Season 1 Episode 4

Published on July 22, 2013 by

Nanette Babcock

Nip/Tuck Season One, Nanette Babcock

Another week, another supposedly “inside look” at the world of plastic surgery in South Florida… as seen through the eyes of a room full of Southern California writers in an episode I was going to call, “Lies, Lies and More Lies”, but finally settled on…

The Ten Million Dollar Man!

Like I said in a past post, I’m an optimist.

The show opens with Dr. Christian Troy in consult with Mr. Diamond, a Michael Jackson impersonator. Mr. Diamond is in town and in the market for yet another nose job (rhinoplasty). In the nicest way possible, Dr. Troy tells the would-be King of Pop to “beat it”, rightfully recommending against any further work. The episode then proceeds to focus on an important issue relating to plastic surgery – what to do with a potential patient that is obviously mentally unstable?

Nanette Babcock is just weeks away from her 10-year class reunion. She’s also overweight. Although she’s recently begun working out and watching what she eats – which is good – she’s not seeing the immediate results that she desperately desires. Of course, it doesn’t help that her results are unrealistic as evidenced by the wall in her apartment covered with images of freakishly thin models torn out from various fashion magazines. Desiring to make a good impression on the immature classmates that used to tease her, Nanette wants the works – liposuction, a body lift, breast augmentation… You name it, she wants it… and, she wants it now!

Unfortunately, Nanette is not only dealing with a lifetime of bad habits and, probably like each of us, genetics, but also suffers from a bipolar disorder. Worse yet, she’s failed to maintain a drug regimen to control her mood swings. Now, medication alone does not preclude someone from benefiting from plastic surgery. In fact, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (Vol. 114, p. 1927) reports that in a study conducted by David Sarwer (University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine), 18% of patients who elected for cosmetic surgery were on a drug regimen – usually an antidepressant – to treat a psychiatric condition. It’s been suggested that taking a medication to control one’s mood may simply be a sign that a potential patient pays as much attention to their mental health as they do their physical. Requesting surgery so soon after stopping medications cold turkey – and against the advice of their medical professional – should preclude someone from plastic surgery. Dr. Troy again refuses to take Nanette on as a patient, and rightfully so, for she was so unstable that the episode regrettably ends with her taking her own life.

While we’re on the subject of studies, Dr. Troy commented that, “women who have breast implants are three times more likely to kill themselves.” The fact is the National Cancer Institute reported in Epidemiology that in a study of 13,500 women who had breast implant surgery for cosmetic reasons, nearly every possible cause of death – cancer to disease (circulatory, digestive, endocrine, nutritional and immune) – was in reality lower among those patients that had implants when compared to both the general population and the 4,000 patients who had elected for some other form of plastic surgery. So, the study suggests that women who have implants actually have a lower mortality rate. Why? The theory is that people who undergo elective surgery are probably more concerned with their health – and, thus, healthier – than those in the general population.

But, as usual I digress. It’s just that I not only work in the aesthetic medical industry, but have myself elected for plastic surgery, so you’ll have to forgive me if I get a little worked up with writers – or anyone for that matter – who perpetuate myths about plastic surgery. I know, writers aren’t surgeons; how are they supposed to know the facts? Research! Or, they can chat with me. You can too! You can also watch these breast implant videos, because like they say, a moving picture is worth a thousand words. Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah, nip/tuck…

Was there anything that we learned in this episode? Oh! Dr. Troy wears Versace underwear! By the way, this is the first episode that didn’t feature Dr. Troy having sex with a patient! I know, there have only been three episodes, but it shouldn’t happen even once! He did sleep with a patient who was threatening to file a $10 million malpractice suit – and thus “The Ten Million Dollar Man” episode title – but he didn’t have sex with her. They just cuddled. Am I seeing some growth in the character? I don’t know, but I’ll see you next time!

Charlie Sheridan

Medical Editor and Consultant


Under the Knife
  Marina Plastic Surgery

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