SAO PAULO — It was well past midnight when the Brazilian surgeon says he was escorted deep inside a bunker in the Libyan capital. His assignment: to shave years off Moammar Gadhafi’s appearance by removing fat from his belly and injecting it into his wrinkled face. The Libyan leader also got hair plugs. “He told me that he had been in power for 25 years at that time, and that he did not want the young people of his nation to see him as an old man,” Dr. Liacyr Ribeiro recalled. “I recommended a facelift, but he refused.”
Health care privacy laws are not universal. A Brazilian plastic surgeon claims to have visited Moammar Gadhafi in a Libyan bunker in January 1995 performing minor surgery upon him. In the US, such a statement would violate health care privacy laws without a release from the patient.
Gadhafi’s surgery apparently included facial fat transfer and hair plugs. Criticism regarding the Libyan leader’s plastic surgery has been frequent over the years.
The surgeon states he recommended a facelift, but Gadhafi refused requiring that any surgery he have be performed under local anesthesia only. Fillers are limited in their scope and cannot provide the same results as a good facelift. Fillers can be performed under much lesser anesthesia however.
John Di Saia MD