Got a botched liposuction job overseas? Here’s what really happens if you need a correction

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Barring the COVID-19 pandemic, beauty tourism has been on the rise recently. You may personally know or have heard of someone who has gotten cosmetic work done overseas.

However, you have probably heard about the many horror stories of overseas cosmetic works gone wrong.

If this option is something you are considering, we have enlisted the help of Dr. Ivan Puah from Amaris B. Clinic, accredited by the Ministry of Health Singapore to perform liposuction, to help answer any question you might have about overseas cosmetic procedures and the available corrective treatments in case of complications.

SHOULD YOU GET COSMETIC PROCEDURES DONE OVERSEAS?

Getting cosmetic procedures done overseas isn’t a minor decision to make and there are many factors that should be taken into consideration.

According to Dr. Ivan Puah, the benefits of overseas cosmetic procedures include costs, availability of treatments and travel opportunities. He said, “Having cosmetic procedures done abroad allows patients to rest without alerting their family and friends. At the same time, they can also tour around foreign cities while recovering.”

“Certain doctors abroad may offer treatments and services which may not be available locally,” Dr. Ivan Puah continues, “and there may also be cost advantages to having certain cosmetic procedures done abroad.”

That said, overseas cosmetic procedures are not without potential drawbacks.

Dr. Ivan Puah shared that many patients believe that certain overseas doctors have superior skills. Still, most of the information on the doctors and their clinics comes from hearsay or advertising campaigns, which may not be accurate.

Another important danger of overseas cosmetic procedures is the lack of post-treatment follow-ups since patients don’t stay long enough in the host country after the procedure. Dr. Ivan Puah said, “Without follow-up, doctors may not be able to pick up complications arising from the treatment and will not be able to address them in time to prevent further deterioration.”

Lastly, according to Dr. Ivan Puah, other factors such as communication issues, language barrier, cultural differences in perception of beauty may also cause complications or increase the chances of “botched jobs”.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A LIPOSUCTION PROCEDURE GOES WRONG?

Most of the time, you can probably tell if a procedure has gone wrong. Some of the signs of botched liposuction, according to Dr. Ivan Puah, include:

  • Suffer severe side effects after the surgery e.g. extreme pain and discomfort
  • Uneven surface contours e.g. lumps and dimples on the treated areas
  • Asymmetrical shapes
  • Skin discolouration
  • Excessive scarring

If left uncorrected, botched liposuction can cause recurrent pain, discomfort, and excessive scarring in patients. Not only that, but you also suffer from “various degrees of psychological consequences such as depression, low self-esteem, anger, social phobia, and many others”, according to Dr. Ivan Puah.

That’s why it’s very important to seek corrective treatment for botched liposuction to avoid these long-term physical and psychological consequences.

WHAT ARE THE AVAILABLE CORRECTIVE OPTIONS FOR BOTCHED LIPOSUCTIONS?

Not all hope is lost when it comes to botched liposuction. Dr. Ivan Puah said, “experienced and skillful doctors will be able to correct or improve the asymmetry, irregularities, and scars with appropriate liposculpture treatment, such as VASER liposuction.”

On why VASER liposuction is a recommended corrective treatment for liposuction complications, Dr. Ivan Puah explains, “VASER liposuction utilises ultrasonic vibrational technology to break up scar tissues from previous complications with more ease and precision. This enables competent doctors to shape and sculpt the body into better condition”.

On the other hand, non-surgical treatment options may not do much to improve the scarring and asymmetrical tissue contouring as a result of botched liposuctions.

However, Dr. Ivan Puah cautioned that only some of the botched results can be corrected, while with more severe complications may at best be partially improved.

WHAT SHOULD YOU KNOW BEFORE GOING FOR CORRECTIVE PROCEDURE FOR BOTCHED LIPOSUCTIONS?

Before seeking any corrective treatment, you should understand that there is a possibility that the results may not meet your expectations due to the more complicated nature of the treatments.

Dr. Ivan Puah also advised patients to wait between three to six months after the last botched procedures, to allow for complete healing before planning any corrective treatments.

After the treatment, you will see results gradually as you recover from post-op swelling. It may take a few weeks to months to appreciate the final results, according to Dr. Ivan Puah.

WHERE SHOULD YOU GO FOR CORRECTIVE TREATMENT ON BOTCHED LIPOSUCTIONS?

Amaris B Dr Ivan Puah

One thing that Dr. Ivan Puah particularly stressed about seeking corrective treatment for liposuction is the importance of finding experienced and competent doctors. He said, “Correction liposculpture is often more difficult than regular liposuction treatment, and the outcome will significantly depend on the skills of the doctors.”

He also gave some helpful tips on how you can find a reliable clinic and experienced doctor to carry out corrective treatment:

  • Read reviews on the clinics and doctors from previous patients
  • Choose the doctors who have experience treating conditions similar to yours
  • Go for a face-to-face consultation with the doctor
  • Communicate clearly and in details the issues you are facing
  • Make sure the doctor understands what you are looking for
  • Be realistic with your expectations

In Singapore, liposuction can only be performed by doctors who are accredited by the Ministry of Health. Dr. Ivan Puah at Amaris B. Clinic has more than 15 years of experience in cosmetic surgery and is one of the handfuls of accredited doctors in Singapore to perform surgical body sculpting procedures including liposuction.

Amaris B. Clinic’s approach to body sculpting treatments has also earned it several accolades, including the 2019 Body Sculpting Provider of the Year in Asia Pacific by GlobalHealth Asia-Pacific. This award – judged based on market research, consumer survey, and a panel of industry experts is given to entities that have maintained high standards in quality care.