Ivo Pitanguy died recently at the age of 93 – a mere day after his last public appearance, carrying the Olympic torch through the streets of Rio – and we couldn’t let the moment pass without paying tribute, as he leaves a colossal legacy behind him.
He’s best known as the pioneer of the Brazilian Butt Lift, but that’s only a mere fragment of his achievements.
Born in Rio, and then educated in Cincinnati, London and Paris, learning at the feet of surgeons who had honed their skills on people who were burned or disfigured during World War II, he returned to his birthplace in the mid-Fifties as a practitioner of the burgeoning cosmetic surgery industry.
‘The philosopher of plastic surgery’
One of the turning points of his life occurred in 1961, when a burning circus tent fell on 2,500 spectators in the city of Niteroi and he spent weeks treating burns victims on an emergency basis. The experience – along with the stories he heard from his mentors about treating war casualties – shaped his viewpoint about aesthetic procedures.
“I saw the importance of saving lives and saving functions,” he said in an interview in 2014, “But it seemed that nobody gave importance to the stigma of deformity and how people suffered with that.”
Feel over look
What Ivo Pitanguy realised before anyone else seemed to was that cosmetic work was less about making people look better and more about making them feel better.
And he never forgot that: while other practitioners waved their A-list credentials about, Ivo – no stranger to the cream of Hollywood – not only paid for the total renovation of a cosmetic ward at a Rio public hospital, he also spent one day a week performing procedures for free on accident victims who could never afford his services in their lifetimes.
And along the way, he personally trained over 500 doctors who spread his philosophy. May he rest in peace.
For more information about the Brazilian Butt Lift in Berkshire, and to find out whether you might be a suitable candidate for the procedure, please contact us.