Plastic Surgeon: I Worked on Gadhafi's Face in 1995

Dr. Liacyr Ribeiro recalls 2am procedure, during which Moammar ate a burger
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2011 7:23 AM CDT
In this photo provided by Brazilian doctor Liacyr Ribeiro, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, left, and Brazilian plastic surgeon Dr. Liacyr Ribeiro pose for a photo in Tripoli, Libya in 1994.   (AP Photo/Liacyr Ribeiro)
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(Newser) – By 1995, Moammar Gadhafi had been in power for 25 years, and he was showing signs of age. But the Libyan leader, then 53, had a solution: plastic surgery. Dr. Liacyr Ribeiro, a renowned Brazilian plastic surgeon, was recruited and brought to Gadhafi's bunker around 2am early one January morning. "He did not want the young people of his nation to see him as an old man," Ribeiro tells the AP.

The surgeon recommended a facelift, but Gadhafi thought it would be too easily noticed. Instead, Ribeiro took fat from Gadhafi's belly and used it to smooth the wrinkles on his face, as another surgeon performed a hair transplant. Gadhafi remained alert through the four-hour procedure, taking only local anesthesia, and took a break in the middle to eat a hamburger. By the time it was over, "he looked like a 45-year-old man," says Ribeiro, who claims he is speaking out for the sole purpose of providing insight into Gadhafi. Ribeiro is rumored to have worked on Silvio Berlusconi, too.

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