Weird Surgery: The Case of Jocelyn Wildenstien

Too much of a good thing is bad.

How about too much of something unnatural? Like plastic surgery? What could possibly go wrong?

img courtesy of http://www.austinliposuction.com

Starting with the obvious, going under the knife once could leave a scar. Going through several is not going to look nice. This is what happened to Jocelyn Wildenstein.

Her story started out with her as a lucky girl who married into the very wealthy Wildenstein family. Having said that, it becomes easy to imagine where someone like her could get the money for these types of surgeries.

It was her husband, Alec who drove her to her first procedure with cosmetic surgery. Alec Wildenstein was reported to have a penchant for cats. Being the ever loving wife, Jocelyn made an effort to become the things that her husband liked in the most imaginative way possible. She had face-lifts, check implants, massive amounts of botox, nose jobs and the like just to be able to bring herself closer to the semblance of a cat. Her efforts were duly rewarded by the public who respectfully gave her the nickname of “cat woman.”

Over the years, Jocelyn tried to look more and more unnatural with her procedures. Her “need” became severe after finding her husband in bed with another woman. A younger woman. The insecurity and shame had probably pushed her over the edge.

Although it wasn’t just her sanity that caused her to go overboard. Her bank account took a trip to the extremes as well. After the cheating incident, the resulting divorce case ended in a very controversial and widely talked-about debacle that won Jocelyn more than thirteen billion dollars. She was also given an annual stipend of more than ninety million dollars for the following thirteen years after that. Now that’s a lot of money.

Because of the sudden increase in budget, her ability to continuously get plastic surgery increased as well. As of today, she has been reported to have spent over four million dollars in these procedures. Her pictures tell a very interesting tale of transformation from something human to extra-terrestrial.

But with so much money and time on her hands, who could judge her? She’s now living in a plastic bubble which makes her very happy. Numerous reporters who have approached her surgeons all say the same thing.

According to them, Jocelyn is a very satisfied customer. She had a vision in mind which the doctors delivered. For that she’s happy.

Plastic Surgery Historical Facts

Vanity is perhaps part of human nature. Everybody wants to look good or presentable. No matter how modern it sounds, plastic surgery is not a new procedure. Crude cosmetic surgeries are written in ancient Indian Sanskrit that dates back up to 600 BC. Plastic surgery also become popular in ancient Rome, where Roman physicians would perform surgeries to fix and reconstruct noses, eyelids, lips and even teeth. Cosmetic surgery and other cosmetic procedures have stood the test of time to prove that vanity is timeless.

For centuries, cosmetic surgery procedures can be practiced by anyone. Plastic surgery was a crude process that includes inserting and grafting anything on the skin. Pig skin was commonly grafter into human skin during the Renaissance.

The moral stigma caused by plastic surgery may have come from the 1500’s. During this time, people with syphilis had their noses destroyed by the bacteria. Gaspare Tagliacozzi, the father of modern plastic surgery, developed a virtual nose for people with syphilis. As a result, people associate these fake noses with syphilitic people. Young women with virtual noses were deemed undesirable.

The term “plastic surgery” was first coined by Karl Ferdinand Graefe in 1818 in his book titled Rhinoplastik. His book aimed to banish the moral stigma that is associated with nose reconstruction that can be dated back to 1500’s.

The First World War and the Second World War demand an increase in plastic surgery procedures, thus advancing the processes involved. The American surgeons who have served during the First World War joined together in 1931 to form the American Association of Plastic Surgeons. They aim to stop the spread of unregulated plastic surgery procedures in the US.

Because of the injuries of soldiers and civilians during the Second World War, plastic surgery became a must to repair limbs, extensively burnt skin and deformed faces. Surgeons that time extensively researched about tissue health. On the other hand, the Nazi Germany had a different view on plastic surgery. They used it to “repair” the soldiers’ faces who were “too ugly” to represent the Nazi regime. Benito Mussolini, too, used plastic surgery to improve the performance of Italian generals. Droopy eyelids were fixed so they could see better.

Silicone injections were first used for breast augmentation (ref article) in the 60’s. Silicone injection, however, was first used in Japan to plump the legs of polio patients. Silicone breast injections are becoming less and less popular because they present a host of irreversible side effects.

Men and Cosmetic Surgery

Find out Why More Men Are Undergoing Cosmetic Surgery

Today is a world where beauty and youth are prized even for males. Over the past few years, there has been a growing trend on cosmetic surgery among men. Prominent plastic surgeons in New York revealed that there is a huge misconception among the public that all patients undergoing plastic surgery procedures are women.

Per information from the ASAPS or the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the total number of cosmetic procedures for males has grown by over 106 percent from 1997 to 2012.

Furthermore, the group of NYC-based surgeons reported that there are two basic reasons why men undergo cosmetic surgery: 1. to maintain competitiveness in the job market; and 2. to look good. According to these experts, men undergo surgical procedures to help them succeed in a marketplace where looking younger, fit and more masculine is a must. The better you look, the better are your opportunities of going up the corporate ladder.

