Don’t let glossy advertisements lure you into going under the knife to add a bit of glamour in your life. If cases with the 100-odd cosmetic surgeons are any indication, almost half of their work are corrective surgeries to undo the damage done by unqualified surgeons.
Shamita Das, a model, wanted to look better, feel confident and utilise the bargain offered by a ‘spot discount’. But the surgery by an incompetent cosmetic surgeon left her physically disproportionate and grotesque.
Das’s story is not an exception. Such scary examples of cosmetic surgery gone wrong have become quite common. With only 100-odd qualified surgeons in the city, the demand seems to have surpassed the supply, leading to a mushrooming of clinics and parlours conducting various cosmetic procedures. And people with the desire to look good and feel younger are now ending up paying more to undo the damages.
In Das’s case, she found that while the fat had been reduced from some parts of her body, it was not uniform and made her look ugly with wrinkled skin. “I had no choice but to stay away from work. I couldn’t afford to let anyone see me like this,” she says.
But doctors warn, some of the damages can be irreversible. Qualified cosmetic surgeons urge for a regulation to the growing beauty industry to stop more people from ending up with the serious side effects. “Unfortunate patients land up in a clinic run by untrained persons and end up with more damage. There are about 120 trained plastic surgeons in the city, but the number of clinics offering these treatments is much more,” says Dr L D Dhami, cosmetic surgeon at Nanavati Hospital. Dhami gets at least one patient for a repair job everyday.
Cosmetic surgeon Viral Desai advises patients insist on checking the technician’s qualification. “Patients must insist on qualified doctors performing procedures and most importantly, check their credentials. There have been times when things have gone horribly wrong, we have seen cases where people landed up in hospitals or in some cases with puffed lips or no eyebrows.”
Das, in fact, has spent more money on follow-up surgery with other doctors than she did for the first procedure. Surgeons say that besides monetary loss, patients may face a lot of emotional trauma as well. “The financial loss is heavy but such an experience shakes a person emotionally. I had cases where women ended up with abnormally shaped breasts after a breast implant. Recently, I counselled a young girl whose skin had been burnt by a clinic offering laser treatment for acne,” shares Dr Anil Tibrewala, cosmetic surgeon at Hinduja hospital.