started, toe reshaping was unheard of.

"When people first started asking, I said 'What?'" said Zong, who is surgical director at NYC FootCare. "We were mostly doing toe shortenings in the beginning."

Now, he said, more and more people are zoning in on the smaller details of their feet, like the width of their toes.

For many patients, an odd-looking toe is a source of great embarrassment.

E.R., a patient of Zong's, said he hid his fat right big toe for years.

"I always had issues with it," said E.R., who asked to remain anonymous. "It was one of those things that you're just not comfortable with and try to hide it."

On top of being unattractive, the toe also caused discomfort.

"The bone was pushing the nail up, and the nail curved up a little bit, so it was hitting the shoe," he said.

Three weeks ago, the 37-year-old New Yorker had surgery to shave off some fat and bone. His second toe was also a hammertoe, so Zong shaved down the bone of that toe as well.

There's still a lot of swelling, but E.R. said he already feels better about his foot.

"I already see improvement, and I feel so much more confident now," he said.

This type of surgery is considered entirely elective, so insurance companies will not cover the costs, which can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, depending on how complicated the procedure is.

E.R.'s cost $2,500, but Zong said most of the surgeries are not as complex as his was.

Other podiatrists, however, do not support the idea of cosmetic foot surgery.

"I don't think it's ethical unless you're having pain," said Dr. Hillary Brenner, a podiatric surgeon in New York and a member of the American Podiatric Medical Association.

"You're undergoing risks -- there's the risk of anesthesia, infection, deformity of the toe if the surgery is not done right, a risk of reoccurrence and the risk of surgery in general," Brenner said. "It's trauma to the foot."

The American Podiatric Medical Association says that foot surgery is typically performed for medical reasons.

"Surgical procedures of the foot and ankle are generally performed for relief of pain, restoration of function, and reconstruction of deformities. They may have the additional benefit of improved appearance," the association said in a statement.

Brenner said a number of patients -- mostly women -- have come to her requesting cosmetic surgery. Several women hoped to have their pinky toes removed in order to fit into smaller shoes. She always turns them down, however.

"Why fix something that's not broken?" she said.

But Zong doesn't see the harm in performing cosmetic procedures, as long as they are safe and as long as there is something to fix cosmetically.

"I think it's the same as if you would ask for any kind of cosmetic surgery," he said. "They're very embarrassed by the situation and afterward, they gain self-esteem and feel more confident. Some people have said they're so embarrassed that their boyfriends have never seen their feet."

As soon as the swelling is gone and his toe is healed, E.R. said he isn't going to hide his feet anymore. He plans to ditch his sneakers for a more summer-friendly option.

"My goal is to wear flip-flops," he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Nip/Tuck Nations: 7 Countries With Most Cosmetic Surgery

Keith Brofsky/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Nips and tucks are on the rise seemingly everywhere. While the U.S. is notorious for its beauty-obsessed culture, the country doesn't take the top plastic surgery spot in the world by percentage of population. That medal goes to South Korea, according to 2010 data reported by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

"The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery has worked hard to share best practices," said Dr. Julius Few, director of the Few Institute for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. "This educational initiative combined with wider acceptance abroad has led to an increased acceptance in some cultures over others."

Here are the top seven nip/tuck nations that span the globe:

  1. South Korea
  2. Greece
  3. Italy
  4. Brazil
  5. Colombia
  6. USA
  7. Taiwan

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Feminization Surgery Gives Manly Women the Feminine Touch

Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel(BOSTON) -- Sarah, now 50, came out as transgender but was still "being clocked" as male.

"You are walking through the mall and someone turns and says, 'Oh, my god, it's a man dressed as a woman,'" she said. "They figure it out."

But that rarely happens anymore. Thanks to facial feminization surgery in 2007, Sarah, not her real name, is living with the face she was believes she was supposed to be born with.

It was the first big step in her new life as a woman and in 2009, Sarah went on to have sex reassignment surgery.

Now, the former electrical contractor said, "I get treated like any other woman there," she said.

What makes a person's face look feminine or masculine?

Humans worldwide have a "gut" reaction to whether a person is a man or a woman, and it is not based on the "obvious," according to Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel, chief of the Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Boston University Medical Center.

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A woman's eyes and mouth reflect more light than a man's, according to Spiegel, who did Sarah's surgery. Women's eyebrows are arched and reach a peak at the edge, and men's are slightly lower and straight across.

Women's lips are positioned higher on the face and more teeth are visible. Their chins also tend to be smaller and more tapered.

"It's hard to look female," said Spiegel, who calls himself "the best" in facial feminization surgery.

When research subjects are shown photos, even for just a fraction of a second, they almost always get the gender right. "When they make a mistake, it's always thinking that a woman is a man and never that a man is a woman," he said.

Spiegel views his work as "gender-confirming surgery," and the goal is to provide all the subtle facial features that support a person's sense of who they truly are.

"I didn't know what gay or transgender was growing up," said Sarah, who attempted suicide and was misdiagnosed as bipolar during her unhappy marriage.

"It was a major taboo in my generation," she said. "But I knew something was wrong."

Growing awareness among transgender people that medical help is available, as well as more information online, has fueled Spiegel's business.

Since 2004, he has performed more than 500 feminization surgeries for patients from all over the United States and the world. Surgically speaking, it's more difficult to make a man's face appear feminine than the other way around, according to Spiegel.

His work incorporates several different procedures, such as jaw-narrowing techniques from Asia. He also considers other features, such as lip and scalp height and shadowing on the eyes.

All that scientists have attributed to feminine beauty is "outdated and the tenets are not accurate," said Spiegel. "Plastic surgery has completely changed what we think about beauty."

Does a beard or a bald head always make a person look masculine?

