Nips, tucks, even liposuction, make holiday wish lists The procedures have been popularized by reality TV shows, but doctors are wary.
By Sheri Hall / The Detroit News
WEST BLOOMFIELD -- Christmas came early for Elyse Andrews when her husband gave her a present last week -- a gift certificate for breast implants from plastic surgeon Dr. Gregory Roche.
"New breasts for Christmas -- I'm thrilled," said Andrews, 29, who said her husband was so excited about the present that he couldn't wait until Christmas morning. "I know it seems kind of weird, but it's something that I've always wanted."
Andrews is among thousands who will unwrap vouchers for cosmetic surgery this holiday season.
As its popularity continues to surge, adventurous gift-givers are lining up to give their loved ones everything from Botox injections to stop wrinkles, which cost up to $1,000, to face-lifts and breast implants, which start at $5,000.
The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery says 35 percent of its members report that they performed surgery received as gifts in 2003 -- up from 31 percent in 2002, the first year it posed the question.
"It's another way of offering a unique present," Roche said.
A handful of people come into Roche's West Bloomfield office weekly to buy presents ranging from breast implants to laser hair removal.
"Cosmetic surgery has become more affordable and mainstream, and it's finally reached a level where people can afford it," he said.
For the plastic surgery business, gift-giving is just the latest frontier. The specialty is gaining momentum nationwide thanks to new, more-affordable procedures and reality television shows like ABC's "Extreme Makeover," where people undergo an array of procedures to improve their looks.