Cosmetic Surgery

April 15, 2005 • Volume 15, Issue 14
Are tougher safety regulations needed?
By Jane Friedman

Introduction

Superstar Cher, who turns 59 in May, admits to having multiple plastic surgeries but says Hollywood gossip exaggerates the extent. She says she had her first procedure — rhinoplasty — after seeing herself on film because she felt her image was “all nose.”  (Getty Images/Frank Micelotta)
Superstar Cher, who turns 59 in May, admits to having multiple plastic surgeries but says Hollywood gossip exaggerates the extent. She says she had her first procedure — rhinoplasty — after seeing herself on film because she felt her image was “all nose.” (Getty Images/Frank Micelotta)

Cosmetic surgery is growing in popularity, fueled by a culture of youthful attractiveness, unprecedented affluence and TV “makeover” shows. In 2004, U.S. doctors performed almost 9 million procedures, including such popular operations as breast augmentations, tummy tucks and liposuction. Once the province of celebrities and wealthy matrons, cosmetic surgery today is within the reach of everyone from middle-class teenagers to aging baby boomers. But critics say the cosmetic surgery craze not only creates an unhealthy overemphasis on physical appearance but also is potentially dangerous. No federal or state regulations specify which physicians are qualified to perform plastic surgery, though some states have begun instituting restrictions. Other critics are concerned because patients are increasingly opting for surgery in private offices and clinics, which can be less well-equipped than hospitals to deal with emergencies. Meanwhile, manufacturers once again are asking the federal government to permit the use of silicone breast implants.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Cosmetics and Fashion
Apr. 15, 2005  Cosmetic Surgery
Mar. 22, 1985  The World of Fashion
Apr. 14, 1971  Fashion World
Jun. 17, 1964  Cosmetic Safeguards
Jul. 13, 1960  Beauty Business
Aug. 06, 1958  Business of Fashion
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Medical Devices and Technology
Popular Culture