Netizens call for tighter regulation of cosmetic surgery industry
Published: Feb 04, 2021 11:50 PM

Photo of Chinese actress’s necrotic nose Photo: Sina Weibo

Photos of a Chinese actress' unsuccessful nose surgery went viral on Chinese social media on Thursday, drawing sympathy from many Chinese netizens and prompting calls for tighter regulation of the cosmetic surgery industry.  

The actress Gao Liu wrote on her Sina Weibo account on Tuesday that one of her friends said her face was perfect except for her nose and introduced her to a plastic surgery hospital in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangzhou Province. However, the surgery was not successful, and she suffered repeated nose infections as well as nasal necrosis. 

"I later found out that the plastic surgery hospital was not qualified to carry out the nose surgery," Gao wrote. 

Staff at the hospital said that they are currently going through judicial procedures, and an employee at the health bureau in Guangzhou said the issue is being investigated, The Paper reported on Thursday. 

Shen Binti, a lawyer based in Beijing, told the Global Times on Thursday that the hospital should bear liability, including medical expenses, expenses for rehabilitation as well as compensation for reduced income due to lost work. 

According to Gao, she signed a contract to film two dramas but she lost the jobs due to the results of her nose surgery, losing out on payment of 400,000 yuan ($61,879) in the process. "More importantly, I will also face high breach of contract compensation of 2 million yuan," she wrote. Gao said people should be careful when choosing plastic surgery institutions. 

The related hashtag had earned 730 million views on Weibo as of Thursday, and Gao's experience drew the sympathy of many Chinese netizens.

"What a shame! She was already very pretty before the surgery, but now… I hope a proper hospital can help her to recover her nose," one Chinese netizen commented on Weibo. 

"It is understandable to pursue a pretty appearance, but trusting in a friend's introduction without checking on the institution is taking a risk. China's cosmetic surgery industry is chaotic, and should be properly regulated," another netizen wrote. 

China's Ministry of Education previously announced strong support for the establishment of aesthetic medicine disciplines and personnel training in the country, which won widespread applause.

Statistics show that the number of unqualified plastic surgery clinics in China exceeded 60,000 in 2019, six times that of regular clinics. About 40,000 medical accidents occur in these clinics every year, an average of about 110 per day, according to a report by Guangxi Daily.

Shen said there are laws for the industry, but the authorities should strengthen enforcement of the laws and regulations.

"The authorities could inspect the institutions and check to see if they create false propaganda. If victims have to file lawsuits and go through the judicial route, it is troublesome and takes a long time. That's very unfair for the victims," said Shen.

Global Times