Botched plastic surgery to enlarge Chinese teen’s eyes leaves her in pain for a year

Hospital to bring in Shanghai expert after procedures leave 18-year-old girl with blurred vision and unable to fully use one of her eyelids

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 July, 2018, 3:40pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 July, 2018, 5:37pm

A hospital in northern China says it will bring in a Shanghai specialist to correct cosmetic surgery that went wrong, leaving a teenager in severe pain and unable to fully use one of her eyelids.

Xiaobai, an 18-year-old from Taiyuan, Shanxi province, told Knews on Sunday that she had double eyelid surgery and another procedure a year ago to enlarge her eyes, but it left her with a swollen eye, blurred vision and other problems.

Her sister, who was not named, told the news website that the family had complained to the Huamei Plastic Surgery Hospital, where Xiaobai had the two procedures, but it initially said the problems were normal and only temporary.

“Even now, the pain in her left eye is unbearable,” Xiaobai’s sister told Knews. “She often has tears streaming down her face from the affected eye, and she can’t open or shut that eyelid properly. Her eyelashes are now growing inward and irritating the eye.”

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But last week, the hospital told the family they would hire a Shanghai specialist to correct the problem.

The hospital said it would take two more operations and there were risks involved, but it would discuss the options with the family, according to the report.

“We will try to minimise the risks of the surgery to the lowest level,” a hospital spokesman told the South China Morning Post on Tuesday.

The spokesman added that the procedures Xiaobai had a year ago usually took an hour, with two to three days of recovery time.

“We show our patients before and after photos and make sure they’re satisfied before they leave … most patients who have our treatments have no problems at all,” he said.

Why double eyelid surgery is on the rise in Asia

Double eyelid surgery, or Asian blepharoplasty, adds a fold in the eyelid to make the eye seem larger, and has gone from being a controversial procedure to a common practice in China.

More people are going under the knife in China as incomes rise and Western influences grow. The country accounted for 13 per cent of cosmetic surgery worldwide in 2016, making it the third biggest for number of procedures, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

It said the number of cosmetic surgery procedures had grown from 2.7 million in 2009 to 4.8 million in 2013. This year, that figure is expected to reach 10.2 million.

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But according to the country’s consumer association, more than 20,000 people reported problems with cosmetic surgery every year in the decade to 2012.