Further, these surgeons revealed that there are four basic types of men that usually undergo cosmetic surgery procedures. They also outlined the most appropriate type of surgical procedure for them:

  1. The Male Model – usually goes for gluteal implants, pectoral implants, hi–definition liposuction to show off the abs and jaw line augmentation. These man wishes to have a more defined jaw line and beautiful abs.
  2. The Body Builder – this guy usually undergoes similar cosmetic procedures as the male model although he wishes to appear more muscular. This type of male wants his body to grow bigger – big glutates, big chest, although muscularly defined. This guy usually undergoes Gynescomastia, a process wherein some of the fatty tissues found around the breasts are eliminated.
  3. The Board Member or the CEO – this guy usually undergoes plastic surgery to improve their outward appearance as a way to be perceived as more professional and powerful in the workplace. This male is usually at the peak of his career and feels young and confident, although he is worried that he does not look it. Most surgeons advise this type of guy to leave a bit of their wrinkles since they are trustworthy and sexy. Guys of this type usually undergo a procedure called the “Forbes Facelift”, which usually consists of a jaw line re-contouring, eyelift, neck-lift and probably a liposuction procedure.
  4. Athletic Dad – this is the sole category that does not particularly reference a career. This is the male version of the so-called “Mommy Makeover” in females. These types of men usually undergo a small eyelift, liposuction and jaw line re-contouring.

Breast augmentation surgery risks

Breast augmentation refers to surgery that is done to change the size or shape of a woman’s breast. It can also be done to increase the volume of the breast. This surgery can also be conducted so as to restore the shape of a woman’s breasts after a pregnancy or she has lost weight. The surgery can be conducted by a cosmetic surgeon. The surgeon makes use of specialized tools to insert an implant into the breast so as to achieve the desired results. This implant is placed under the muscles of the chest or in the tissue of the breast. The implants can be full of various fluids. Examples of these fluids are silicone or saline fluid. Despite the various benefits of breast augmentation, there are a number of risks that are associated with this type of surgery.

General risks of surgery

A main risk in any surgery is negative reaction to the anesthetic that is administered. Some people are allergic to the contents of anesthetic. Thus, before the surgery begins, the surgeon always asks the patient about their allergies. During the surgery, the patient can bleed excessively. This is especially in cases where they are anemic. This can pose a risk to their life. In such a case, the surgeon always pumps more blood into the patient to preserve their life. The patient can also contract an infection during a breast augmentation surgery. Blood clots can also occur. Thankfully, cosmetic surgeons have mitigation procedures for each of these risks.

Risk of capsular contracture

After a breast augmentation surgery, the body naturally creates scar tissue around the implant. This is known as a capsule. This tissue is part of the process of healing in the breast. After some time, this scar tissue is supposed to shrink considerably. This process is known as capsular contraction. There is the risk that the capsule does not shrink as normally expected. Instead it tightens around the implant. This makes the breast to feel hard and causes the patient painful discomfort. This contraction can only be corrected with further surgery.

Risk of rupture

This is where the implant splits and spills its contents into the body. This split can be caused by a variety of factors. The case of the implant can have a problems with its construction. As a result, it can break open after insertion into the breast. Also, the rapture can be caused by injury to the breast. An example of injury is pressure applied on the breast causing the implant to burst open. Also, rapture can be caused by the case of the implant getting weaker. This can happen over time. It can get so weak that it eventually splits and spills its contents. The symptoms of a breast implant rapture include feeling that the breast is lumpy or red and tender. If the implant is filled with saline and bursts, the saline solution is simply absorbed into the body. However, if the implant is filled with silicone, this material can cause serious problems if it spills into the body. It can cause siliconoma or gel bleeding. In case you should experience a split, you should contact a health provider immediately and get a replacement for your implant.

Risk of seroma

Seroma is a condition where fluid accumulates around the implant. This phenomenon is common and the fluid often gets absorbed into the body. In cases where it does not, the fluid may need to be drained surgically.

Risk of severe scars

After a breast augmentation surgery, the breasts normally experience scars. These scars should be mild and heal over time. In some cases however, the scars are not mild. They can grow thick, full of lumps and become painful. In such a case, the patient should contact their cosmetic surgeon for a solution. Scars brought about by breast augmentation should heal quickly. If they are severe, they can last for years before they heal.

Risk of loss of sensation

After a breast augmentation surgery, it is normal that the nipples of the breast lose sensation. However, the sensation should return after a few days. In some cases, the sensation does not resume for a long time. On the other hand, some women may find that their nipples become hyper-sensitive. They can become so sensitive that they are painful to the touch. Should they become this way, it is important for you to see your cosmetic surgeon for treatment.

