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October 10, 2007

Breakfast and Botox?

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At today's party, that man is Dr. Lee A. Gibstein, a Miami-by-way-of-Harvard plastic surgeon. Women adore him; they look for excuses to touch his hand or pat him on the cheek. It's the kind of reverence usually reserved for their OB/GYNs — but hey, those guys never helped them pass for 30 when they were 40.

Whatever reservations some plastic surgeons and dermatologists have about making a muscle paralyzer into a party favor, public opinion — and demand — are winning the day. In Texas, for example, cosmetic-surgery offices have opened in malls, right next to stores like Sephora, and some respected, old-school doctors have begun to defend such practices.

Sure, the industry sees the opportunity for quick profit: The Sagamore plans to offer "Botox and Lox" packages starting at $750 per person, depending on the scope of the services. But Gibstein, at least, is not cavalier about the medical implications. "With injectables," he says, "the biggest medical risk is fainting — sometimes people just get scared. But if I were going to do anything in a hotel on a regular basis [today was a promotion], I would have some basic medical equipment, like a heart-rate monitor, oxygen, a medical-waste basket." I, for one, would be happy to know that my bloody needles are not being chucked with my empty bottles of Veuve Clicquot.

Judging from the women visiting the Sagamore today, there doesn't seem to be too much hesitation about these kinds of arrangements. Why not take medicine out of the doctor's office and locate it comfortably near a bar and a pool? A couple of drinks and Botox are not necessarily a dangerous thing — unless, of course, it's the doctor doing the drinking.

"Sure, I'd have laser treatment at a hotel if it were available by the right doctor. Why not?" says one deeply tanned brunette, waving her champagne glass. "I don't think I'd have, like, surgery, though." She thinks for a few seconds, looking at the plush leather sofas, the killer sound system, the enormous flat-screen TV. "Well, I don't know. I suppose if they could get the right machinery in here ... it would just be so pleasant."

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