Or leave you permanently disfigured
“It’s an industry that has developed in health care which has nothing to do with health care” – Prof Merrilyn Walton
If you didn’t see 60 Minutes segment ‘The Beauty Trap’ on Sunday night, here it is:
The program tells the tragic story of Lauren James, who died three years ago at the age of 26 following an $8000 liposuction procedure on her thighs in a Melbourne clinic. We hear from her bereft parents and boyfriend.
It also tells the story of Kerry who suffered life-long disfigurement as a result of undergoing a breast lift as part of a $25,000 “Mum’s Makeover”, also in Melbourne. Kerry bravely tells her story and shows the extent of the mutilation of both her breasts. This extract from the transcript:
KERRY MULLINS: I was in there for three months, and each and every other day they’d take me down to theatre and so I had 22 operations all up, and every second day they would cut it away, cut it away, cut it away until it was just a big hole in my chest.
TARA BROWN: How were you coping, mentally?
KERRY MULLINS: Um, all I kept thinking was I just want to live. There was a couple of times I didn’t want to wake up, but I was in so much pain and I did looked so disfigured that I didn’t want to wake up…
KERRY MULLINS: That is my right breast, and that is my left breast and they are the scars I’m left with.
TARA BROWN: This is not easy for you, is it?
KERRY MULLINS: No, it isn’t, it isn’t, but I just want women to be aware that is they’re going to consider having plastic surgery that they look and have a look at me and see what the outcome can be, and this is what you can end up looking like.
TARA BROWN: How do you feel about your body today?
KERRY MULLINS: Um, like a freak. I’m disgusted. Even when I wash myself, I feel disgusted that I even have to even wash that area and touch that area.
TARA BROWN: Do you think you’ll ever lose that feeling?
KERRY MULLINS: No, never, never ever.
Professor Merrilyn Walton, who has investigated Australia’s cosmetic surgery industry in Australia, says it is “an industry that has developed in health care that has nothing to do with health care.” She also says Australia’s industry is less regulated than elsewhere.
It is time the industry was made accountable for preying on women, enticing them with false promises and playing down the risks. There should be a major overhaul of the industry with tighter regulation and accountability.