Who disfigured Michael Jackson?

In Austrian television recently the theme of the Club 2 programme was “Silicone and slimness mania”. Amongst others, Dr. Mang, Dr. Holle, Cordula Reyer, as well as a philosopher, a music manager and a media sociologist took part in the discussion. I thought the discussion philosophically very inspiring in part, but even the cosmetic surgeons did not call the child by its name: people create demand, demand creates supply, the media reports on supply offers and this creates further demand. Doctors who enjoy cosmetic work offer their services. Patients choose between the services and suppliers offered and in this way create trends in cosmetic surgery.

It was inappropriate and incorrect that Dr. Holle, plastic and reconstructive surgeon, placed the blame for botched up cosmetic surgery on cosmetic surgeons who are not Board certified Plastic Surgeons. It was actually plastic surgeons who disfigured Michael Jackson.

Cosmetic surgeons who have specialised in plastic and reconstructive surgery have learnt surgically sophisticated and complex reconstructive operations during their training, and naturally tend towards a generous use of the scalpel, i.e. to perform complex and invasive operations. This, of course, is often unavoidable in reconstructive surgery following accidents or in the removal of tumours, but it is mostly “too much” in cosmetic medicine – also because the rate of unnatural results and complications increases greatly with invasive surgery.

Apart from this it is not true, as Dr. Holle maintains, that plastic surgeons learn cosmetic operations during their hospital training. Not one of the plastic surgeons working in Austria today learnt cosmetic surgery during their specialist training. This is also just as true of plastic surgeons in other countries, as we doctors know. Or would you allow a surgeon in training in a training hospital to perform cosmetic surgery on you?

All doctors who want to work in cosmetic medicine have to learn this initially in additional courses. Whether a plastic surgeon (like Dr. Holle), an ENT doctor (like Dr. Mang) or a general practitioner (like me). It is shown later who possesses the talent for this and whom the patients trust.

DDr. Heinrich, MD

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