Top SA plastic surgeon warns about cheap surgeries

Do your research before you choose a doctor for a plastic surgery procedure. Picture. Supplied.

Do your research before you choose a doctor for a plastic surgery procedure. Picture. Supplied.

Published Mar 18, 2023


The appeal for sculpting the “perfect” body through plastic surgery has resulted in increased unfavourable results for many South Africans.

Selfie filters' popularity on social networking sites and the abundance of pictures of women with supposedly ideal bodies have increased the demand for cosmetic surgery among regular people.

Dr Kajal Lutchminarian, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon and the founder of Klutch Plastic Surgery and Medi Spa has urged South Africans to exercise caution when seeking affordable plastic surgery procedures.

Lutchminarian said she has seen a significant increase in patients seeking corrective surgeries after undergoing procedures overseas in countries like Turkey and the Dominican Republic due to these procedures being too expensive in the country.

“Getting a nip, tuck or lift in South Africa doesn’t come cheap with procedures costing anything between R75 000 and R100 000, if not more. In most cases, these treatments are not covered by ordinary medical aids, unless they are considered medically necessary, and deemed to be reconstructive as opposed to cosmetic,” said Lutchminarian.

She said while it was important to save money due to economic pressure, compromising on the quality of plastic surgery can have severe consequences.

“It is just too dangerous. You try and save a buck, but you land up spending much more in the end to correct some potentially life-threatening mistakes and complications.In most scenarios, the biggest regret from patients who have opted for a holiday nip, tuck or lift are that they don’t look remotely close to what they thought they would,” she Lutchminarian.

Worse still is the severe medical risks and complications that arise from botched plastic surgery, like scarring, bruising, severe infections, organ, and nerve damage. In a few cases, severely bungled surgeries have caused permanent disfigurement, and even resulted in death.

One of Lutchminarian’s patients, who wished to remain anonymous, said she had a procedure in August last year, after having undergone multiple episodes of body treatments by aesthetic doctors who were not plastic surgeons.

“This left my skin tissue severely scarred and difficult to operate on. I wish I had gone to the right plastic surgeon the first time round. It would have saved me a lot of money and discomfort."

Another patient, who also wished to remain anonymous, said over the past decade she has vacillated between the dilemma of having a breast reduction.

“I had approached several plastic surgeons who were well experienced in the aesthetician field, but it was an emotional struggle to find the best surgeon for my specific needs. You really need to do your homework, and not just go with any plastic surgeon because they are seemingly cheaper. Too often, people rush into this decision and live to regret it.”

With the help of a Lutchminarian she is now happy with her breasts.

“Dr Lutchminarian is indeed the best new plastic surgeon who is leading in this field. Her infectious personality and her ability to answer my nerve-racking questions patiently sets her apart from other surgeons. My breasts look amazing although every person heals differently post operatives. Her highly precise skills as a surgeon I firmly believe led to my expeditious healing.”


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