By Drs. Juris Bunkis
This past weekend, Dr. Ekstrom and I had the pleasure of hosting my mother, sister and her husband in Massachusetts. Mom turned 97 the previous week and came down from Ontario, Canada to celebrate with us. Yes, many nice dinners and family time. But one event stood out for us – seeing Evita at the Loeb Drama Center in Cambridge. The musical Evita with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, was first staged in London in 1976. Evita’s memorable “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”, recorded and released in 1976 followed by the complete rock opera concept album, went gold. The film adaptation, directed by Alan Parker, came out in 1996.
Evita Peron holds a special place in Momma Bunkis’ heart. When my parents and I were living in a refugee camp in Germany after World War II, Evita donated a large amount of supplies to displaced persons. My father worked for the United Nations branch and the British army and was responsible for distributing these supplies to the refugees… and we got two nice wool blankets that I remember gracing my brother’s and my beds throughout childhood.
Eva Peron, the former First Lady of Argentina, played a significant role in providing assistance and support to refugees following World War II. Known for her advocacy for social justice and welfare programs, Peron established the Eva Peron Foundation (Fundación Eva Perón) in 1948 to address the needs of the most vulnerable in Argentine society.
During the war, Peron actively sought to aid European refugees fleeing persecution and violence. She personally mobilized resources and donated funds to provide relief and assistance to thousands of refugees arriving in Argentina. The Eva Peron Foundation, funded through donations and government support, allocated significant funds to support refugee initiatives, including the provision of food, clothing, medical care, and housing.
Peron’s efforts were instrumental in providing a safe haven for many individuals and families who had lost everything due to the war. Her compassion and dedication to helping those in need left a lasting impact on the lives of countless refugees, ensuring they received essential support and the opportunity for a fresh start in Argentina. Her generosity certainly touched my family while we were living in the refugee camp in Lubeck, Germany.
Spotlight on Plastic Surgery – Controversies in plastic surgery!
by Drs. Deborah Ekstrom and Juris Bunkis
The aesthetic part of plastic surgery, a medical specialty aimed at enhancing or altering one’s appearance, has always been a subject of controversy. While it offers numerous benefits to individuals seeking cosmetic improvements or reconstructive procedures, there are several contentious aspects surrounding the practice. Here, we explore some of the controversies in plastic surgery.
1. Unrealistic beauty standards: Critics argue that plastic surgery perpetuates unrealistic beauty ideals and promotes the idea that physical appearance is the most important aspect of one’s worth. This can contribute to body image issues and low self-esteem among those who feel pressured to conform to these standards.
2. Ethical concerns: Plastic surgery raises ethical questions, particularly when performed on minors or individuals with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). We will argue that doctors should carefully evaluate the psychological well-being and motivations of patients seeking procedures to ensure they are making informed decisions.
3. Risk of complications: Like any surgical procedure, plastic surgery carries risks, including infection, scarring, bleeding, and anesthesia complications. It is our duty as board-certified plastic surgeons to ensure that our patients are fully aware of potential complications and accept the risks of surgery.
4. Socioeconomic disparities: Plastic surgery is often associated with wealth and privilege, leading to concerns about its accessibility. Critics argue that it exacerbates existing socioeconomic disparities by further dividing individuals into those who can afford procedures and those who cannot, potentially perpetuating inequality. But these days, with programs like Care Credit and other patient financing tools, most procedures are within reach of most people who work.
5. Cultural appropriation: Some controversies arise when individuals from one culture undergo plastic surgery to adopt features associated with another culture. This is one thing we do not do – we aim to enhance a person’s appearance without altering racial features.
6. Overemphasis on external appearance: Plastic surgery controversies often revolve around the idea that it prioritizes external appearance over inner qualities and character. In our practices, aesthetic surgery is only performed on patients who wish the procedure, are psychologically sound and accepting of the risks of surgery.
It is important to note that while these controversies exist, plastic surgery can also be a valuable tool for individuals seeking to improve their quality of life, restore function, or enhance their self-confidence. We can both state that in our situations, facial rejuvenation surgery helped us look more like we felt and was very gratifying to us. Ultimately, the responsible practice of plastic surgery requires a thorough understanding of these controversies and a commitment to prioritizing patient well-being and ethical considerations. This can only occur through a thorough consultation and patient education.
Drs. Bunkis & Ekstrom in a consultation with a patient. A thorough consultation is necessary before any surgical procedure can be contemplated.