Tonight in Seattle: Boobs and Bill Frist

Former Sen. Bill Frist is in Seattle with the inspiration for Nip/Tuck.
Here in godless Seattle, 5,000 members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons mingle in the Washington State Trade and Convention Center. The hottest topic this year is switching around our jiggly parts, says ASPS spokesperson Brian Hugins. "The overarching discussion that I've heard a lot about was fat grafting."

So it's only natural that former Senator Bill Frist, R-Tennessee, would be the key note speaker for tonight's closing ceremonies.

Frist is a man of moral conviction. Himself a doctor, he famously diagnosed Terri Schiavo from the chamber floor. He first supported a ban on embryonic stem cell research, but later switched, declaring it morally acceptable to use cells of embryos created in fertility clinics that would otherwise be destroyed. But lest anyone be confused by his position, he opened an editorial on the subject: "I am pro-life."

Plastic surgery isn't totally at odds with Frist's faith-inspired values. There are noble potential benefits to fat grafting. The process uses existing fat cells or grows it by implanting adult or embryonic stem cells. (A morally tricky area for Frist.) Fat grafting can be used to cover dramatic scarring on burn victims or veterans wounded in Iraq and reconstruct breast tissue in cancer patients who have had mastectomies. But much of the talk on the procedure is focused on cosmetic applications, "especially the breasts," Hugins says.

Frist's talk tonight focuses on health care reform--surgeons are anxious to see caps on malpractice litigation and more efficient payments out of Medicare. Sadly it doesn't appear he'll be "diagnosing" the after-picture hotness of post-fat graft breast enhancement patients.

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