Plastic Surgery

Appearance affects us from our earliest hours ("What a beautiful baby") to our death ("He looks so natural"). How we are treated as employees, professionals, lovers, and friends frequently has more to do with our looks than with our IQ.
Every year more than half a million Americans — mostly women, but an increasing proportion of men — avail themselves of board-certified aesthetic surgery. Most are neither rich nor famous, just ordinary people who are aware of the penalties of poor appearance. Plastic Surgery: The Kindest Cut has been published to answer the needs of these individuals and the hundreds of thousands more who need complete and authoritative (and unbiased) information on this important subject. It is the works of a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist in collaboration with Bruce Cunningham, a distinguished surgeon at the University of Minnesota. Cunningham's medical practice — interactions with a broad variety of patients — is used to introduce the reader to the risks and costs of each type of surgical procedure.
As John Camp writes, "In general, a plastic surgeon's work falls into two broad categories: aesthetic repair and functional repair. Aesthetic repair attempts to improve appearance that might otherwise fall near the limits of the normal range. Rhinoplasties, facelifts, tummy tucks, breast enhancements, breast reductions, and suction lipectomies . . . are examples. Functional repair fixes human organs that don't work. The problem may be congenital or may have been acquired in war, by accident, through other forms of violence, or from disease. Breast reconstructions after cancer surgery fall into this category. Burn repairs, which attempt to cover open wounds with new skin, are also in this category." All of this work, aesthetic or reconstructive, has a common end. Stated simply, it is to make people function better, feel better about themselves. As one patient puts it, "I wanted to be happy about the way I look. Not for anyone else, just for me."

Plastic Surgery: The Kindest Cut

Henry Holt and Company, Inc., 1989
ISBN 0-8050-0897-7

In Mexico: Cirugia plastica: El corte más amable
Editorial Diana, S.A., 1995
ISBN 968-13-2833-7