Plastic surgery.

Those two words elicit a whole slew of associations:  fear, blood, desperation, a necessary evil, Frankenstein, great results, Joan Rivers, expensive, etc.  The only thing I’ve kinda contemplated is a boob lift in the future (breastfeeding 3 kids for years, you get the picture . . .).

Long and short of it, my view of plastic surgeons wasn’t too high.  Just flip through the back pages of New Beauty magazine where doctors are profiled and you can’t help but be spooked.  They all look a little too perfect, fake and stiff.  And they seem almost god-like.  After all, they have the power to re-sculpt your body and make you look perfect.

So when I met Dr. Amiya Prasad in an effort to get insight into the desires of plastic surgery patients, I was happily surprised.  He came across as friendly, sympathetic and down to earth.  He spoke of the importance of helping people maintain their personality via their looks and not molding them into some scary image of what’s fashionable or youthful.  Since then, we’ve struck up a friendly working relationship of sorts, namely, he zaps my face and gives me continual insight on new technologies and treatments.

The most interesting things I learned so far came from his new book, The Fine Art of Looking Younger. True, I almost puked when he described in surgical detail what he does to eyes to preserve their health and character.  But still, his attitude and approach were refreshing.

First, he has a very humanistic way with his patients, often describing them as “family.”

Second, he looks at his work on each face as an art form.  He talks about being interested in art in his youth and how he “approach(es) each individual with the sense of artistry and a respect for the balance of their face that such a tremendous task requires.”

Finally, he analyzes and tries to preserve not just the face’s symmetry (or lack thereof) but micro-expressions, those itsy bitsy movements that our faces do to express how we feel and ultimately who we are.  To quote him: “When we think of rejuvenation, the tendency is to focus on the signs of aging and how to best eliminate them.  However, in the process, you don’t want to diminish special, appealing, expressive nuances that make you unique.”

His approach, in essence, embraces the patient as a special, beautiful person versus a blank canvas to manipulate.

While I still feel very ambivalent about the whole subject, I’m a bit less fearful of it.

My boobs still have it wait, though…not quite ready for any slicing or dicing just yet.

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