"Behind the Candelabra": A Renowned Plastic Surgeon's Take

Cosmetic surgery, like most fields in medicine, has changed and evolved over the years, mostly for the better. Advances in surgical techniques and technology have altered the outcome of post-operative results in a dramatic fashion.

That evolution is made rather obvious in the recent HBO movie, Behind the Candelabra, in which Michael Douglas portrays the flamboyant entertainer Liberace during the '70s and beyond. Cosmetic surgery started its stratospheric climb within our society during Liberace's heyday, as movie stars and other celebrities embraced the specialty in an effort to defy the aging process and stay competitive in their business.

Facelifts and eyelid tucks were all the rage back then, when the technique involved pulling back skin only. Often the skin was pulled so tightly that the recipient looked as if they were trapped in a wind tunnel! Today, surgeons tighten skin and muscle, and transfer fat from other parts of the body to enhance the cheeks and chin.

That scary technique is fabulously and hilariously represented  in the movie by Rob Lowe, who plays Liberace’s Palm Springs plastic surgeon. The makeup team has his face pulled so tight, it looks like a mask, devoid of expression. Unfortunately, that was the gold standard back then. Everyone knew when work was done.

The technique has evolved and the goal is a facelift that is more natural, and less dramatic. Ideally, the individual still looks like themselves, refreshed, and not like a cartoon character.

Unfortunately, in this modern era, many celebrities and others crave attention, and seek out extreme cosmetic procedures. The results can be as scary as Rob Lowe’s character. Cosmetic surgery may still have some evolving to do.

Robert M. Tornambe, M.D. has lectured in the United States and Europe and is considered an expert in cosmetic facial and breast surgery.

Contact Dr. Tornambe's New York office for a free personal consultation and to determine the procedures and alternatives that will best meet your beauty goals. Call 855-TRU-YOU2 or click here to get in touch.

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