Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery Reviews

This first review came quite unexpectedly as I had no idea that Nancy Welker of NUTRABEAUTIFULEMAG was planning to review Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery until I received a Google Alert linking me to it. I felt elated, humbled and overwhelmed, not just by her words, but by their powerful impact on her readers. When last I looked, 52 readers had posted responses. I have never seen any Internet posting create such an emotional stir! You can read her review below, but to understand its power, you will have to read the broad array of introspective comments it evoked. (See Reader Responses below.)


Don’t let the title put you off, this book is both serious and educational. More than one hundred people contributed to the creative process, including women who have added their own experiences anonymously. The author, Lois W. Stern, gives us the stark and touching truth about what happened to her as a plastic surgery patient, and brings to light some of the truths and misconceptions about this very personal journey.

The book is designed to act as a guide for any woman who is considering a cosmetic surgery procedure, and includes worksheets and questionnaires on some delicate subjects such as your self-esteem, your sexuality, signs of depression and testing your body image. “Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery” means to give a woman insights as to how she might react to the emotional aspects of permanently changing her face and/or body appearance, which is something the author feels strongly needs to be addressed. Every chapter in this book is filled with in-your-face honesty, and the author clearly feels that this is how every woman needs to communicate with herself before going under the knife.

Chapters 5 and 6 are especially thought-provoking as Ms. Stern opens up about her feelings toward the doctor who performed the plastic surgery. The term “transference” is brought into the picture, and the author recounts her own, in her words , “humiliating” experience. In short, I found this book to be one that I could not put down, and frankly, nothing like the scandal sheet type stories we all too often see.

This is not meant to deter any woman from the plastic surgery experience, in fact the author herself had favorable results from a facelift, instead the idea is to make women aware of the possibility of feeling as though you’ve “fallen head over heels” in love with your plastic surgeon, and that it happens more often than most people realize. The message here is that if you do find yourself in that situation, you need to seek out competent help from a professional, and know that this is a transient emotional issue that you can get past with guidance and patience.

Living in an age of “Nip Tuck” and other TV shows that make plastic surgery seem like either a ridiculous choice that insecure women make, or gloss over the fact that medical doctors think it’s fine and okay to have sex with their patients, this book is a candid and intelligent source of reliable information. I liked the fact that the author made it clear that in general it was unethical for an M.D. to become intimate with a patient, but that she showed compassion for the human side of our nature as well, and said that in some rare cases the relationship might be worth pursuing.. Overall an empowering and uplifting book, I recommend “Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery” to any woman who is seriously considering undergoing a cosmetic surgical procedure.


A Most Surprising and Educational Work
By Susan Haley "author" (Sarasota, FL The Sun Coast)

In reviewing SEX, LIES AND COSMETIC SURGERY, I'm attempting the same level of honesty that the author, Lois Stern, employed throughout her book. The other reviews listed here already provide a quality overview of content, so this review will be more a personal reaction. I agreed to review this book as part of an Authors Helping Authors Team effort in a Writing Organization. It is not a book I would have picked as a 'read' of choice simply because I've never considered the procedure. What a loss that would have been! Any woman, regardless of age, stands to be enlightened by the devotion to detail and the courage exhibited by Lois Stern in bringing this work to women and the reading public. Any man, attempting to figure out the 'quirks' of the lady in his life stands to gain a revelation into the female psyche! Facts are backed up with credible research. Myths are dispelled. Priceless guidance is given anyone wrestling with such a decision, or a spouse or family member needing to support or understand. The entire spectrum of emotional impacts are thoughtfully presented, a result of countless hours of interviews with over 100 women. All this, and an entire wealth of follow up information and additional sources are presented in the best 'Appendix Section' I've ever seen in an 'informative nonfiction' book. Like any compelling book of any genre, SEX, LIES AND COSMETIC SURGERY qualifies as one of those books that is hard to put down.

As a fellow author, I sincerely wish Lois Stern the best of success, and I thank her for caring about women. You will, too.

