Cosmetic surgery is big business. With demand rising, this commercial medical practice has become a modern body custom. To explain the emergence and growth of this demand, Deborah A. Sullivan looks beyond the cultural imperatives of appearance and examines the market dynamics inherent in the business and politics of cosmetic surgery. In so doing, she also considers the effect of commercialization on the medical profession. After reviewing prevailing beauty trends, Sullivan looks at the social, psychological and ecomic rewards and penalties resulting from the way we look. Following an historical overview of the techlogical advances that made cosmetic surgery possible she explores the relationship between improved surgical techniques and the resulting increased demand. The book also examines the ensuing conflict within the profession over recognition of commercial cosmetic surgery as a specialty. Among the topics covered are sensitive areas such as physician advertising, unregulated practice and ambulatory surgery, and the consequences of commercialism on medical judgement. Finally, it reveals how physicians and their professional organizations have shaped the ways in which cosmetic surgery is presented in advertisements and women's magazines that would promote patient demand.