THE CHASE FOR BEAUTY by Robert Mendelson


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An inspiring biography of the plastic surgeon who pioneered the “Total Body Lift.”

Dennis Hurwitz isn’t a doctor who lets much slow him down. Though he gets thrown for a loop when the love of his life says she just wants to be friends, he never gives up and eventually wins her over. That same drive quickly propels him to becoming one of the most respected plastic surgeons in the country. Even though the financial rewards in plastic surgery lie in treating adults, he chooses to specialize in surgery on children born with cleft lips and palates. While Hurwitz’s professional success puts a heavy burden on his family, Hurwitz is as dedicated to them as he is to his career. His daughter, Karen, is a sensitive, intelligent child, and a gifted writer. She has a generous spirit and befriends a troubled young man named Mick, who has suffered a brutal upbringing. One tragic night, he stabs her to death. With the support of their community and Karen always in their hearts, the Hurwitzes begin to cope with the tragedy and rebuild their family. Life, however, is not yet finished with doctor: His career takes a major blow when he loses a multimillion-dollar malpractice suit. Nevertheless, Hurwitz perseveres and, in response to the rising popularity of gastric bypass surgery, develops the “Total Body Lift,” a procedure that includes reshaping the entire body and removing excess skin after a patient has experienced dramatic weight loss; the process eliminates the risks associated with multiple surgeries. The development garners the doctor national media attention, as well as criticism from his peers. Biographer Mendelson offers an intimate look into the tumultuous personal life of a man whose profession is usually equated with superficiality, and effectively presents multiple perspectives on the doctor’s character, career and life.

A rewarding read.

Program: Kirkus Indie
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