A slew of plastic surgeons have sprung up all over the city but following a tragic death over the holidays, we question whether or not the pursuit for perfection is as safe as it seems.
In Africa, for centuries, bigger has always been better and the figure 8 shape has proven the ideal shape for women and the men who love them. Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with natural curves and some women turn to plastic surgery to achieve the look.
Whilst there's no problem with wanting to make a few enhancements, it seems more and more poorly- qualified practitioners are taking advantage of vulnerable and ill-informed patients.
The latest tale of medical misconduct serves as a cautionary tale for lots of young women and hopefully causes medical advisory boards such as the Nigerian Medical and Dental Council to take notice of the illegal operations going in Lagos.
A young lady named Nne allegedly approached Lagos- based plastic surgery outfit Med Contour with the intention of having a Brazilian Bum Lift (BBL), liposuction and fat transfer on the 31st December 2018.
The doctor, Dr. Anu was known for importing foreign doctors to carry out the procedures however, for reasons best known to her, on this fateful day, she decided to carry out the procedure herself.
On the 31st December, as Nne's sister waited anxiously for Dr. Anu to finish the procedure, she realised that the process was taking far too long with no update on her sister's condition. Worried, she allegedly walking into the operating theatre and saw a helpless Dr. Anu standing beside her sister's lifeless body. Apparently, complications had arisen and the patient, Nne, fell into a coma.
Nne was quickly rushed to Vedic hospital in Lekki where she was put on life support and was later moved to LUTH where she sadly died on Sunday 3rd February. According to doctors, fat had entered her lungs causing a blockage and subsequent complications. Nne never woke up from her coma.
Dr. Anu, fearful of the repercussions, is reportedly on the run and Nne's family are left devastated by the loss of a dear sister whose death was entirely avoidable.
Nne's death not only raised serious concerns regarding misconduct but has also opened a Pandora's box for the Nigerian plastic surgery community. Many anonymous commenters have come out to talk about friends whose lives were lost on the operating table and were swept under the carpet to protect the reputation of the respective clinics.
Nne's tragic death is set to mark a much-needed intervention into the way these unlicensed clinics and doctors operate and the lives that have been wasted due to negligence.
Our public healthcare system is in turmoil but we should hope that any private procedures we undergo be it medical or plastic, should be carried out to the very highest standard.
In the meantime, people wishing to undergo procedures should do their due-diligence and extensive research before choosing a surgeon.
Often the old adage rings true, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. If the price of a surgery sounds suspiciously cheap, you are right to question it because good surgery does cost a lot of money. From consultations to anesthesia, the surgery itself, medication and after-care, it all adds up.
How to verify your plastic surgeon
With the egregious amount of news surrounding non-plastic surgeon doctors inflicting botched procedures on their unsuspecting patients it is critical for patients to know the right way to find and verify the credentials of a board-certified plastic surgeon. Before booking a cosmetic procedure, there are five things each patient should do to verify their plastic surgeon’s credentials.
- Check their certification – Always ask to see your surgeons medical certificates and credentials. Check with the relevant certifying organisation that's responsible for accrediting plastic surgeons.
- Find out if your surgeon’s facility is accredited – Find out as much as you can about the facility that the procedure is being carried out at. Inspect the facility of surgery centers for patient safety and care.
- Search for them – Many surgeons are listed online and there are resources that provide information on procedures and surgeons. Make sure you research thoroughly.
If after all this, you're not convinced then go with your gut. An ideal body is not worth risking your life.
*We have reached out to Med Contour with no response as of the time of this publication
** If you, or a friend has been badly affected by a plastic surgery operation in Lagos, please get in touch with Pulse at firstname.lastname@example.org. Responses can be anonymous if you so wish.