Author of: Rainy Day People - The Novel
Rainy Day People - Award Winning Audio book
Fibers in the Wind

Brave, Understanding, Thoughtful, and Often Witty!
By Shirley Ann Parker "writer, author, editor"
(West Hills, CA USA)

The author, Lois Stern, has included numerous case studies in this intimate, detailed and caring book. Women seeking guidance and reassurance before undergoing cosmetic surgery will find it here in abundance. Even though society rewards those who are pretty or handsome, more than vanity is involved with most people who seek cosmetic surgery. In many cases, cosmetic surgery has literally changed people's lives, removing a perceived physical "defect" that had caused emotional or mental anguish for the patient. Cosmetic surgery has even enabled some women to leave abusive relationships, since their self-esteem has since blossomed. However, the author does not leave out those women who were disappointed with results, for whatever reason. You must give the decision a great deal of thought ahead of time to make sure it is right for you. Unexpected post-surgical, psychological changes can be profound, unnerving, and embarrassing to deal with for anyone. This may not be a book for those with conservative beliefs, since sexual revelations from some interviewees are quite frank. Many additional resources are included in this well-written, meticulously researched book; anyone seeking cosmetic surgery can make an intelligent and well-informed decision after reading it and following its suggestions. The book includes rating charts for self and surgeons, questionnaires, checklists, and other forms, which are also available on an optional CD. A brave, understanding, thoughtful, and often witty publication.

Sex,Lies, and Cosmetic Surgery
By Marilyn Flaum

If I were contemplating plastic surgery, I would want to have this wonderful resource book before starting the entire procedure. Lois Stern gives a comprehensive guide to evaluating your emotional reasons, choosing a surgeon, dealing with feelings after the change in your looks, and remaining realistic in your expectations. Her daily journal,included in the book, of the development of her own experience is frank, honest, and encouraging to others. She does not downplay the discomfort, but shares her joy after the first few days in the differences she views when she dares to look in the mirror ! The footnotes at the end of each chapter provide further references which may prove valuable. Stern also guides you through meetings with your surgeon, preparation prior to surgery, and evaluating the results. Throughout the book, you feel her warmth and humanity. It is evident that she is passionate about the subject and immensely pleased with the outcome in many ways ! Don't be afraid to read the book if you can't imagine plastic surgery for yourself. It is a very interesting way to find out what it is all about. Who knows, you might be tempted!

Marilyn Flaum, retired educator
Resident f Becket, MA. and Boynton Beach, FLA.

Educational, Informative, and Thought Provoking!
By Barbara Watkins

Lois Stern is one talented Lady! I read her book in just a matter of a few hours...couldn't put it down! Every person contemplating cosmetic surgery of any kind should read her book first. She gave an in depth and personal account of her own experience, as well as amazing accounts of several professionally researched interviews with others. She added warmth and humor making it lovely to read. The footnotes are loaded with information in finding a reputable cosmetic surgeon. Keep an eye on this writer...(I know I will)
Writer/Author from MO

An Eye-opener - Literally and Figuratively
By Carol M. Welsh,(Florida)

When I met Lois Stern at an authors' conference, I thought her book was a warning about the dangers of cosmetic surgery. The subtitle to her book: Things You'll Never Learn From Your Plastic Surgeon fueled my misperception. That changed into curiosity when Lois told me she had cosmetic surgery and that it changed her life in many positive ways. She looked beautiful and so natural. Where was that plastic look I always heard about? I had to learn more so bought her book. I have been blessed with always looking 10-15 years younger than my age. Therefore getting a face lift is not a consideration for me. This book however caused a complete attitude shift for me regarding cosmetic surgery. I just wish that it was financially in reach for more people whose lives would be transformed with it but can't afford it. I have often thought that if a particular person could just get a "nose job," how it would make her drop-dead gorgeous or him more handsome. My opinion is that if you long for what cosmetic surgery can do for you and can afford it then thoroughly reading and also researching the listed resources in this book is a must. I was impressed that Lois also included the importance of taking care of your skin. This book is the bible for cosmetic surgery: honest, caring, and filled with useful information. Lois's personal story and photos and the stories of others makes this an easy read rather than being a clinical textbook-type read. If you're contemplating cosmetic surgery, please read this book first. You will be glad you did.
Author - Stop When You See Red

