Article on South Korean Program to Treat Disfigured and Scarred Northern Defectors Points Out the More Serious Side of Plastic Surgery, Notes Dr. J

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Commenting on the recent article, the Beverly Hills-based plastic surgeon suggests that, while appearance-maximizing procedures such as breast augmentation surgery get most of the attention, a great deal of plastic surgery exists simply to help people live a normal life

Ear pinning (otoplasty) is an example of plastic surgery designed to help younger patients especially to feel more normal

...A great deal of the time, plastic surgery is actually designed simply to help adults and children deal with issues that can set them apart from most people in a negative way.

An October 24th article in The New York Times describes a program fostered by the Korean Association of Plastic Surgeons which aims to treat North Korean defectors dealing with scars and disfigurements. South Korea’s fascination with plastic surgery is well known around the world but, as the article points, building a new life in the image-conscious nation after escaping from the highly repressive and economically depressed regime of North Korea can be next to impossible for badly scarred or disfigured individuals. Commenting on the program, Beverly Hills-based plastic surgeon Payam Jarrah-Nejad, M.D., F.I.C.S., F.A.C.S. – known more casually to his patients as Dr. J – points out that the charitable actions of South Korean surgeons is a moving example of the less hyped side of plastic surgery.

While media outlets tend to concentrate on procedures such as breast augmentation surgery and rhinoplasty (nose jobs) which are designed to improve the appearance and, very often, help already very attractive people look even better, Dr. J points that, a great deal of the time, plastic surgery is actually designed simply to help adults and children deal with issues that can set them apart from most people in a negative way. Dr. J highlights one poignant example mentioned by the article of a woman dealing with an all but nonexistent eyebrow and eyelid resulting from a decades old industrial accident. Previously, she said that the injury makes her feel like a “creature of the night,” but she is now being helped by the South Korean program.

Younger patients, in particular, are rarely trying to attain movie-star like good looks and are more often simply trying to fit in, says Dr. J. Such procedures as breast reductions for both female and male patients as well as ear pinning are often about trying to attract less attention, not more of it. Dr. J adds that he has personally performed a great deal of pro-bono work in developing countries, where basic plastic surgery for young children to deal with such life-altering issues as cleft palates or disfigurement caused by accidents can be extremely hard to obtain for most families. Again, very obviously, the goal in these kinds of procedures is to simply allow the patient to live a normal life.

Dr. J adds that plastic surgery is one of the most complex and challenging of all surgical specialties, and he salutes physicians around the world who are doing their part to help people of all economic classes live happier and healthier lives. Whether readers are interested in learning more about procedures designed to help them feel more comfortable and fit in better, or are interested in the kind of procedures that can help maximize a patient’s appearance, interested individuals can call Dr. J Plastic Surgery at 310-993-3800 or visit http://www.DrJPlasticSurgery.com or Dr. J on Facebook.

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Bob Westal
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Dr. J (Payam Jarrah-Nejad, MD, FACS) Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
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