A ^Retired Plastic Surgeon's Notebook

The Cautionary Tale of Gertrude McFuzz

Seattle Plastic Surgeon Tells the Tale of a Tail – It’s a great story about greed.


This in Gertrude after discovering the secret of a bigger tail.

Gertrude McFuzz is a wonderful Dr. Seuss story, one of three in his book Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories.

All three stories involve hubris and/or greed.

Here’s the Cliff Notes of Gertrude McFuzz:

  1. Gertrude is a plain little bird with a one feather tail.  She seethes with jealously when she see’s La La Lee Lou, a bird with a two feathered tail fly buy.

  2. She visits her uncle with her woe of inadequacy and he tells her about the berries on a special bush that will make her tail grow.

  3. She eats one berry and finds that her tail is just an nice as La La Lee Lou’s tail.  But of course, she cannot stop at two and she eats all the berries.  Her tail explodes over the next few hours in a show of lavish feathers and fronds and Gertrude is  thrilled.  Her tail is sooooo much better than La La’s.

  4. Then she tries to fly home to show off her beautiful tail but finds she cannot fly with the weight and drag of her magnificent appendage.

  5. Her whimper for help reaches her Uncle who sends out a flock of birds to help Gertrude home.  Once home, she is plucked back to her one feather status.  OUCH!

  6. She is so happy to be able to fly again with her one feather tail.

I think of Gertrude every time I see or hear of a patient who has a nice result from breast augmentation and wants to “go bigger”, especially if she wants to be as big as “fill in the blank with the name of a friend or celebrity”.   Breast implant problems are much more common in patients with big implants, especially when the implants are too big for the patient’s frame and/or life style.

A lot of patients and their plastic surgeons belong to the “GO BIG OR GO HOME CLUB” but this plastic surgeon has read Gertrude McFuzz a jillion times to her children, nieces and nephews and this tale of a tail always pops into my brain when I hear the words, “these are really, really great but can’t I go just a little bigger?”

Buy Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories even if you have no young kids to read to.  You will enjoy and learn from it!   I personally think every plastic surgeon would benefit from reading about Yertle and his ego run riot.  That’s another blog.   Thanks for reading.  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder



Category: Breast Contouring, Breast Implants, Children, My Plastic Surgery Philosophy, Now That's a Little Weird, Patient Beware, Plastic Surgery | Tags: , , , , ,

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