Once upon a time, if you weren’t happy with the way you looked, you found a rewarding hobby or an interesting drug to take your mind off your misery. Or you got an eyebrow ring. Fortunately times have changed.
Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Lift) By making an incision in the natural folds of a sagging eyelid, doctors can tighten muscles, remove excess skin and readjust fatty deposits, giving you that perpetually wide-eyed Nicole Kidman look.
From an incision in your lower eyelid or inside your upper lip, doctors can slip two pieces of silicone into your cheeks to make you look like Hillary Clinton.
Lots of people get nose jobs to correct serious medical conditions. But plenty of people just get them to make their schnozzolas look sleeker by removing excess bone and cartilage through incisions in the nostrils. Oh Jennifer Grey, why did you do it?
In one form, the botulinum toxin causes food poisoning; in its cosmetic form, it’s called Botox, and it causes temporary muscular paralysis. It can eliminate wrinkles, treat chronic underarm sweating or wear away the muscles in the jaw, creating a rounder jaw line. Thereby making it difficult to express emotion with your face.
Collagen is a natural protein found in bone and skin. Injectable forms, for cosmetic purposes, are made from human skin or from cows. Injected into the face, collagen can improve the appearance of wrinkles and creases or treat acne scars; injected into the lips, it can give you a mouth like Angelina Jolie’s. Made from cow.
Breast Reduction, Augmentation
For breasts that are droopy or fatty, doctors make an incision around the areola, down to and around the breast crease, to remove excess fat, tissue and skin; they then move the nipple up. On the other hand, doctors can increase breasts a cup size or more by slipping a silicone implant beneath the breast through an incision in the armpit, under the breast, around the areola or through the belly button, which seems awfully far away from the breast.
Breasts can also be “lifted,” without changing the size much, by removing the breast’s excess skin and tightening its tissue. Possible side effects include partial or total loss of sensation in nipple and/or areola. So, you choose: saggy and happy or perky and sad?
Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
When diet and exercise do not satisfactorily flatten the stomach, doctors can perform a tummy tuck with a vertical incision from the pubic hairline to the bellybutton, removing excess fat and tissue — and then you can eat whatever you want forever and ever!
In a “facelift for the vagina,” doctors remove excess vaginal lining and tighten the surrounding muscles and tissues, creating a tighter vagina that will be faster, smarter and better spoken than all the other vaginas.
Loose-labia-ed woman looking for the tight-labia-ed porn star look can have their lips reduced — surgeons make small incisions in the natural folds and remove excess tissue. No thank you.
Named for a popular Jewish/Irish entertainer, this surgery is also known as “revirginization,” and is, sadly, not uncommon in cultures for which virginity is a pre-condition of marriage (even though a hymen can break from a tampon or horseback ride). Some older women do it to delight their husbands as Gloria Steinem gently weeps.
Clitoroplasty (Reduction)/Clitoropexy (Hood Reduction)/Clitoridotomy (Removal)
In Salem days, women with large clitorises were considered witches and consequently executed; today, there’s a surgery for that. Meanwhile, oversized clitoral hoods can be reduced for appearance’s sake, or the hood can be removed entirely, so that the clitoris is always exposed; depending upon whom you ask, this either hurts terribly or makes walking down a hallway a pretty good time.
A la Tom Joad: “Wherever fat deposits settle, liposuction can be there,” sucking it out with a pen-like vacuum.
Doctors have two ways to make your buttocks bigger: implants (hmm, maybe) inserted under the skin or into the muscle through an incision in the butt crack, or a Brazilian butt lift (oh yeah!), in which processed fat, sucked from other parts of your body, is redistributed to your rear end through hundreds of injections (oh, wait). Conversely, the junk can be removed from your trunk.
Can’t fit into high-heeled shoes anymore? Don’t like the way you look in mandals? Doctors can slim the pinkie toe down by removing its excess fat. Crooked big toes that point toward the other toes can be straightened with an implanted rod and a little bit of bone removal (no biggie!). If your second toe is longer than your big toe, doctors can shave down the bone so it won’t — blush! — hang over the edge of open-toed shoes.
