Risky nips and tucks - Jamaicans taking chances with their lives for ‘better bodies’
News last week that a Brazilian celebrity butt-enhancement surgeon known as 'Dr Bumbum' was arrested over the death of a patient in a botched operation has again put the issue of the risk persons are putting themselves through when they opt for nips and tucks in search of a better body.
In Jamaica, scores of persons have been taking advantage of numerous kinds of body-enhancement treatments but there is a warning that several persons could be putting themselves in danger.
The body enhancements offered locally include breast and buttocks enhancement, cellulite removal, flat tummy teas and waist trainers.
Anti-ageing physician, Dr Sandra Knight, told The Sunday Gleaner that she has particular concerns with the gel injection which is used to increase the size of the buttocks as well as widening hips and other body parts.
According to Knight, this procedure is very dangerous and Jamaicans should stay away from it.
"I have heard of this story, it was even on the news, where these two ladies, two Jamaicans, from Florida and New York. One of the ladies was offering the gel injection for US$1,000. She injected the gel into a man's penis for enlargement and he developed complications from the gel and died. She is now in prison," said Knight.
She is also cautioning against a treatment called vacuum therapy where suctions cups are connected to a machine and placed on the buttocks and the breasts. This is designed to give the breasts or butt a lift, without doing invasive surgery.
One of the social-media pages that offer this service in Jamaica tells persons they can move from an A cup to B cup breast size in just one session.
The cost is listed as $6,500 per session for different regions of the body, or $49,000 for nine sessions.
"You can compromise circulation, you may have numbness and lack of feeling that can be permanent if you have too many of those sessions," warned Knight
"This only lasts for a couple of hours, or sometimes days, so why spend so much money?" she added.
According to Knight, there are treatments available which do produce lasting effects for persons who would want to enhance or reduce their body parts, but she said Jamaicans should ensure that the persons performing the procedure have the proper training.
General laparoscopic and weight-loss surgeon, Dr Alfred Dawes, said there's a big uptick in the market, but he is cautioning against excessive waist training and weight-loss supplements.
"The ones that are very rigid and compress the bones, those actually change the shape of your bones and can squish your organs together, they are very dangerous," warned Dawes.
He said weight-loss supplements can further complicate medical issues in persons if they are not careful.
"What it is actually doing is dehydrating your body, and if you have a condition like kidney disease, liver disease or a heart condition, then you could be putting yourself in danger,
"The weight-loss supplements may work for a while, but once you stop taking them, you put back on all the weight you thought you lost, and sometimes even more weight. When this happens you can't get any redress," said Dawes.
He noted that because these establishments do not make medical claims to cure diseases, they wouldn't fall under the Medical Council or any other medical licensing authority.
"They are in a grey area. They can just say 'helps to remove this or helps to decrease weight' ... if you don't get any results, you have nobody to complain to, because it is unregulated," said Dawes.
Denis Furtado, who calls himself Dr Bumbum on social media, was arrested in an office building, thanks to a tip from an anonymous telephone caller.
Bumbum was considered capable of performing magic on women's bodies, in particular their bottoms, and became known throughout the country for his expertise.
But he had been on the run since Sunday, July 15 over the death of a bank employee who perished hours after a butt-enlargement procedure at Furtado's home.