New Book Review: Fabulous Faces, From motivation to transformation through facial plastic surgery by Peter Adamson

Posted on the 14 July 2011 at 11:31

Think you understand why people get cosmetic surgery? Think you’ve heard all the motivations and questions that go through your patients minds? Well this book may surprise you. Fabulous Faces by Peter A. Adamson, M.D is an informative collection of in-depth personal stories by 30 of his patients who have undergone various facial procedures.

The intimate look into their lives provides a unique insight into the cosmetic surgery experience from real life patients - chronicling the whole process from start to finish. 

Dr. Adamson puts the reader inside the mind of the men and women and helps to address myths, doubts and fears experienced by so many people before surgery; what procedures are available for me? How do I choose a doctor? What happens in preparation and during the procedure? What is the recovery process?

The book includes patients ranging from young to old, different ethnicities, different backgrounds and different genders. While the cosmetic industry is sometimes judged in the court of public opinion for its superficial nature and focus on vanity, the book spotlights the often hidden area of child deformities. There is a chapter dedicated to “the other faces of plastic surgery” including the story of Babidjana:

“A little girl rides her bicycle down an urban street. Her name is Babidjana. [...] Without warning, the tranquillity is shattered by gunfire. [...] A bullet ricochets off a lamppost and hits her in the face. [...] She’s one of half a million child victims of the Chechen fighting. [...] Babidjana finds herself in one of the most heartbreaking places on the planet, a crowded orphanage populated with maimed, deformed, and unwanted children. [...] Here, a staff of skilled plastic surgeons, anaesthesiologists, and nurses [...] do their best to repair the broken faces of the children. It was here Babidjana had her face rebuilt.”    

One key area the book does fail to include is what happens when complications arise during a procedure and the people who later regret their surgery. However, that isn’t to say that Dr. Adamson glosses over or sugarcoats the difficulties some people face whilst recovering. He is open about the pain some patients have to endure and the personal stories on this are frank and honest. Ok, so the book and Dr. Adamson are undoubtedly pro surgery and there is a niggling part of me that thinks the book could be improved with before and after images, but these minor details don’t detract from the quality and relatable information being offered.  

Fabulous Faces is a great resource for researching the various procedures available, the pros and cons of each, Dr. Adamson explains how both surgeons and patients prepare for the surgery, details the physical aspects of the surgery and includes tips for the most comfortable recovery period e.g. what foods and drink the patient can eat and what the best type of clothing is.         

There is something in this book to appeal to a range of audiences - from the average person considering surgery to the aesthetic professional who wants to gain insight into a patient’s psyche, there is a range of useful knowledge to be gained from this book. I personally gained great insight into a sometimes complicated and not always comprehensive area. 

About the author: Dr. Peter A. Adamson, M.D., F.R.C.S.C., F.A.C.S., is an otolaryngologist (a head and neck surgeon) hailing from Canada.  He is a professor and head of the University of Toronto’s Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology and a staff surgeon at Toronto General Hospital. He is a former president of both the Canadian and America Academics of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.  He is donating 10% of profits from the sale of his book to the Canadian Foundation for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery to benefit children in developing countries who suffer from facial deformities.

The book is now available in the UK from Amazon, also available as an E-book   

For information visit   

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