Cosmetic Surgery Gone Wrong; Chinese Woman Dies Three Days after Procedure

Cosmetic Surgery Gone Wrong; Chinese Woman Dies Three Days after Procedure

Following a failed plastic surgery procedure carried out by an unlicensed medical practitioner, a 34-year-old woman died three days after the surgery in the southern Chinese island province of Hainan.

The woman surnamed Li, went to the surgical operator’s (surnamed Wang) clinic on Saturday (March 27) to undergo a procedure known as fat grafting where fat from her thighs would be injected into her forehead and into lines around her eyes to achieve a more youthful appearance. 

However, what seemed to be a dream come true turned into a nightmare as according to her friend who accompanied her, Li’s face turned white, her mouth went numb, and her lips started twitching when the procedure began. She also added her thoughts that as the procedure went on, Li had felt more pain.


Li lost her consciousness in the middle of the procedure, and an ambulance was called. After suffering from cardiac arrest, and respiratory failure, she was declared brain dead in the hospital where the medical staff had attempted to keep her alive for three days before she died.

In a statement released by local law enforcement, Wang has been arrested by local authorities, and will be charged for practising without a medical license. 

Following the event, local police visited the Hainan clinic to investigate, and found that the clinic has neither a business license nor a registration as a medical institution. Upon further investigation, the police found that Wang also had no official certification to be working as a physician.

The police also found that the clinic advertised various aesthetic treatments such as cell collagen booster injections, hyaluronic acid injections, and several other anti-ageing treatments.

Li’s tragic case has become another proof of the cosmetic beauty industry struggling and failing to control and suppress unqualified practitioners.

Another failed surgery that has caught the Chinese media’s attention is the surgery of an actress, Gao Liu. In February, she shared a picture of her nose, which has blackened with dead flesh on social media. Liu said she would need follow-up operations to fix the “nightmare”, despite already having been in the hospital for two months and spent US$61,800 (S$83,114). However, a reconstructive surgery will not be possible for at least a year due to the extent of the damage.


Plastic surgeries and aesthetic treatments have become wildly popular in China during the pandemic as China’s economy has become increasingly driven by consumption and service industries. This has led to an increase in people’s desire to look presentable and acceptable in the society.

According to CCID Consulting, in 2019, more than ten million people visited cosmetic medicine clinics, which is a 34 per cent growth compared to the previous year. At the same time, failed surgeries resulted in more than 20,000 cases of disfigurement, and deaths were recorded as the most severe cases.

According to a 2021 report released by the Chinese Association of Plastics and Aesthetics, the industry could grow to 300 billion yuan (S$62 billion) within two years.


Ladies (and gentlemen), if you want to look prettier, make sure to find out information about the clinics first! You don’t have to suffer to be beautiful.


Credits to our intern Asiah for the write-up and Asia One for the initial coverage.

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