Trinidad: Health Minister warns public to beware of Venezuelan boob, butt jobs

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Trinidad: Health Minister warns public to beware of Venezuelan boob, butt jobs
A social media advertisement offers “Halloween Boobs” and liposuction cosmetic surgery in Venezuela last week

(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) —  Beware of that boob job or Brazilian butt lift procedure you may be tempted to undergo.

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh says that while there are no laws to prevent T&T citizens from flying to neighbouring Venezuela or anywhere else in the world to have breast, butt, liposuction or other cosmetic surgeries done, people have to be careful about the risks that come with procedures.

The Sunday Express contacted the minister last week for comment in light of a number of advertisements on social media offering cosmetic surgery on Venezuela’s Margarita island at attractive prices.

One local travel agency has partnered with a facility based in Venezuela.

Health Min­is­ter Ter­rence Deyals­ingh

One ad last week promoted a Halloween special on cosmetic surgeries where a client can get a 50 per cent discount on all types of single breast or liposuction surgeries.

There was also an offer where a person could combine up to three cosmetic surgeries for a package deal of US$4,999.

The all-inclusive package included a seven to 12-day stay on Margarita.

The company stated on its website that its rates were 40 to 60 per cent cheaper than the cost of surgery in Trinidad and Tobago.

The packages are available at what the ad described as “incredible prices”.

Some include:

Breast augmentation (implants included), starting from US$3,000
Mastopexy or “lifting” breast, starting from US$3,800
Breast reduction (without implants), starting from US$4,000
Liposculpture, starting from US$2,800
Tummy tuck, starting from US$3,800
Bariatric (gastric bypass or sleeve), starting from US$5,500
Refractive laser eye surgery for myopia and astigmatism, starting from US$2,500
While these seemed like a steal of a deal, both the current and past health ministers cautioned people to do their research and know that cosmetic surgery carries risks.

Deyalsingh said there were three cases he knew of where people went to Venezuela for surgery and had complications after.

The Sunday Express was told of two others but when contacted the individuals opted not to comment, saying they were considering legal action.

Asked if the ministry was aware of any increase in the number of Trinidad and Tobago citizens travelling to Venezuela to undergo surgery and whether there was any concern about possible impact on the public health sector if they had complications, Deyalsingh said people can go anywhere they wish to undergo cosmetic surgery.

“However, what I can tell you is that if you do some research there’s a growing body of evidence that plastic surgery being done abroad is being now linked with cases of fatalities, especially for botox enhancement, what are called butt lifts where you actually take that person’s fat (from another part of their body) and inject it into their bottom to get a higher, rounder bottom,” he said.

“I know of three persons who have had negative results from cosmetic surgery and now they absolutely regret doing it. There are also cases of fatalities, especially in the United States and England where people have gone to Brazil or Colombia for the Brazilian butt lift and have died. People have gotten necrosis, bad infections and so on. Cosmetic surgery carries serious risks,” he said.

“So the general thing I could say as Minister of Health is that persons should be aware that all surgery whether necessary, emergency, elective and in this case cosmetic, carries risks and the individual must balance the anticipated benefit against the potential risk of going under general anaesthesia for a cosmetic procedure. As Minister of Health I would strongly urge people and it is mainly women, although some men do it too, who go for enhancements that they do carry risks and very often the clinics abroad don’t explain these risks fully because it is a profit-making enterprise.”

The minister advised women to be wary of subjecting themselves to unnecessary medical surgical procedures.

Deyalsingh said many women actually become addicted to medical enhancements after they did one.

“It starts up a cycle of surgeries that really has no place in our general well-being,” he said. Deyalsingh said good diet and exercise can play a pivotal part in a person’s health and physique.

“You could probably sculpt your body to a certain extent naturally by eating a well-balanced diet and getting exercise. You could do weights for muscle toning, you could do a host of things but it does call for self discipline,” he said.

Former health minister and Barataria/San Juan MP Dr Fuad Khan said he was aware that a lot of people have been going to Venezuela for procedures such as breast implants and liposuction.

He said people must research the surgeon and institution properly and understand that “cheapness is not goodness”.

“The cheaper the procedure the more it can turn out to be a very heart-wrenching procedure,” he said.

Khan, who pushed the “Fight the Fat” health campaign, said surgery was not the answer to dealing with weight issues.

“All surgery really does is take out the fat from the abdomen, the actual fat is the internal visceral fat that you have to treat by diet and exercise,” he said.

For women and men who may be thinking of going for cosmetic surgery Khan advised: “Choose your doctor wisely, make sure the doctor has a good history of putting good work out and very little complications. Do your homework.”

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