1) Should cosmetic surgery be covered by insurance?
“In a lay person’s view, ‘yes.’ The insurance company’s point of view? ‘Absolutely not,’” said Dr. Jeffrey Popp.
He said you must go back to the differences between reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.
“Reconstructive surgery takes something that’s abnormal by way of injury, birth defect or illness, and makes it as normal as you can,” he said.
“Cosmetic takes something most people consider normal and either changes, enhances, enlarges or reduces it at the patient’s request.”
He said if the problem is functional, then it’s usually covered by insurance. An example would be upper eyelid surgery when your vision is affected.
2) Why is cosmetic surgery becoming more popular?
“We’re all self-absorbed. And every part of society is guilty. Certainly cosmetic surgeons are guilty, but the media is, too,” Dr. Popp said.
Retouched images establish standards impossible for most people to meet.
“There’s such an obsession with youth and looking smooth and flawless. Software programs like Photoshop make it even worse.”
“I like my job,” he said. “But if cosmetic surgery went away, I’d be OK with that.”
3) Are treatments like Thermage, Exilis and Smooth Shapes options for someone with loose abdominal skin but not enough to qualify for an abdominoplasty?
Dr. Popp said they all use some sort of energy device that transmits through the skin in a non-surgical way, so there’s no cutting or downtime.
“What it does is generate heat that causes collagen to shrink, so if your skin is like crêpe or wrinkly, these devices can tighten it up,” he said.
4) Can you get rid of a person’s really high forehead?
“Yes, you can. To reduce the forehead, you change the hairline,” Dr. Popp said.
“To do this, you cut out all the non-hair-bearing skin and pull the hair-bearing skin forward,” he said. “Basically, it’s a brow lift.”
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