Enlightening and Enjoyable Read
By RMC "Robi" (Long Island NY)

I found this book to be most interesting. It is written in a very readable, personal style that is both informative and, at times, amusing. As someone who has wavered between " I've earned those laugh lines" and "I hate my neck," I found that I am far from alone. I gained a greater insight into why someone would opt for cosmetic surgery, dispelling the notion that people who do so are "so vain", to quote my husband. It lead to a most interesting discussion between us as to why I would have my neck "done" if I could afford to do so, and in the end, my husband understood that my reasons had little to do with vanity. Bravo to Ms Stern for being so open and honest about her experience!

Reactions of Family and Friends
By Lillian Shah (Arden, DE)

Lois, I think your book is a godsend. Not everyone can be a great beauty and not many people even aspire to be. But the miracle of plastic surgery is that it can help make us more comfortable, healthier, and more attractive to ourselves and to others. And we all know, in extreme cases, it allows us to lead the lives we otherwise could not possibly have aspired to. I know you encourage your readers, as they plan this very significant undertaking, to keep a little empathy and understanding for those nearest and dearest who will need some time to comprehend that the person they love and treasure is still there, just in a slightly (or significantly) different package.

Author: Keeping Healthy by Keeping Track: A Complete Guide to Maintaining Your Own Medical Records

By Marilyn K. Beck (Tasmania, Australia)

I found this book very disappointing, all froth and no substance. I perservered through hoping for something to grab my interest - it never did. My memory is a lot of ravings about how women often end up fancying their surgeons and how many women regain their lost sexual confidence. I can well imagine both things could happen, yes, but didn't need a whole book devoted to the subject. It skimmed the surface, was irritating, and I don't think was at all helpful in my quest to understand on a deeper level people's particular experiences with facelifts. I bought another book called Welcome To My Facelift which I found far more absorbing and helpful without all the irritating repetitions of this one.

I Couldn't Let This One Go Without a Response!

Although I had read a number of books focused on the cosmetic surgery experience, they offered me no clarity regarding the emotional undercurrents to my facelift experience. In one such book, a psychologist wrote that her emotional adjustment took far longer than her physical healing. Another author ended her final chapter words implying that you will be happier post-surgery than you'll ever want to admit to anyone. Interesting statements, but without further explanations, their words left behind more questions than answers: What did this "emotional adjustment" consist of? Why such emotional elevation? I began to seek some answers on my own. Mind you, this was not "skim the surface" research. SLCS contains approximately 150 footnotes, primarily referencing articles found in medical and psychological journals, but SLCS is the first book of its kind to explore this correlation. I found it most gratifying that my book served as a springboard for an ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgery) study on the psycho-sexual health of post cosmetic surgery women. Few books can serve as such a catalyst.
I have received e-mail messages from a number of readers expressing gratitude for the clarity I brought to some of their emotionally charged post-surgical issues. One such reader, feeling considerable discomfort after sharing some of her strong yet confounding post-surgery emotions with her surgeon (and having him respond: "Don't worry, you'll get over it", ordered Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery through a Google search, found it so responsive to her needs that she purchased a second copy and mailed it to her plastic surgeon to help enlighten him.
I am keenly aware that sexuality carries its own emotional baggage, so I realize that this book will not be right for everyone. (But in a book whose title begins with the word S-E-X, the theme of sexuality as a adjunct to cosmetic surgery shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.) I have referenced some excellent books with a more generalized approach to cosmetic surgery in the Helpful Resources section at the back of my book. Perhaps one of them will meet your personal needs.

