Health

Plastic Surgeons on the Weirdest Requests They've Ever Received

Published On 10/20/2016 Published On 10/20/2016
weird plastic surgeon requests
Jason Hoffman/Thrillist

When I was a teenager, I wanted pointy ears. They would have been a nice complement to my ear gauges and collection of body piercings. I also wanted a split tongue, but the prevailing technique, which involved a tongue piercing, dental floss, and a high pain tolerance, kind of skeeved me out.

Decades later, I'm far less elfin than I would have been if I'd had the courage/bank account to go through with these procedures, but maybe more employable? Anyway, the point is: If you've ever made a bizarre request to a plastic surgeon, I get you. My other point is damn, people are weird. Here are some of the most out-there requests plastic surgeons have fielded from patients who may or may not be grounded in reality.

Science fiction and fantasy can go too far...

"It's not unusual for plastic surgeons to receive 'weird' requests for things. Usually, these requests fall into the realm of things that are technically possible, but not necessarily advisable, if you know what I mean. My favorite request in terms of creativity is this: I received an email about a year ago from a science-fiction fan wanting to know if there was a surgery that would completely remove her belly button so she could look like a clone. After careful consideration, I replied that technically I could do this, but that there would be a scar, which would interfere with the clone look she was going for. I didn't hear any more after my response." -- Dr. David B. Reath

"I've been asked to make elf ears, create a forked tongue, help someone look more like a vampire, and add horns. I say no to all of these requests." -- Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel

It's the little tweaks that can make a huge difference

"I've been asked to perform liposuction of the ankles (aka cankles). Puffy fat above the ankles can make it tough to see the contour of the calf to the ankle. However, lipo can eliminate fat in the area to minimize the appearance of cankles altogether. Another [unusual] one is fat removal of the pubic mound." -- Dr. Gilbert Lee

"One woman came in looking to have more hair in her bikini area. While most women want to eliminate their hair, I've received requests from patients wanting to restore hair down there, as years of waxing and shaving have permanently affected the hair-growth patterns. This type of procedure is possible. I use PRP injections to help restore normal hair growth in the area." -- Dr. Norman Rowe

"A few years ago, a patient requested his nose look 'Jewish' again. He'd previously had a nose operation, as many people in his age group had done. He realized in his late 40s that he was connecting with his roots, and felt the change in his nose disconnected him from his family. I used an auricular cartilage graft (piece of his ear) to rebuild the hump on the bridge. Now we call him van Gogh." -- Dr. Behrooz Torkian

"'Do you split tongues? Can you place my foreskin back on my penis? Can you inject filler into the balls of my feet so I have more cushioning in high heels? Can you remove the hole from my navel piercing, now that I don't want it pierced anymore?' I decline most of these strange requests, but I've built a following behind removing the hole from a navel piercing. It's not an expensive procedure, but it does bring in a lot of patients. The truth is, as long as you can do something safely and the patient seems connected to reality, most procedure requests are fair game." -- Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

Plastic surgery: a cure for (or cause of) regrettable decisions

"After one crazy weekend in Las Vegas, a man came into my office asking to have a tattoo 'cut out' of his chest. He was frantically trying to get rid of the evidence before his wife saw it and didn't have time to go through multiple laser treatments. I obviously could not 'cut it out' of his skin, but I did perform a dermabrasion and essentially sanded it off for him.

"Another time, a woman requested a surgical brow lift. She wanted to make her brows mimic those of a clown -- very high and arched in an unnatural way. I did not proceed with this request.

"Although it has happened more than once, I still find it quite bizarre when I get requests to give women breasts that 'don't move.' Women have asked for augmentations that are as high and solid as possible. One even went further to say she would like to be able to perform handsprings without them moving." -- Dr. Joseph A. Russo

"I had a guy who stuck a frozen Red Bull can through his gauges in his ears, and it necrosed the edges. His ear lobe was hanging down like Goofy from Disney. He wanted ear reconstruction and wanted to take the extra pieces home with him. He had already named them James." -- Dr. Michael Burgdorf

"A patient asked me to remove breast implants from her buttocks. The patient had gone to a shady surgeon somewhere in the Florida Keys. He told her that when he was in the midst of the surgery procedure, the traditional buttock implants weren't fitting correctly. He decided to replace them with breast implants instead. So a few months later, the smaller, round breast implants started to move around and make funny noises inside her buttocks. They eventually caused her severe pain and discomfort, requiring removal." -- Dr. Leonard Tachmes

Some people want to become living cartoon characters

"I've had dozens of patients call and request a consultation for wings. Several years ago, an online article revealed a small number of scientists are working on how to attach real, working wings to a person's body. It's got to be a hoax, since science is nowhere near being able to accomplish such an unbelievable feat. That hasn't stopped people from emailing my office asking to have wings attached to their bodies. Hawkman, anyone?" -- Dr. Anthony Youn, author of The Age Fix

"I've had a patient requesting Michael Jackson's nose, which we did not agree with for aesthetic purposes; a patient requesting a chest like Superman, which we did not think was reasonable; and a female patient requesting Jessica Rabbit curves. In this case, the patient's request was reasonable, given her waistline dimensions. We performed liposuction with sculpting of the waistline. Our patient was more than thrilled with her results." -- Dr. Raffi Hovsepian

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Missy Wilkinson is surprised none of the plastic surgeons received penile subincision requests (Google it). Follow her on Instagram @nowlistenmissy.

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