Plastic surgeons or miracle-mongers?

Plastic surgery has always been surrounded by a bunch of legends, rumors and gossip. Including criminal ones

Not so long ago one of the most famous Russian plastic surgeons Evgeniy Lapugin was killed in Moscow. This year the doctor occupied the first place in the unofficial list of top plastic surgeons. He did not suffer from the lack of clients, most of whom were celebrities.

Investigators from the prosecutor's office have not succeeded much yet. Too many versions are still to be checked. Investigators keep eye on doctors-competitors, enviers and offended clients. In fact, up to 30 percent of the clients get infuriated, upset or completely unsatisfied with the results of such operations, according to surveys. The version of a usual robbery is not excluded also. Large amount of the information should be studied to sort out this criminal confusion. Besides, the sphere of plastic surgery is so delicate that only few of the patients are ready to discuss it.

Not so much is known about the circumstances of this crime. Lapugin, whom his colleagues describe as quiet and friendly, called home half an hour before he was murdered and said he was leaving his workplace. At 9.15 pm he was found lying on the ground near the entrance of the apartment block. The doctor was conscious. He managed to tell that as he was getting out of the car two young people approached him roller-skating and stabbed his stomach with a knife several times. Lapugin was taken to the Sklifasofsky First-Aid Institute, where - ironically - he had started once his career. Unfortunately, doctors did not manage to save his life.

Plastic surgery has always been surrounded by a bunch of legends, rumors and gossip. Including criminal ones. Quiet a money is involved in this sphere. Russia is included in the top ten of countries where such operations are more frequent. Wives of Russian businessmen, celebrities and fashionistas rush to such clinics. They do not grudge money for fine Hollywood nose. Sometimes even absconding criminals show desire to change their appearance. However, doctors assure that this rarely happens.

According to sociological surveys about 40 percent of girls and young women dream about changing their looks and correcting their forms. Although not everybody agrees to undergo the operation and in spite of its substantial price there is a great number of clients. Plastic surgeons become public figures and their work arouses great interest among different groups of society.    

One of the main versions of Lapugin's death to this day is the revenge of one of the clients, who suffered from the doctor's scalpel. Unfortunately failures are not rare in this sphere. Usually doctors agree to cure negative consequences of expensive operations for extra money only. Sometimes trials are unavoidable. 

A famous Russian TV-presenter suffered from such a blunder. Perhaps the main reason for the failure was the usage of uncertified medicine of low quality. There are many cases of failures in plastic surgery. However, there is no article about doctors' blunders in the Criminal Code of Russian Federation. If the cases are initiated on adjacent articles still victims do not get any satisfaction. The verdicts are ridiculous. Culprits usually get sentenced to not more than a year of prison. And these sentences are often suspended. That is why many clients decide to settle accounts with offenders themselves.

Another danger that can trap successful plastic surgeons is competitors' revenge. According to Lapugin's colleagues the doctor could be an obstacles for many. Many people who are working in this super profitable sphere are greedy and stoop to anything in their quest for money. Very often they can be amateurs in their profession. In the USA a qualified doctor must to study for seven years more to become a plastic surgeon. In Russia retraining can last for several months only. After that the newly born "expert" on plastic surgery presume to change one's appearance in an hour.  

Doctor Lapugin who had many years of practice warned about this danger. In one of his articles he smashed such "skilled craftsmen" to pieces. He criticized policies of many clinics that were offering plastic surgery services. Murdered doctor thought that 90 percent of their promises were mere lies and nobody warned of the consequences. It is obvious that none of the big noises in this business is going to like such criticism.

There are many people who crave for beauty. There is even a special phrase "to make addicted to plastic". According to the data provided by doctors more than 50 percent of the patients who resort to cosmetic operation come back to the clinic again to improve different part of the body. Representatives of law authorities are skeptical about finding guilty in Lapugin's murder. They think that even if the criminals are found everything will be brought to a special case. It will not establish the true order in plastic surgery.

Meantime, celebrities are undergoing plastic very often, as their looks are their business cards s to say. There is nothing more dreadful for a top star than wrinkles. And if a man is able to cope with them women are ready to sacrifice everything to look like 17-year-olds.

Of course, this is a very delicate business, and if a patient agrees tosuch operation (that may cost up to $10000) he has solid argumentation to support his choice. It is ok when people do so to stay popular and/or attractive. It is another thing if people do this to escape justice. In this case it turns out that doctors become the participants of the crime.

Here are the prices of one of the cosmetic and plastic surgery clinics:
Facelift and neck lift – starting from $980
Surgical correction of upper eyelids – starting from $340
Surgical correction of lower lids – starting from $400
Thigh lift – starting from $560 (for one side)
Upper arm lift – starting from – starting from $570 (for one side)

Maria Vladimirova, Alexander Danilkin

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Author`s name Olga Savka