Europe's Extraordinary Makeover

Photograph for TIME by ALEX SARGINSON

It's what's on the inside that counts. That's a sentiment Thierry Moreau is preparing, body and soul, to endorse, if not quite in the spirit the hoary old platitude is usually intended. In half an hour, a surgeon will make an incision below Moreau's left breast and push a transparent sac of gel into the cavity. To the strains of Procol Harum's A Whiter Shade of Pale, the surgeon will prod and manipulate the material until satisfied, before repeating the procedure on Moreau's right side. When the patient, sutured and bandaged, stirs from his anesthetized slumber, he'll find one of his...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!