Reconstructive work has been around for centuries but the ability to remove 'flaws' was perfected on burns victims in the Second World War. The work that was done then helped to ensure that people with disfiguring injuries can have them reduced - whether that means getting your face repaired, your breasts rebuilt after a mastectomy, or having your todger tacked back on.
Then there are people whose self-worth and psychological health are so low they need the same expertise. Those who develop a hatred for one of their limbs and will only be happy when it's cut off, or people who have been bullied over a perceived imperfection and can only get over it with a nose job.
Fair enough, I hope we'd all agree, on those counts.
But more often plastic surgery is used by people who think they need to be perfect. Women who think they need to have supermodel tits and a cute nose in order to be attractive, or men who get a facelift or a moob reduction.
Do you know what? I've never thought much of my boobs, mainly because they took a long time getting here and all the other girls had theirs first, which meant mine got zero attention from anyone when they finally pitched up. They're not perfect, I'm fairly certain one is a bit wonky, but no-one who's seen them close up has ever complained and when it comes down to it they're mine. They fit in with the rest of me, they do what I expect them to, and I don't feel inclined to have them augmented with sacks of chemicals.
Cutting your own body up and putting crap in it should be a last resort. What would the world be like if every woman had the same norks, or every man the same six-pack? Boring, that's what. There'd be no sense of fun in taking someone's clothes off, no pleasant surprises or quickly-masked disappointment, no sense of adventure, and certainly no stories to be told in the pub later about Gala Melons Girl or Nine Inch Nigel.
Besides, if someone's taking your clothes off purely because of what they think is under them rather than what's on top of it all, it ain't going to last much past morning anyway.
And fiddling around with things that don't need it is always risky. Infection, pain, general anaesthetic, scarring; all stuff we'd rather live without.
I have plenty of sympathy with the people who paid thousands for new boobs only to find the substances used to create them were more poisonous and dangerous than the slightly-less poisonous and dangerous ones that are normal. I think it's shocking private clinics charged full price to patients for giving them cut-price versions which put their health at risk, and I rather think the clinics should fix their problems rather than the NHS.
But I can't help thinking the root problem of this story is not the French conman, or the cretinous doctors, who did that unfortunately human thing of turning a buck at someone else's expense.
The root problem is whatever caused tens of thousands of women, for no medical reason at all, to feel so unhappy with their own perfectly-lovely frames that they paid four figures to be sliced and diced in order to look like someone else. You can blame the media, advertising, Hollywood, newspapers, or our pre-programmed female insecurity. It's probably a bit of all of them, and there's only one possible way of fixing it.
Tell someone that they're looking beautiful. Go on, do it. Don't niggle a loved one, forget to flatter your partner, or make a joke at a colleague's expense. Just make the effort once a week or so to tell another human being they look great. And if no-one does it to you, look in the mirror and say it to yourself.
Because those, my dear, are the best tits you will ever own.
Well, that looks like fun. £4,000 you say?