"If you see a woman who has a shaved head like Sinead O'Connor or a woman undergoing chemotherapy, you don't look and say, 'There's a man,' but, 'There's a bald woman,'" he said.

"Similarly, if you see a bearded woman at the circus or a hirsute woman whose genes give her hair on the face, you think, 'That woman needs to do something about that.' But no one thinks it's a man dressed as a woman."

Biology plays a role in why men's and women's faces differ.

"It's true, women can be mistaken for men and there is an evolutionary explanation for why we look different," he said. "We are hard-wired to find a good fertile mate."

Eyebrows are the most important feature in determining what looks feminine or masculine and that's the reason why they stand out on an otherwise hairless face.

Men often have a classic, strong, wide "Dudley Do Right" or Arnold Schwarzenegger jaw, according to Spiegel. Women's are more tapered.

The hairline is also a giveaway. Men have a "widow's peak" that recedes on the sides. Women have a rounder hairline.

Women become more masculine-looking as they get older, and Spiegel is also seeing an increase in interest in surgery among women who are not transgender.

"Why are some women more attractive than others?" he asked. "A big part is as women age and lose their fertility, they lose their femininity."

Their eyebrows descend and get flatter, their cheeks are less full, and with the jowls of aging, the tapers of the jaw disappear.

Facial feminization surgery, which is elective, is expensive, ranging from a couple of thousand dollars for a simple procedure to $25,000 to $35,000 for a whole range of changes. And because it is not covered by insurance, many patients do the surgery in stages.

Spiegel gets letters and accolades from patients who say they feel they have been "reborn."

One transgender woman who had struggled with alcohol addiction and depression during her marriage sought facial feminization surgery, but had no one to be with her except her estranged wife.

The patient was so happy with the results that she reunited with her ex-wife, who later told Spiegel, "Now I am with the person I love. The miserable, depressive alcoholic stage was over. I figured out what mattered."

"I like that I get to help people," he said. "And it's gratifying to be able to solve a problem that is so fundamental."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Plastic Surgeon Under Investigation for 'Jewcan Sam' Music Video

Keith Brofsky/Thinkstock(MIAMI) -- A Miami-based plastic surgeon is under investigation after commissioning a song and music video that encourages plastic surgery for a character whose nose is described as a "beak like Jewcan Sam."

Dr. Michael Salzhauer, 40, funded the video "Jewcan Sam" to "connect" to a younger audience.

The creator of the song, a band known as The Groggers, describes itself as a "Jewish pop-punk band with a comic twist."

At the time of making the song, subtitled a "A Nose Job Love Song," the band's lead singer, L.E. Doug Staiman, jokingly asked whether the doctor offered a group rate on rhinoplasty.

"I told him, 'It's funny you're commissioning us to do this, because most of our band members have these massive, deformed noses,'" Staiman said. "And he generously offered nose jobs to the entire band. But I was the only one who went through with it."

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"Jewcan Sam" is a play on "Toucan Sam," the cartoon mascot for Froot Loops breakfast cereal with the protruding, multicolored beak.

The Anti-Defamation League, an organization committed to the fight against anti-Semitism, did not return requests for comment.

"The song is meant to be funny, not offensive," Salzhauer said.

But not everyone has found the take-away message so funny.

"This is just disturbing that a doctor would play into the frailties of the human condition," said Dr. Malcolm Roth, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Salzhauer reportedly flew the band from Queens, N.Y., to Miami, where they shot the music video and Staiman underwent surgery at Salzhauer's practice, Bal Harbour Plastic Surgery. Staiman said he made the offer to the band because, in his professional opinion, they all could use nose jobs.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), of which Salzhauer is a member, said the video is "offensive and inappropriate."

Because of its content, and because it was commissioned by one of its members, the ASPS "has initiated an investigation under its Code of Ethics which clearly requires ASPS members to uphold the dignity and honor of the medical profession."

Roth said he could not comment specifically on the investigation but, generally speaking, if a member of ASPS is found guilty of breaching its Code of Ethics, the physician can end up on probation, have his or her benefits put on hold, lose membership, and even lose board certification, he said.

Salzhauer has expanded his plans since The Groggers recorded the music video. He is now holding a contest in which people can make their own music videos for the song. The video creator who receives the most views on YouTube will receive a free rhinoplasty.

The video and contest are an attempt to connect with a younger audience using social media. Although Salzhauer said he recognizes that this campaign might be controversial or seen as encouraging young people to get plastic surgery, he doesn't see it that way.

"This is how people connect nowadays, through social media, and it's a little bit cutting edge," he said. "It can start a discussion on something that is common but still a little bit stigmatized."

This is the second time Salzhauer has given away plastic surgery. In 2008, he gave away a "mommy makeover" to promote his book My Beautiful Mommy, which explains plastic surgery to children.

Salzhauer noted that most of his clients are between 15 and 30, which is no different from when he was young, and girls in his class received rhinoplasties as bat mitzvah gifts, he said.

But Roth of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons said plastic surgeons must be sensitive to the realities of cosmetic surgery, particularly in teenagers.

"This is something elective and needs to be contemplated very carefully by teenagers and their families," Roth said. "There are usually all sorts of issues that a normal teenager goes through, regardless of how they appear to the outside world."

Because of the uniqueness of teens seeking plastic surgery, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons issued a briefing paper on the appropriateness of plastic surgery in teens. "Teens tend to have plastic surgery to fit in with peers, to look similar. Adults tend to have plastic surgery to stand out from others," it states.

Board certified plastic surgeons are to evaluate psychological implications in a potential patient before they ever go under the knife.

"A discussion with the patient and family is important to ascertain whether motivation for consultation might be mitigated with something other than surgery," Roth said. "Surgery is not the first step you take when you're not happy with your appearance."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio