HIStory: Michael Jackson's Rhinoplasty Surgery

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Plastic surgeon, Dr. David Stoker, offers insight into the pop icon's procedures and shares perspectives on the importance of seeking reasonable change rather than perfection in Beverly Hills nose surgery.

Weeks after the King of Pop's death, the question of "just what happened?" regarding his plastic surgeries remains a hot topic. Beverly Hills area rhinoplasty specialist and board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. David Stoker (http://www.rhinoplastylosangeles.com) uncovers some of the mysteries behind the pop icon's failed procedures, and offers perspectives on the pitfalls that can lead to such abnormal results.

"There's no doubt that Michael Jackson and his music will be missed. But for rhinoplasty surgeons in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, and all across the country, Mr. Jackson really became an icon for what it meant to go overboard, especially with rhinoplasty," notes Dr. Stoker, who practices at Marina Plastic Surgery Associates. "Nose surgery can have a dramatic impact on the structure of the entire face, and I think Mr. Jackson is a perfect example of what can go wrong when a patient - or a surgeon - is seeking perfection instead of reasonable enhancements."

According to Dr. Stoker, MJ's first rhinoplasties did a reasonably good job of adjusting the mid-nasal area, but he says that already by the mid-80s, the cartilage at his nose tip and the bone structure of his upper nose were showing early signs of the excessive changes that would lead to his dramatically unnatural look in later years.

"When you look at his photos from around 1985, his nose still appears 'natural,' though he has clearly had surgery. His nasal bridge has been raised slightly, which is common for African-American rhinoplasty patients, and he's had the tip rotated and restructured a bit," Dr. Stoker notes. "But even at this point there are signs that his rhinoplasty went too far. The nose tip meets one type of technical ideal, yes, but this narrowing at the tip already compromises the balance with his naturally broader face and stronger, very defined bone structure."

No one disputes that from the 1980s to 1990s, MJ had several additional facial cosmetic surgeries, many of which appear to have focused on his nose. In Dr. Stoker's opinion, these additional procedures did little to compensate for the damage begun in his earlier surgeries, due to a combination of scar tissue buildup and a persistent focus on continued narrowing and redefinition.

"Revision rhinoplasty is always more challenging than the initial procedure, and it can be very tricky to restore volume and structure when you have to address highly aggressive narrowing of the nasal dorsum," he explains. "When the cartilage and nasal structure has been altered many times, it becomes a huge challenge to plan a Beverly Hills nose surgery that won't cause tissue atrophy or worsen the structural damage. And the results for Mr. Jackson were, frankly, disastrous."

For Dr. Stoker, Michael Jackson's results underscore the need to avoid seeking perfection when it comes to cosmetic surgery.

"Plastic surgery is not magic," he says. "When your goal for nose surgery is some sort of universal ideal for perfection, you're headed down the wrong path. A patient and surgeon can create a great deal of damage by setting unrealistic goals. The first step in getting good results is to aim for change that looks natural, and to know the limits of cosmetic surgery."

About Dr. David Stoker:

Dr. David Stoker (http://www.rhinoplastylosangeles.com) is a board-certified plastic surgeon practicing in Los Angeles at Marina Plastic Surgery Associates. He performs hundreds of rhinoplasty procedures in addition to many other types of cosmetic surgery. In 2005 he was chosen by The New York Times (New York Times Style Magazine) as one of the top cosmetic plastic surgeons in the nation. Dr. Stoker graduated with honors from Stanford University and studied medicine at the University of California at San Francisco before completing residencies in General and Plastic Surgery through New York University School of Medicine's prestigious Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery.

Contact:

Dr. Stevens
Marina Plastic Surgery
310-827-2653
http://www.rhinoplastylosangeles.com

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