Do research before opting for liposuction procedure
New Straits Times  |  July 2011

ALISON (not her real name) spent RM15,000 for liposuction on her thigh five years ago. The 48-year-old expatriate said the initial result looked good but a year later, she realised that her left leg appeared uneven.

She claimed the surgeon used an over-aggressive approach and sucked out more fat than necessary.

"The liposuction was supposed to make me feel more confident but now, I can't even wear a swimsuit."

She decided to try a "non-invasive" procedure to correct the unevenness. She decided to use dermal fillers from an aesthetic surgeon in Singapore.

Six to 12 months later, however, the fillers became hard and lumps started to appear where they were inserted.

"The lumps felt like marbles. I had thought that the treatment was safe but later learnt that the filler had been recalled from the Singapore market last August."

She then immediately started researching for reputable doctors in Malaysia to extract the dermal fillers from her thigh.

"I did a thorough background check on several hospitals in Malaysia and met up with Prince Court Medical Centre consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr Yap Lok Huei for advice.

"I had three consultations with Dr Yap and never felt rushed or pressured."

She said she valued the time the doctor spent addressing her queries and concerns.

Dr Yap informed her upfront that she would need between two to three surgeries to completely remove the fillers.

Alison said that the surgery, on June 2, used body jet water-assisted liposuction, which was fast and minimally invasive compared with the traditional method.

"The term 'gentle' appealed to me, because of my bad experiences. I was happy with the results as the surgery removed the majority of the fillers with minimal bruising."

She said she had to undergo at least another two surgeries to get optimal results, adding that the next surgery was in six weeks' time.

Alison advised others to go through appropriate channels before undergoing surgery.

"My advice is to research, ask the surgeon questions, and most importantly, talk to the surgeon's patients about their experience."

She added that having banned fillers injected into her was a "wake-up call".

"People do not realise the risks associated with liposuction as they think it is not a major surgery. There is also a common misconception that liposuction is for weight loss, but it's not, it's for sculpting.

"In hindsight, I did liposuction for the wrong reasons. I had put on weight and thought that having the surgery would kick-start my exercise regime."

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