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Public urged to ensure practioner is registered before considering aesthetic surgery

PETALING JAYA: If you want to look better than you do now, look for a licensed medical practitioner before going under the knife.

Malaysian Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery president Dr Faizal Ali said information on registered plastic surgeons is readily available.

“People can visit the Health Ministry website and check if the person is registered.

“The most important criteria when someone wants to do invasive surgery is to find a doctor who has the credentials to perform it,” he told theSun.

He was referring to the case of former model Coco Siew who was eager to look her best for her wedding day. Tragically, her liposuction procedure at an unlicensed beauty salon ended with her death last Saturday.

In Siew’s case, she had found a cheap option online, and only after she died did the beauty salon admit they were not licensed to perform medical procedures.

Siew had paid RM2,500 for an arm liposuction session.

Faizal explained that liposuction performed by a renowned surgeon could cost anything from between RM5,000 and RM30,000.

He said registered medical practitioners rarely advertise their services online and on social media as they are bound by the Health Ministry regulations.

“We are limited by how much we can advertise.

“The pull of these unscrupulous ‘surgeons’ is that they can post anything to attract potential customers, including offering their services at low prices.”

Faizal added that people intending to undergo these procedures should always do it at a registered medical centre and in a sterile environment to reduce the risk of infections.

“If you have complications, a licensed surgeon knows how to manage it and there is recourse. If the surgery is done by an unlicensed practitioner, the patients can’t complain,” he said.

“It’s because we have gone to medical school and we are regulated. We also have years of work experience and have performed plastic surgeries.”

Faizal, together with other surgeons, have initiated an Aesthetics Public Awareness Campaign Joint Committee to help the public find the right information and myths surrounding plastic surgery.

Siew is not the first casualty from a botched surgery.

In 2017, Leigh Aiple died soon after landing home in Australia following plastic surgery he underwent in Malaysia less than 24 hours earlier.

Investigations confirmed the clinic which did his surgery for RM145,000 was well below Australian standards.

Behavioural scientist Dr Gerard Louis said the reason people, both men and women, turn to plastic surgery is due to body dysmorphia.

“It is when people go through an identity crisis and they have a distorted reality of their body.

“The lack of self-acceptance and how society defines physical beauty are also contributory factors.”