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Local doctors warn of agencies promoting plastic surgery in South Korea

Local doctors are alerting beauty seekers going to South Korea for plastic surgery about the risk posed by medical tourism agencies, some of which lead patients to small clinics that may not meet standards and fail to offer help if there is medical dispute.

A 32-year-old woman surnamed Ding in Shanghai went to South Korea in September for nose-reshaping surgery at a clinic she found through an agency, which asked her to pay more money after she got an infection and needed additional surgery.

She got a severe infection a week after the surgery and had to have the implant removed at a Shanghai hospital.

The Shanghai Social Medical Facility Association today set up a hotline, 4000139399, offering legal and medical help for people who had adverse results from plastic surgery in South Korea.

"About 30 to 40 percent of our patients coming here to repair a failed plastic surgery had had an operation in South Korea," said Dr Han Sheng, president of Shanghai Tida Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Ding said she paid the agency 20,000 yuan (US$3,226) and 50,000 yuan to the hospital for the surgery, which is two to three times the price in Shanghai.

"I found the agency online without carefully checking its qualifications," Ding said. "It said the clinic and doctors are all licensed. It was a small one and I only saw one doctor and one nurse there."


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