Why did god put hair follicles that won’t grow hair atop some people’s heads, but put plenty around the back and sides that will? It’s no use wondering why when doctors can simply swap them. All it takes are several surgical sessions — in which a surgeon moves follicles around, strip by strip — and several months of healing. Can’t grow a proper goatee? They can implant follicles to your face, as well. Eyebrows disappeared? They can do those, too.
Through an incision at or behind the hairline, doctors can weaken the muscles that pull your forehead down, while leaving the muscles that raise it up intact, thus diminishing the wrinkles caused by a lifetime spent worrying.
Chin Augmentation (Implants), or Reduction (Includes Jaw Shaving)
Men like Mitt Romney get to run for president because they have prominent chins. If your chin doesn’t have a trustworthy protrusion, doctors can, through an incision in the lower lip, stretch the skin and stick a piece of silicone in there. Then you could run for president. For those who think their jaws are too big, doctors can go in with a drill and a micro-saw to shave down the bone.
Ear Job (Otoplasty)
Or, if you look like Barack Obama, doctors can make an incision where your ears meet your head, and remove excess cartilage, effectively pinning back your ears.
Bicep & Tricep Implants
Pumping all the iron in Venice Beach might not be enough to give you arms like a bodybuilder (uh, actually, it should be). So why bother working out at all when, through an incision in the armpit, doctors can tuck silicone implants beneath your bicep and/or tricep muscles? Why indeed.
When push-ups and the butterfly machine won’t give men the broad, sculpted chest they desire, doctors pick up the slack by making a cut in the armpit and sticking in a hunk of silicone.
Surgical staples — larger than ordinary staples — and a plastic band are used to create a small pouch at the top of the stomach, connected to the rest of the stomach by a thin passageway. Basically, the MacGyver of surgery allows you to only eat a cup of food at a time, so it’s kind of like permanently torturing yourself.
Few surgeons perform abdominal implants, but at least one doctor (in Miami) advertises that, in order to supply that ever-elusive six-pack, he’ll implant half a dozen soft pieces of silicone—so you can still, like, bend over — on top of your existing abdominal muscles. For an extra $30, he’ll give you a twelve-pack.
Scrotoplasty (Scrotum Reduction or Tightening)
Due to a large scrotum, some men can be too self-conscious to take a public shower, and it can make cycling uncomfortable. Doctors can reduce the size of such scrotums. Also, some men have the small flap of scrotal skin beneath the penis removed to create the illusion that the penis is larger. Which is an illusion.
Phalloplasty (Penis Enlargement)
Much of the penis is actually inside the body (that explains a lot). With a few snips to the ligaments that keep it prisoner, doctors can release the excess length, increasing the flaccid penis by one or two inches. To increase girth, doctors can inject liposuctioned fat into the shaft or graft skin from other areas of the body. Skin grafts made from cadaver tissue can also be used. Up for a little necrophilia?
Congenital Curvature Correction
If the penis curves up, down or to the side, doctors can make the shorter side longer or the longer side shorter (depending on the type of curvature), thus making the penis straight as a downward-pointing arrow. A very erotic downward-pointing arrow.
If you’ve lost a testicle or two from cancer or injury, or if they never descended, doctors can implant silicone testicles in your scrotum so no one can tell, at least not just from looking. Not sure if they’ll just add a third. (If you have neutered your pet, you can restore his testicular confidence with implants called Neuticles. Because that would be all about the pet, not you, right?)
Get runner’s legs without ever getting up from the operating table. Doctors make an incision in the knee pit, through which they insert an implant into a pocket they create between the calf muscle and its outer layer. Wear shorts again!
In an incredibly painful procedure that carries on for months, bones are broken and pulled apart, using an external device connected to the bone, with wires and pins, through holes drilled into the skin. New bone is forced to grow in order to fill out the gaps; nerves and muscles naturally grow around it. Ordinarily, people with one leg shorter than the other, or little people looking to gain several inches of height, undergo the procedure. Or the insane.