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Elective Medical Procedures

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Rabbi Gideon Weitzman

9 Elul 5765
Question
I have been diagnosed with rosacea which has led to excessive redness on my cheeks & nose, and many small visible blood vessels on my nose. For some people it it can progress to the point of being disfiguring, although I am not at that point. The main treatment is antibiotics which is to stop it from getting worse and laser/light therapy to eliminate/reduce the redness, blood vessels, etc. Would this procedure be considered cosmetic and therefore prohibited or is it permitted?
Answer
Shalom U'verachah, The Tosafot write (Shabbat 51) that if one is embarrased to go out in their present situation then this is considered as pain and therefore they can treat whatever it is that prevents them from going out. On the basis of this many poskim have allowed elective cosmetic surgery and thus it appears that this is the case. Kol Tuv
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