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Cosmetic Surgery and the Internal Morality of Medicine

  • FRANKLIN G. MILLER (a1), HOWARD BRODY (a2) and KEVIN C. CHUNG (a3)

Abstract

Cosmetic surgery is a fast-growing medical practice. In 1997 surgeons in the United States performed the four most common cosmetic procedures—liposuction, breast augmentation, eyelid surgery, and facelift—443,728 times, an increase of 150% over the comparable total for 1992. Estimated total expenditures for cosmetic surgery range from $1 to $2 billion. As managed care cuts into physicians' income and autonomy, cosmetic surgery, which is not covered by health insurance, offers a financially attractive medical specialty.

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