The dark side of plastic surgery

Quebecers who pay thousands of dollars privately for plastic surgery see their dream turn into a nightmare, and sometimes they have to undergo several costly operations to repair the damage.

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“Plastic surgery can turn into a nightmare, admits Dr. Joseph Bou Merhi, a plastic surgeon who practices privately in Verdun.” When you go two, three, or four times under the knife, and it doesn’t work, it becomes a pocket drain and a brain drain! It’s like an endless nightmare! »

For years, doctors have been recommending Quebecers not to travel abroad for cosmetic medicine, particularly because medical standards are not strict there, and the risks of surgery can be significant.

But even though clients pay dearly for plastic surgery here (often over $15,000), some face complications from the procedure or end up with a botched surgery. Newspaper By following discussion groups on social networks.

This 40-year-old believed she died last September, weeks after contracting an infection after plastic surgery.  This is one of the scars after surgery.

Photo by Journal de Montreal, Chantal Poirier

This 40-year-old believed she died last September, weeks after contracting an infection after plastic surgery. This is one of the scars after surgery.

“It’s a forest”

“When it goes well, it goes well. But other than that, there is no one to take care of you,” observed a patient who almost died.

Examples of problems: asymmetrical breasts or drooping implants, prominent scars, pain or loss of sensation. In the worst cases, patients develop a serious infection and need to be hospitalized. Filler injections can also be risky.

“Now it’s jungle. You have to be on the lookout,” warns Stephanie Leonard, a psychologist who specializes in body image issues.

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Many minded clients seek advice on social networks, relying on other clients to see more clearly (i.e. the surgeon chooses and avoids). The register He found that some Quebec doctors have a very bad reputation.

During the postoperative follow-up, patients also said they could not get to their surgeon to correct an error, or had to pay again. Others no longer had the confidence and preferred to look elsewhere. paid.

The register It offers many testimonies from women who experienced horror after plastic surgery. All are testifying anonymously because they are either ashamed, undergoing a post-operative follow-up, or fear legal reprisals.

Furthermore, Quebec surgeons dedicate a third of their practice to repairing failed surgeries.

When money drives

“In the day when a plastic surgeon thinks in his pocket more than he cares about the well-being of his patients, he is no longer a doctor,” believes Dr. Perry Djalevich, who specializes in the field.

Usually, all the risks of surgery should be well explained. However, many customers have misinformation and rush to sign the contract after a few minutes.

“A lot of good salespeople. They don’t insist too much on side effects, one tends to reduce them. But the truth is that there are always potential complications”, says Me Jean-François Leroux, health specialist.

Since the pandemic, plastic surgery has increased by at least 20% in Quebec, according to estimates by the Association of Specialists in Plastic Surgeons of Quebec. According to President Dr. Eric Bensimon, the majority of clients are happy with the result, and those who are dissatisfied are “the most vocal”.

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