3D Replicas Show Plastic Surgery Patients Their Future Look

Technological advancements have not only enhanced society’s levels of productivity and communication, it has also made it more efficient and more accessible. Through mediums like 3D printing, users are able to digitally create physical replicas using advanced processes and technologies. Users are able to use advanced rendering to create objects that change everyday lives. From 3D printing of objects to 3D printing within the medical field, this fresh technology is changing the way the medical industry is viewed. 3D printing has become so advanced it’s gotten to the point where 3D replicas show plastic surgery patients their future look.

3D printing is a technological process of turning CAD (Computer Aided Design) digital files into three- dimensional objects using 3D design software. After providing the design software with an image, it takes the image and cuts it into thousands of tiny horizontal slices. The printer reads and creates every single two- dimensional layer, individually. Adding each extremely thin two- dimensional layer on top of each other until the three- dimensional object is created completes the process.

3D Printing is quickly changing the world and the way both society and technology is viewed. Carrie Stern, a New York plastic surgeon, founded an innovative program that will combine technology with the world of medical reconstruction surgery to revolutionize the medical industry. Struck by the need to bridge the gap between imagining the outcome of a surgery and providing patients with a foundation of realistic results, she began working on a solution. The result? MirrorMe3D.

MirrorMe3D, Sterns 3D printing project, provides patients with 3D models of their face and anatomy, prior to reconstruction or plastic surgery. The 3D model allows doctors to demonstrate what the changes will look like, directly on the model, prior to surgery with the patient. This allows patients to get an idea of what the surgery will accomplish and what they should expect in terms of outcome.

It’s not uncommon for reputable surgeons to have portfolios of their work- especially if they’re routinely involved in facial reconstruction or standard cosmetic procedures. In recent years, doctor Joffrey of the San Diego Lift Body Center started using software that allowed his praxis to create three- dimensional digital images on the computer for patients to view. But using a physical 3D replica that patients can touch and hold, as a way to show a patient the actual outcome that should be expected when undergoing the knife, is slowly becoming the industry standard. Many other surgeons have even begun exploring in-office 3D printing capabilities.

3D printing is often assumed to be extremely costly. Stern’s MirrorMe3D, however, is relatively cost-effective, affordable even- especially when comparing it to the fact that patients use it to guarantee they want to go through with a certain procedure. An expense far more costly than that of a three-dimensional printout. 3D printouts range from $60-$300.

The ability to print 3D facial and body replicas is important for several different reasons. In the case of plastic surgery, it allows patients to make an informed decision. Unlike dying your hair, or even getting a tattoo, plastic surgery cannot be undone. Having a 3D image of what you’ll look like if you have a certain operation will force patients to really consider their options and be sure about what and if they want to have a procedure done.

Providing a client with a 3D rendition of what a procedure will make them look like, ensures that clients and patients are on the same page in terms what to expect. There have been numerous cases of things like patient neglect and malpractice lawsuits. A meeting between a patient and a surgeon, during which 3D replicas show plastic surgery patients their future look, holds surgeon accountable to achieving a certain standard. While unforeseen factors can impact how close a surgeon can get to the replica a patient is shown, it makes sure the surgeon is being realistic in terms of what he tells the patient he can accomplish. Because unless a surgeon has a 3D replica where he demonstrates his ability to make you look like Jennifer Aniston, don’t believe it.

While, there are patients seeking plastic surgery for purely cosmetic reasons, there are also cases of severe facial deformity that causes legitimate medical need, and require plastic surgery to be performed regardless of risk or outcome. In this case 3D printing becomes especially helpful. Explaining to a child with a facial deformity that they must undergo an operation to reconstruct bones and tissue wouldn’t be nearly as complicated if they didn’t come out of surgery looking like a completely different child. This is a very tricky and complicated issue from the standpoint of the patient, the family, and even the doctor. Having the opportunity to use a 3D model to prepare both the child and the family about post-operation life and expectations is a substantial advancement to the medical, emotional, and psychological aspects of surgery.

The fact that 3D replicas can now show plastic surgery patients the future of their look, opens the door for conversation and exploration as to what other medical advancements can be achieved through the use of 3D printing. There have been stories of parents printing devices like 3D arm casts. There have also been stories about parents using 3D printers to create prosthetic limbs for their children. Despite the level of necessity, things like prosthetic limbs are extremely expensive, making them only accessible to those who can afford them. 3D printing also gives patients options in regards to material used in prosthetic and implant devices. If a patient has an allergy to a certain type of material, doctors can quickly and affordably create a custom option that the body won’t reject. Utilizing technology and 3D printing materials allows for custom and affordable production.

3D printing within the medical field also includes bio printing. Using living cells, doctors and scientists are exploring organ and body tissue engineering. Technology is paving the way for advanced health and medical innovations.

Not everyone is keen on creating 3D printouts of facial structures and other body parts. While some argue it gives the power back to the people, others say it’s like something out of a sci-fi film. Regardless of your opinion on utilizing technology and three- dimensional printing techniques, the fact that 3D replicas show plastic surgery patients their future look, is a huge advancement that has and will continue to affect a large number of individuals in the medical field.