Fictional Portrayal of Plastic Surgery Does More Than Miss the Mark
New York, NY (July 21, 2003) — "Nip/Tuck,"
a fictional television series that focuses
on the personal and professional lives of
two plastic surgeons, does not even remotely
portray the "real life" world of plastic
surgery and does a disservice to millions
of patients who benefit from cosmetic procedures,
says the American Society for Aesthetic
Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). ASAPS is the
leading organization of board-certified
plastic surgeons specializing in cosmetic
"ASAPS members, and other board-certified
plastic surgeons, follow a strict Code of
Ethics, developed by our specialty to promote
the highest standards of personal and professional
conduct," says ASAPS President Robert Bernard,
MD, of White Plains, NY. "The manner in
which our profession is portrayed in this
new series is absolutely absurd."
The doctor/patient relationship as portrayed
in the series is particularly disturbing
to responsible plastic surgeons. Plastic
surgeons listen to what bothers patients
about their looks and, when appropriate,
they offer surgical solutions; data has
shown that plastic surgeons try to identify
patients with unrealistic expectations,
since these people are not appropriate candidates
for surgery. Doctors routinely tell patients
to expect improvement, not perfection; they
do not take advantage of patients' fears,
anxieties or emotional vulnerabilities.
Plastic surgeons know that one of the keys
to successful surgery is a satisfied patient,
and satisfaction is only possible when patient
and doctor agree on what can be realistically
achieved through surgery.
Cosmetic surgery is not promoted by plastic
surgeons as a magic bullet or "fix all"
solution to personal problems; the primary
gains from cosmetic plastic surgery are
enhanced body image, and therefore, enhanced
self-confidence. "What plastic surgeons
do usually results in men and women looking
better and feeling better about themselves,
and that is very meaningful - for them and
for us," says Dr. Bernard. "We have enormous
respect - both for what is possible through
surgery and for the patients who put themselves
in our hands."
The beneficial psychological effects of
aesthetic (cosmetic) plastic surgery are
supported by a growing amount of peer-reviewed
scientific literature. For properly selected
patients, aesthetic plastic surgery can
be part of a continuum of intelligent self-care
that includes lifestyle choices like eating
the right foods, exercising, and not abusing
cigarettes and alcohol.
"The aim of a dramatic series like 'Nip/Tuck'
is to shock, titillate and entertain," says
Dr. Bernard. "As plastic surgeons, our only
response to this ridiculous program is that
viewers should not confuse fiction with
reality. Given the outlandish story line
so far, it's unlikely that anyone would."
The mission of ASAPS, founded in 1967, includes
research and the education of plastic surgeons,
for the advancement of aesthetic plastic
surgery and patient care. ASAPS maintains
a web site (www.surgery.org) that provides
the public with authoritative information
on all aspects of cosmetic plastic surgery,
as well as referrals to qualified surgeons.
Consumers also may call toll-free for surgeon
referrals: 1-888.ASAPS.11 (272.7711).
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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