Body work - the pros and cons of cosmetic surgeries

What you should know about liposuction, rhinoplasty, breast reduction and tummy tucks before you decide to make the cut.

Cory Simone, 32, an entertainment executive from New Jersey, knew that all the diet and exercise in the world weren't going to change her blouse size--a women's 24--or her top-heavy physique. She knew because she'd already lost 40 pounds, only to have it creep right back around her bust and waistline. But after seeing the changes in a coworker who'd had breast-reduction surgery, Cory decided to check out plastic surgery for herself.

In 1995 she met with Dr. Andrew Kornstein, a plastic surgeon board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, to discuss her options. Her goal was to bring about an immediate change in her body that would provide an incentive to lose weight and maintain that loss through diet and exercise. Kornstein suggested liposuction to remove fat from Cory's upper stomach and back. Cory had the procedure done and has been very pleased with the results. "I began to work out again," she says. "The liposuction made it easier to maintain my weight. The way I looked motivated me." A year later, she returned to Kornstein for breast-reduction surgery. Now she's a size 14.

"Up until then I had worked on loving myself as I was," says Cory. "I accepted myself. People might say, 'Why spend the money?' But after 30 years, I learned that I was worth it. I wanted to be the best me I could be. It's not that I would say every heavyset woman should get this done. It was my personal journey."

Cory's decision to turn to plastic surgery is becoming more common among Black women. The American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (ASPRS), an organization that represents 97 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons, reports that the number of African-Americans seeking plastic surgery is slowly rising. We account for 6 percent of their members' patients, up from 4 percent in 1992.

"More African-American women are choosing to have cosmetic surgery because they realize they can make improvements in their appearance," says Dr. Robert Dennis, associate professor of surgery and chief of plastic surgery at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Ninety-nine percent of his patients are African-American. "People used to feel that plastic surgery was only for Hollywood types. And when cosmetic surgery became generally available in the 1960's and 1970's, it was associated with White people."

© Copyright All rights reserved.
Unauthorized duplication in part or whole strictly prohibited by international copyright law.