Many such cases are not made public as victims do not come forward, says Malaysian Medical Association president Datuk Dr M. Subramaniam.
“Some complain, some don’t; but if you do decide to go under the knife, please be very certain of that person’s qualifications,” he said, adding that only qualified plastic surgeons are allowed to carry out invasive procedures such as liposuction.
His comments come following the death of 23-year-old Coco Siew on Saturday.
Siew died allegedly after undergoing a liposuction procedure at a beauty salon in Kuala Lumpur, which apparently does not have a licence.
Malaysian Association of Plastic Aesthetics and Craniomaxillofacial Surgeons president Dr V. Regunathan said liposuction is generally a safe procedure if carried out by qualified professionals in a proper setting.
“It is a hospital-based procedure which is done in an operating theatre.
“If large volumes of fat is taken out, then the patient will be put under general anaesthesia,” he said.
The patient will then be warded for observation for about two days before being discharged.
However, he cautioned that there have also been incidents of deaths when professionals do the task and most of them were caused by anaesthetic complications or from lack of proper observation.
As invasive procedures like liposuction can only be done by qualified surgeons, Dr Regunathan said local councils should look into establishments that promote such services without proper qualifications.
“They can take action on them for offering services that go beyond their territory. It is a crime for anyone without the right qualifications to perform invasive procedures,” he said.
President of the Association of International Certified Aesthetician Malaysia (AICA) Prof Dr Ng Wee Kiong said authorities have a role to play in ensuring the strict compliance of ethics by players in the industry.
“There is a lack of enforcement by the Health Ministry as most laws focus on the pharmaceutical and medical professions but not the beauty industry,” he claimed.
“The ministry should work hand in hand with the beauty associations to form an effective standards and control mechanism to ensure consumers’ safety and well-being,” he said in a statement.
He said AICA had previously stressed that services like breast implantation, liposuction and any related plastic surgeries are not within beauticians’ scope of services and they should not be providing them.
The association, he said, will be launching the Beauty Therapist & Aesthetic Medical Specialist Guidelines soon to serve as a foundation for beauty professionals to maintain the proper standards and ethics.
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