Cosmetic surgery in an unflattering light after fatal liposuction

The death of an influencer who developed life-threatening complications after undergoing liposuction has once again sparked discussions in China about the dangers of cosmetic surgery and poor oversight of the industry.

The woman, nicknamed Dai, died earlier this week, around two months after being treated at Hangzhou Huayan Medical Cosmetic Hospital, a private clinic in east China’s Zhejiang Province, a friend shared. online.

Dai, 33, was a fashion designer who founded Italian brand Julia & Julie in 2014, and who had more than 130,000 subscribers on the Weibo microblogging platform. His death sparked a heated discussion, with a related hashtag piling up over 700 million views.

Hangzhou Municipal Health Commission responded to agitation Thursday, claiming that Dai’s death was a case of medical negligence and that the clinic had been held fully responsible for the incident. The commission added that the clinic lacked expertise, made mistakes during the operation and failed to offer timely treatment afterwards. It has since been closed by the commission.

The Chinese cosmetic surgery market has proliferated in recent years, and consulting iResearch predicts it will be worth more than 300 billion yuan ($ 46 billion) and serve more than 25 million consumers by 2023.

But industry oversight is lacking and regulations are outdated. The vast majority of clinics operate outside the law. In 2019, the company said there were 13,000 legal clinics and more than 80,000 illegal competitors. The demand for increasingly invasive and risky procedures is increasing, as is the number of disputes over allegedly botched surgeries.

After Dai’s death, many social media users shared their own horror stories about cosmetic surgery or brought up high-profile cases.

In 2019, a 32-year-old woman from southwestern Chengdu City died after undergoing liposuction at a licensed clinic. just a month before. In February, actress Gao Liu shocked fans after sharing photos of how a failed nose job turned the tip of her nose into a black stump.

Media reported on Friday that a woman was suffering from severe muscle weakness after receiving a leg slimming injection at an unlicensed cosmetic surgery clinic in Shanghai.

Platform medical records, also made public by her friend, shows that she suffered from constant pain as well as symptoms such as heart palpitations and shortness of breath after the five-hour liposuction surgery in early May. However, the clinic did not take her complaints seriously.

Two days later, Dai called an ambulance and was transferred to an intensive care unit, where she was diagnosed with skin ulceration and organ failure. She spent the last two months of her life on a ventilator.

Liposuction is considered a relatively mature cosmetic surgery that is safe as long as doctors follow the standards, Zhang Jingde, cosmetic surgeon at Shanghai East Hospital, told Sixth Tone. However, the patients must also be in good health, because, he said, “the operation is an attack on his immune system.”

Publisher: Kevin Schoenmakers.

(Header image: BraunS / E + / People Visual)


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