Legal disputes over plastic surgery are on the rise. The Korea Consumer Agency said that the number of legal disputes regarding plastic surgery increased to 71 last year from 52 in 2005 and 38 in 2004.
One middle-aged housewife, "A," received laser treatment to remove blemishes on her face seven times from Dec. 2005 to March 2006. But the blemishes were not removed, and instead she suffered inflammation and scarring.
A said she was not told about the possibility of such side effects from the doctor before undergoing treatment. She eventually reached a settlement with the doctor, but her suffering could not be easily relieved.
According to the consumer agency, of 161 complaints about the results of plastic surgery, 93 patients suffered from adverse effects like scars, inflammation, darkened spots and asymmetries. And only 20 percent were fully warned about possible negative effects before surgery.
Thirty-nine patients complained that their surgery was ineffective, while 13 patients were unsatisfied with the results. Forty-four patients received supplementary surgeries, most of whom who had had breast implants or augmentation.
To avoid a bad plastic surgery experience, experts advised patients to ask for a thorough explanation of the surgery methods and any possible side effects in advance.
They also recommended that patients take a pre-surgery photo for comparing before and after the surgery. After surgery, don't forget to keep your receipts, medical records and photos, which can be used as evidence.
Even if you are unsatisfied with the results of your surgery and suffer from negative effects, don't rush to another doctor, the experts said. It is necessary to see and talk with the doctor who operated on you, they said.
But a KCA official advised that a second opinion from another doctor is sometimes necessary to understand the scope of side effects and the possible need for supplementary surgery.