Beware: Cheap ops may be botched jobs
MISS Emmeline Ang had double-eyelid surgery not once, not twice, but three times.
The second and third operations were to repair the first, done in Hat Yai in southern Thailand.
Miss Ang has gone through at least 11 different plastic surgery procedures, including a nose job, fat grafting to her face and liposuction to her thighs.
She says she put off undergoing surgery here due to the cost.
"A procedure in Singapore can cost four to five times the amount you'd pay in countries like Thailand or Indonesia, which I have been to," she explains.
To date, the executive in a company that handles medical evacuations has spent close to $20,000 on the procedures.
Come October, she will head to South Korea to get a revision done to her nose, as well as an operation to create dimples on her cheeks.
The 30-year-old mother of one travelled to Thailand by herself for the first operation in 2011, after doing some research online.
She had got divorced not long before, and wanted to focus on herself for a change.
On top of the double-eyelid operation, she underwent epicanthoplasty, which targets the inner corners of the eyes, making them look larger and supposedly more vivid.
The double-eyelid procedure cost her just 12,000 baht (S$460), but was a let-down.
"I had hoped that I would be able to leave the house without make-up after the operation.
"But I still ended up putting on heavy make-up around the eyes due to perpetual swelling that did not go down months after the operation," she says.
Last November, Miss Ang visited Thailand again, hoping the second operation would correct the first.
"During the operation, I woke up to a sharp pain. I could feel the doctor extracting fat from my eyelid. I wondered if he had injected enough anaesthesia.
"I told him but he didn't really bother. So, after a while, I just bore with it," she says.
Desperate to fix her eyes once and for all, she headed to Korea three months ago. The third time was all worth it, she says.
"To be honest, I didn't have high hopes for the third round. I told myself if it didn't work this time, I wouldn't do anything more to my eyes," she says.
Miss Ang's advice for those who want to have plastic surgery is to lower their expectations.
"Be more thorough in your research, but don't have expectations that are too high.
"If you're paying that low a price, you've got to accept the consequences, and be prepared that it may fail and you may need revisions," she says.