Cosmetic Surgery

Are tougher safety regulations needed?


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 ...

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