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Nip and tuck horror falls on deaf ears

The rest of us sighed with utter despair when Maggie, once again, broached the subject of plastic surgery.

She had arrived in the coffee shop wearing a ski jacket, muffler, scarf, ski gloves and her trousers tucked into white snow boots. This was topped off with her husband's Russian hat which managed to make her look like a husky dog.

By the time she removed all her outwear she was sweating like a pig on a treadmill.

"I read somewhere that a third of women over 40 are so concerned about their appearance that they would consider plastic surgery," she said, as she sat down and checked her appearance in her make-up mirror.

Instead of explaining to her that the rest of us didn't really care, I told her about a programme I had watched recently about a middle-aged woman in the UK who was undergoing plastic surgery to improve the shape of her nose.

The 'before' shot showed her with an ordinary nose that sat nicely in the centre of her face, and it made me wonder why she would undergo such a painful procedure when she looked perfectly fine. Nothing could stop her though, and off she popped for a rhinoplasty operation carried out at a cosmetic surgery clinic.

The operation was just the start of her troubles. Photographs taken a couple of days after the procedure showed the woman's nose completely distorted with two large bulges like bunches of garlic where her nostrils used to be.

She also had difficulty inhaling. Further operations to correct what had gone wrong did little to get her the nose she had craved. At a loss to know what to do, the surgeon used fillers to boost the shape of her nose.

As a result the woman was left with a crease down one side of her nose and a thickening inside which only worsened her breathing problems.

Her inability to breathe properly meant that she was now considered ill and her GP referred her to the NHS who, under a general surgeon, tried to rectify the problem.

As the programme came to a close the voiceover said the operation left her only slightly improved and she would require at least another two operations to get her nasal cavities working again.

As if I'd never spoken Maggie said, "And, not only that, but most women think the perfect time to have plastic surgery is at the age of 52 years, 41 weeks and 4 days, and I know which procedure I'm having when I reach that age."

"A lobotomy?" asked Josie

"A face lift ACTUALLY," she replied rather forcefully, attaching the back of her hand to her forehead and giving Josie the loser sign.

I give up.