A practicing plastic surgeon for more than 10 years, Dr. Kauder works as a kind of breast genie, granting wishes from under a portrait of Marilyn Monroe in his posh Charlottenburg practice. Although he specialises in breast augmentation, recon- struction and moulding, the 45-year-old is prompt to confess that “the less the surgeon does, the better”.
Do you see your life as dedicated to breasts?
Perhaps it is more dedicated to women, helping them in their quest for nice breasts.
Must be a fun job!
Breast surgery is very rewarding, for patients and for surgeons, because you can achieve very good results – the complica- tion rate is low, and the satisfaction rate is high. I was always interested in operating on breasts, since I started my training in plastic surgery. I first came from the reconstructive side, dealing with breast cancer patients, patients with very large breasts or those with disfigured breasts from birth.
Have you had any strange requests?
No, not really. People probably imagine that everyday women come in and request those [holds hands out in the shape of triple-D Dolly Partons]. This is an extreme exception. I have that maybe once every two years, and even when I have these requests, I usually don’t satisfy them.
So you deny patients surgery?
Yes, it happens. When the patient sits in front of us, we do a physical examination, but in the back of our minds, we have more or less a little checklist to see if the patient is [psychologically] suitable for the operation. Will they be able to cope if there are issues? Can I satisfy this patient or do they have too-high expectations? It’s a pain in the ass if you pick the wrong patient – it’s not worth the money. My conviction is that you earn your reputation as a surgeon not with the patients you operate on but with the patients you do not operate on.
Why do you think women alter their breasts – for themselves or for men?
For both. Why do people make themselves attrac- tive? To be liked by others, highly valued and judged differently by society. There are studies that show that beautiful people get less harsh punishment in court. Good behaviour is attributed more to beautiful people. Beauty is attractive, but it can eat you up – our idea of attraction all comes down to psychology.
What do you like about your job?
I think that plastic surgery is one of the most interesting and individual occupations, with so many possibilities. Every patient is your masterpiece. You really have to focus on the patient sitting in front of you, and there is no one answer that fits everyone. It is a different answer every time. The best part is that it keeps me thinking, but that can be the worst part too. If you do this job you have to be a perfectionist, and if you do not achieve your goals you are not happy, even if the patient is happy.
Do you think everyone needs something done?
No, I don’t think anyone needs something done unless they have a problem with it. The issue is presented by the patient in aesthetic surgery, not by the doctor. If a patient has an issue, I look and I check and from my background knowledge and education I try to develop a solution.
How do you separate breasts between your work and your private life?
There is no connection. If you can’t keep that professional distance, you are wrong for this job.
But do you ever look at breasts in your private life and think, “Maybe I would change this or that…”?
Yeah, as a plastic surgeon you go through a certain stage when you are new in the field and still developing your skills by looking around at all of these things, but after a certain time you drop it because it is exhausting and you drive other people nuts. Every young plastic surgeon does that.
Can you remember the first time you had a breast in your hand?
It was probably my mother’s when I was being breastfed! But in all seriousness, yes, of course I think every man can remember that.
Are you a breast or an ass man?
I never really thought about that, but now that you’re asking… If you’re a breast man, you’ve got to be into ass too, because cleavage mimics the fold between the two gluteus. So if you like cleavage, you like bums.
Do you know a boob joke?
No, but I know a boob poem, it is called Das Busengedicht, literally, ‘The Breast Poem’: ‘Most men – as I am sure you have guessed / Are more than fond of lovely breasts…’
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