After extreme weight loss, a radio announcer struggles to finance facial plastic surgery and body contouring
December 20, 2011
Have you ever imagined what it’s like being trapped in a body weighing 420 pounds? Chicago radio announcer and PR man Paul Brian knows all about it. He underwent bariatric surgery and lost more than half of his body weight...240 pounds.
Brian knew throughout the period of his weight loss that when he reached his fighting weight, he would need extensive body contouring surgery to remove extra skin on his torso and legs. But what he didn’t expect, as reported by Today Health on December 12, 2011 … “was to wind up with a face and neck so disfigured by sagging wrinkles and flaccid muscles that plastic surgery seemed the only option.”
According to an Albany plastic surgeon, most people who lose lots of weight adjust gradually when it comes to their faces because skin tends to redrape more favorably in the face and neck than in other parts of the body. But for some, extreme weight loss can leave under eye bags, slack jaws and so many wrinkles that one patient commented, “I looked like everything had melted.”
For Brian, the huge weight loss reduced his neck from 22 to 16 inches and left him with hefty jowls and a wattle of flesh under his chin; these are so heavy that they interfere with his speech. Because of the extra skin the muscles pull things down, making it hard for him to talk without drooling, which is a nightmare for someone who earns a living by talking.
Brian wants plastic surgery to correct his facial problems but after footing most of the bill for bariatric and reconstructive surgery (about $70,000 in total), he can’t afford the additional $20,000 it would take to do his face. His insurance won’t cover facial surgery because they describe it as “cosmetic” but since Brian’s livelihood depends on talk, which is now compromised by drooling, his doctor says facial surgery is medically necessary for Brian.
Brian has appealed his insurance company’s decision several times and plans to do so again. He still describes his weight loss as “life-saving and life-changing.”
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.
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