Skip to comments.US Soldiers offered free breast implants
Posted on 07/22/2004 4:40:38 AM PDT by 11th Earl of Mar
Soldiers offered free breast implants
US servicemen and women are being offered free plastic surgery, including breast enlargements, on the taxpayer.
The New Yorker magazine reports that members of all four branches of the US military and their families can get face-lifts, breast enlargements, liposuction and nose jobs for free.
"Anyone wearing a uniform is eligible," Dr Bob Lyons, chief of plastic surgery at Brooke Army Medical Centre in San Antonio told the magazine.
Soldiers needed the approval of their commanding officers to get the time off.
Between 2000 and 2003, military doctors performed 496 breast enlargements and 1,361 liposuction surgeries on soldiers and their dependents, the magazine said .
The magazine quoted an army spokesperson as saying: "The surgeons have to have someone to practise on."
Nice partial reporting. Plastic surgery is available to people in the military to give military plastic surgeons experience repairing war wounds. Reconstructive surgery (even breast implants) is an important skill for military doctors expected to treat our troops wounded on the battlefield.
I even saw this covered on Fox and Friends two days ago and it really irritated me that they didn't bring up the truth about these operations. I fired off the following letter to them:
Regarding your story this morning on the New York Magazine article investigating cosmetic surgery in the military:
What a hack job by the author. Not once did she mention the real reason such surgeries are done. There is no secret about the surgeries in the military, as she alleged. They have been done and will continue to be done because doctors in the military MUST do them to maintain their certifications, just as civilian doctors do. Within each discipline in medicine, such as neurosurgery, plastic surgery, reconstructive surgery, and so on, doctors must do a minimum number of surgeries and document a minimum number of hours in order to remain certified. The reason most people don't know about them is because they are fairly rare and are only done when necessary to maintain a doctor's proficiency.
But, you say, how can breast surgery, for example, be justified. Simple - cancer treatments sometimes requires breast removal and augmentation. In order to be proficient at such surgeries, doctors MUST perform them on a routine basis. If there are no cancer patients available, the only way a doctor can perform the REQUIRED number of surgeries is to do augmentation on other patients. This does not amount to "practice" as the author states, but is required to maintain proficiency.
And the line about "paid for by your tax dollars" is ludicrous. News flash to the author - military doctors get paid a yearly salary, regardless of how much work they do. They don't get paid for each surgery. Further, the medical facilities used in such surgeries are military hospitals, so there are no additional costs there either. About the only costs associated with such surgeries are the implants that are installed. In other words, the total cost of such surgeries in extremely small compared to civilian surgeries.
The issues mentioned here are obvious, and should have at least been mentioned by an author that was seeking to provide a fair and balanced story. Which leads me to conclude that either she was completely ignorant of the subject and didn't do even basic research, or, more likely, was looking to write a hit-piece on the military and didn't want to concern herself with any information that could provide a reason such surgery is done.
I have learned not to expect fair treatment from the NYT or NYM, or many other news agencies, but I count on Fox News to provide the fair and balanced rebuttal to their assaults.
Could you please bring this up for your listeners so they understand the full story?
ALL YOUR BREAST ARE BELONG TO US!!!!
You ain't gonna believe this ping!
I need to see pictures to make an intelligent comment on this thread.
Because of litigation, these are ridiculously expensive. Otherwise I basically agree with meisterbrewer's comments.
I do think that the justification for military docs doing cosmetic surgery can't just be getting experience. One simply has to allow that it is reasonable for some servicemembers to want cosmetic surgery and it is reasonable for these requests to be granted on a case by case basis, not as a right, but as something the military will do on a limited basis if time and resources allow.
If a long-term servicemember has one physical feature they very much want changed, it should be considered. But if after a nose job this year they want big breasts the next, well, I'd say they are past the limit. We don't need the military to be creating any Michael Jacksons.
Thanks for the clarification! It sure changes what was running through my mind!!
Who's Michael Jackson?? Bwahahahahahah!!!!!
"ALL YOUR BREAST ARE BELONG TO US!!!!"
Hey, this is hugh and series! (these inside F.R. jokes will never end, will they? I hope not, I love them.)
Just making a mountain out of...well, never mind.
Yes, and you can get free or cheap dental work at dental schools.
This is from the Michael Moore school of reporting.
Damn, I was in the Army to early. I always wanted to look like Magnum PI or Clint Eastwood.
It's just a matter of time before it's sex change operations.
Before I left the Navy 5 yrs ago (I am an anesthesiologist), I can tell you that the policy toward elective reconstructive surgery was that the patient paid for any implant costs. Of course there was no Surgeon/Anesthesia fees and the hospital costs were minimal. 5 yrs ago the implants themselves cost in the neighborhood of $800. This article is a hack job.
Great post. However, there's one thing I want to add, for the sake of posters not familiar with military healthcare.
The article tries to make it look like the operations being performed are a special burden on the taxpayer, in order to provide the military with an unnecessary "perk." However, it fails to mention that all healthcare for military members and their families is free to begin with. Which supports your assertion that the cost of such an operation in the military is less than it would be in the civilian world.
BTW, this is probably the only time we will see an article in a liberal publication complaining about the burden put on taxpayers.
Thanks for bringing this to light for those of us who are ignorant of the internal workings of military medicine. I had not heard this story, but now if I do, I will be prepared.
All the women need is their commander's 'say so' for the time off to get some serious hooter inflation...for to oogle...
How can you see her?