Monday, November 25, 2013

Asian Beauty Methods Get Dangerous

"Travel Surgeries" or "Surgi-Vacations" are generally considered pretty dangerous. They are something that should certainly be carefully considered when deciding cosmetic plastic surgery options. Safety and optimal treatment outcomes can vary tremendously by location, doctors, and the travel experience itself can pose real health risks.

Another thing rarely talked about is how different global geographic areas differ in their perception of beauty and what the acceptable ways to obtain "beauty" is. Recently, several articles have surfaced on Asian beauty procedures that leave many surprised. Surgeries and cosmetic procedures are being performed in a societies where cosmetic surgery is not fully accepted. Here an excerpt from a article that shows how many pursue dangerous procedures in pursuit of beauty:

BANGKOK — Her dream was to look less Thai and more like Jennifer Lopez, so the 25-year-old street food vendor went to the Internet and typed in “cheap Botox.”
That was the start of a five-year makeover for Ratphila Chairungkit that included two nose jobs, two eye-widening surgeries, chin augmentation, lip trimming, skin whitening and dozens of Botox-type injections.
The goal had been to redesign her entire face, but things went horribly wrong. “I started to look like a witch,” she recalled. Her upper eyelids sagged; her lower lids erupted in tapioca-like bumps. Her chin drooped and her nose swelled.
Her quest for beauty at bargain prices was a painful mistake. A pseudo-beautician injected commercial-grade silicone into her cheeks, chin and under her eyes; it all needed to be surgically scraped out. She spent 500,000 baht ($16,000) over five years, a huge sum by her humble standards, mostly to fix his handiwork.
“I’m lucky I didn’t die,” she said, trying to smile through her cosmetically corrected face.
The article went on to describe the problem in more detail.
Not all of Thailand’s beauty victims live to tell. The death this month of a 33-year-old aspiring model from a botched collagen injection has focused nationwide attention on the illegal beauty industry and intensified a government crackdown.
Nearly 40 illegal beauticians have been arrested in Bangkok, the capital, in the past two months, but authorities believe nearly 200 are still operating. Advertising in plain sight on the Internet, they’re commonly known as “bag doctors” because many make house calls or meet customers in vans to administer cheap injections straight from their bags.
Last week, the Health Ministry and police declared a small victory after arresting someone they called “the most dangerous” operator to date: a 37-year-old former beautician’s assistant with no medical training who had set up an all-purpose clinic in her home.
“This is terrifying,” said Phasit Sakdanarong, chief adviser to the Public Health Minister, who joined the raid and has since advised the government to expand the crackdown nationwide. “This woman was not a doctor. This clinic has no license, and the products she was using are not FDA-approved.”
“We are facing a very, very serious problem,” said Phasit. “When people go to illegal clinics like this, it is very easy to get an infection — and sometimes it is easy to die.”
Dangerous beauty treatments have become a worldwide problem as people seek cheaper alternatives to plastic surgeons. In Hong Kong, a woman died last week of septic shock after getting a blood transfusion that a clinic claimed would whiten her skin. An American woman died in March from an illegal buttocks implant in Georgia, caused by suspected counterfeit silicone.
In other areas of the world, such as South America and Europe, cosmetic plastic surgery is more commonplace and is well accepted. In recent articles, we've looked at some of these. In the United States, we have a wide range of cosmetic procedures that are performed on both men and women each year, and the numbers continue to grow as there is more acceptance. We have some of the best doctors in the world performing these procedures. Most recommend seeking services from Board Certified Plastic Surgeons, and most professionals advise you to cautiously consider the world of "medical tourism" and carefully weigh whether the risks are worth saving a bit of money.

Associated Press writer Thanyarat Doksone and AP video journalist Papitchaya Boonngok contributed to the CBS News report.

Andrea Algar is an author who writes on topics that interest her. Over the last 30 years she has written articles on a variety of topics including psychology, health, dentistry, fashion and beauty, music, cosmetic surgery, restoration, as well as performance racing and classic cars. Prior to the Internet, she published a national subscription newsletter, edited two books, and produced works in photography and video. She currently contributes to several blogs on a regular basis.