New techniques in breast augmentation was a hot topic at the just-ended meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in Seattle. It's easy to mock an industry that rakes in cash from women-of-a-certain age who want lips that appear to have been stuck in a pool drain. But plastic surgeons also provide a service to burn and cancer victims. And even on the cosmetic side, there are ethical codes that draw a line between what they will and won't do.
There are some lines most surgeons won't cross.
Nothing discussed over the last five days was nearly as exciting and nausea-inducing as the procedures you'll find on the fringes, however, where art, body modification, medicine and the totally gross converge. Presenting five procedures no self-respecting member of the ASPS would even consider:
2: Flightless, winged humans. Joe Rosen looks like a normal doc on paper. He does traditional breast augmentation at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire and got his medical degree at Stanford. But what he really wants to do is attach wings to people (and in other ways turn us all into comic-book heroes.) From the Guardian:
Coming soon to a back near you.
In a conference speech last year, Rosen asked: "Why do we only value the average? Why are plastic surgeons dedicated only to restoring our current notions of the conventional, as opposed to letting people explore, if they want, the possibilities?" He says it is only our "Judaeo-Christian conservatism" that is holding us back.
Conservatism and The Island of Dr. Moreau.
3: Can you hear me now? Australian performance artist Stelios Arcadiou, who goes by the the stage name Stelarc, declares on his Web site: "The body is obsolete." As part of proving that, he had an ear, grown from his own stem cells, implanted onto his arm. He's now trying to get a recording device implanted so audiences can listen to what the ear "hears."
4: Purrfection. Dennis Avner, aka Stalking Cat, had metal bases implanted in his face into which he can screw whiskers. It's just one of several procedures he has had, including altering his nose and mouth to a more feline shape. As he explains on his site: "I am Huron and Lakota and in following a very old Huron Tradition I am transforming myself into my totem, a tiger."