Dr. Capone featured in Maniac magazine, December 2009

NEEDLES & KNIVES – Making Aging Optional

By Jason Bittel

DR. RAY CAPONE JR. flipped the laminated page. Two pictures of a naked female torso stared back—the one on the left saggy, drooping, old. The body on the right? It wasn’t magically unrecognizable. It was thinner, tighter, the heft of its paunch drawn in and down, its breasts responding likewise, reeling up and out. And, sure, the post-Mommy Makeover body on the right looked a great deal younger, more supple and lithe. I admit, the disparity between the two was rather striking, the quantifiable increase in sexiness undeniable.

Perhaps I should say that I didn’t really believe in cosmetic surgery. I mean, if it were for a cleft palate or something like that, then by all means carve away, but Pamela Anderson, Donda West and Octomom had thoroughly soured me on the topic. But then I’m young, fit and without a prominent ear deformity. I don’t tan three days a week—call me conventional, but I refuse to consider “tangerine” a human skin tone—nor do I smoke cigarettes. I eat a balanced diet, have all my hair and reasonably symmetric calves. Now some of those are personal choices and others are just lucky genetics, but all of it added up to my opinion that plastic surgery was at best vain and at worst unnatural.

The reader should feel free to view me as either smug (at best) or (at worst) a self-righteous dick.

Still, I was as content in my belief as any other American who’d made a stand on an issue via magnetic, Chinese-made bumper ribbons. Without knowing the slightest thing about it, of course.

So I paid visits to three of Pittsburgh’s best when it comes to the youth maintenance business.

Dr. Capone regretted opinions like my own. “I thought we’d be much further along in assimilating what we do in this business,” he began. “We went from everyone having crooked teeth to an accepted standard where parents are expected to provide prosthetic dentistry to their children. Now that’s a cosmetic surgical procedure that’s made the transition.”

Fair enough. Nobody bats an eye when parents shell out many thousands of dollars for braces and retainers, even outlandish mouth-mechanisms with cranks and gears that seem reminiscent of Dark Ages interrogation devices. Why not a nose job?

Capone, for his part, does everything from hand surgeries to eyelid surgery to abdominoplasty to… well, you name it. “Much of what I do can be explained as redefining a client’s sexual identity. With females: enhancing breasts, liposuction, contour curves—the better I accentuate their femininity the better they like the results.”

But of all the astounding possibilities exuding from his blade, what did he recommend for the MANIAC demographic, ages 20-35? What would he do to me if I brought him a blank check and a steel will?

Not all that much, it turns out. Dr. Capone said the keys to youth were sun avoidance, diet and exercise—and staying away from extreme sports. While he recommended that if you’re ever planning on getting a nose job or your ears done it’s best to do it young (age 20 or so), and admitted that filler injections (Radiesse, Botox, etc) are really effective in young people, he mostly stuck to the tried and true (and arguably more difficult) ways to stay young.

“Once you do diet and exercise and make good lifestyle choices, you certainly wouldn’t want to do plastic surgery. I’ve done face lifts in the 30s, but not often.” Dr. Capone continued, “We spend a lot of time working on people in their 40s, 50s, and 6Os to get them back to looking like they were in their 20s and 30s.”

When it comes to Cosemetic Surgery, Do your homework! Quick tips from the pros:
Dr. Capone reminds that the words “board-certified” could refer to any number of boards. Your best bet is to look for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons seal as well as the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Inc. If even one of those words is interchanged or missing, be suspicious.

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