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[Press Release] Beauty Tourism is Causing A Rising Need For Surgical Revisions

Dr. Ivan Puah has seen an alarming rise in the number of patients in Singapore for correction work from the botched liposuction and gynecomastia surgeries done overseas and locally.

SINGAPORE, March 2020 — Dr. Ivan Puah, Medical Director of Amaris B. Clinic, has noticed a rise in failed results, such as botched procedures in liposuction and gynecomastia surgery, among patients who had their cosmetic procedures done overseas. Dr. Puah, accredited by the Ministry of Health in Singapore to perform liposuction, cites Gangnam (South Korea), Johor Bahru (Malaysia) and Bangkok (Thailand) as being the more popular medical tourism destinations.

The primary reason for Beauty Tourism is the relatively lower cosmetic surgery and aesthetics treatment cost. The next top reason is that many medical tourists have the opportunity to explore the host city or country after getting their treatment done. However, the lack of stringent regulations and clinical standards is often overlooked or does not pose as a deterrent. These inadequacies often lead to the need for revisionary work and additional corrective treatments, which may lead to additional expenses.

According to Dr. Ivan Puah, frequent complaints of patients who went through such experience includes the lack of medical follow-up, miscommunication, improper preparation and incomplete procedure counselling. Despite these real unfortunate experiences, botched procedures have seen an alarming rise in 2019, as observed by Dr. Puah. 

He also noted that some botched liposuction were experienced locally as well. Some of the common complications he has seen include: 

  • uneven dents or depressions on treated areas due to overly aggressive liposuction techniques,
  • asymmetry or uneven lumps and bumps on the treated areas due to reasons such as a poor selection of patients (i.e. patients are not suitable for liposuction), lack of experience or skills of the doctors, and
  • excessive post-liposuction tissue scarring due to improper use of liposuction equipment, high-definition liposuction performed by poorly-trained doctors.

Dr. Ivan Puah has also seen a rise in complications resulting from high-definition liposuction procedures. The procedure, which creates a more defined musculature is a more specialised form of liposuction and should only be performed by a qualified and well-trained doctor. Excessive scarring and uneven skin textures can happen if it is not done properly or by a suitably-trained doctor. Nonetheless, calamities as such can be addressed and corrected with VASER Liposuction.

VASER Liposuction enables a doctor to sculpt and shape a patient’s physique more efficiently. It uses patented ultrasonic soundwave energy to liquefy unwanted fat cells in targeted areas, leaving surrounding important connective tissues and blood vessels undisturbed. Additionally, patients experience lesser downtime and discomfort. VASER Lipo is particularly competent in addressing botched liposuction results.

Botched procedures should not be left uncorrected or untreated as patients may suffer significant physical and psychological trauma after botched treatment. As such, corrective surgery when performed adequately can help these patients to improve their clinical condition and self-confidence. 

The lack of stringent regulations poses issues such as in ascertaining the requirements to be met as imposed by such facilities or medical centres and their adequacies, among others. In Singapore, stringent guidelines are observed, enabling the relevant authorities to monitor the industry better to maintain a high safety standard.

Under the rules set out by the Ministry of Health Singapore (MOH), cosmetic tourism agencies and representative offices are not required to be licensed. However, they are not allowed to provide and conduct medical consultation services. Foreign doctors who want to conduct consultations with patients must first register themselves with the Singapore Medical Council and upon success, will then be issued with a practising certificate. As MOH does not have jurisdiction over medical and healthcare institutions overseas, medical tourists who encounter issues will have to seek legal recourse in the country where the procedures were done.