Wishing you a beautiful life,
Lois W. Stern
Author of: Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery and
Tick Tock, Stop the Clock ~ Getting Pretty on Your Lunch Hour

If You Wanna REALLY Know What to Expect, Go Get This Book
By Brigitte "Brigitte" (Europe)

Last New Year's Eve I decided to do some research on my upcoming Cosmetic Surgery Project and went to B&N in NYC. Since I am a very fact oriented person and Cosmetic Surgery is nice to have but not a must at all, I wanted to know what I might run into. So I bought 12 books on plastic surgery mostly medical references. And I found one with the funky title: SEX LIES AND COSMETIC SURGERY. . . and bought it too (even against my Hubbys voting, what kind a unserious book this must be). After surgery, with all those books around you, SEX . . .was the one I returned to check if the progress was normal, what to do now and so on.., because all the other literature described the procedure, but gave you never any insights how you look, what hurts, what's going on and why. I even gave a copy to my plastic surgeon in Switzerland and now he recommends it to his English speaking patients, (it saves him a lot of phone calls in the middle of the night.

A Crucial Resource
By Jamieson Dale, author of ChasingBeauty

Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery is a comprehensive study of the nuanced aspects of undergoing cosmetic surgery, and is thus an important source for women to consult before deciding on a procedure. The book includes factual data, self-tests and anecdotal patient accounts with which women can make a solid decision. Lois W. Stern has performed a valuable service by writing this book.

Will Help Answer Any and All Questions
By Paul Lappen (Manchester, CT USA)

Whether or not to have cosmetic surgery is one of the biggest decisions a woman will ever make. This book will make that decision much easier. The first question to be answered is: Why? If your self-image is in bad shape, cosmetic surgery can make a huge difference in your personal life (and your sex life). If your "problem" is deeper, like clinical depression or Body Dysmorphic Disorder, a mental health professional will help a lot more than a plastic surgeon. Do not choose your surgeon based on his (usually it is a man) TV ads, or because he is a member of your church. Go to more than one surgeon; feeling comfortable with him is most important. After he agrees to do the surgery, disclose all medical problems or conditions you may have, no matter how small, and all medications you are taking. The doctor and anesthesiologist need to know in advance. Do some research on Doctor X. Is he Board Certified in your surgery? Has he done a number of them? Is his facility properly accredited?
Friends and family members may have very different reactions to the thought of cosmetic surgery. Do not be surprised, or hurt, at reactions ranging from Whatever to Are You Insane? When it comes time for the surgery, be prepared. Clear your calendar for a couple of weeks. Stock up on soft foods. Have someone stay with you for the first couple of days after the surgery, armed with many packages of frozen peas (for the swelling). People recover from surgery at different speeds, so don't panic if you are recovering "too slowly." Last but not least, you chose Doctor X for this surgery, so trust that he and his staff know what they are doing.
This book is full of comments from regular women who had surgery, for a variety of reasons, along with the author's own cosmetic surgery story. It has many checklists and questionnaires, to help the reader decide if this is such a good idea. It also has a list of questions to ask a cosmetic surgeon. Plastic surgery is not for everyone, but for those who are considering it, this book is very highly recommended. It will help answer any and all questions.

A Must Read For Those Contemplating Cosmetic Surgery
By David Sidney Rosenberg, author

Although Lois Stern's book, Sex, Lies, and Cosmetic Surgery, will be of interest to most women seeking appearance enhancements, it is a must read for any contemplating a cosmetic surgical procedure. The author's research includes detailed case histories of those benefiting from surgery as well as those whose choice of surgeon and expectations proved disappointing. With personal courage, Lois Stern describes her experiences (and those of the many women she interviewed), that range from searching for the right surgeon and managing comments and concerns from friends and relatives, to conquering latent fears as the date for surgery approaches. Sex, Lies, and Cosmetic Surgery should be read by husbands or `significant others' who either question the need for cosmetic enhancement or are confronted by some of the emotionally driven issues that emanate from it. Often these circumstances require total understanding when the post-surgical patient emerges with both psychological and physical changes. Author, Lois Stern, discusses all aspect of this sensitive subject in a light-hearted, yet sincere tone, for everyone seeking or affected by surgical enhancement of physical appearance.

To send Lois a message, click here.