CHINA / National

Quest for bigger breasts ruins bodies
By Wang Shanshan (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-05-18 07:17

In the past five years it has been used in the three hospitals of the Fuhua Group and a number of hospitals and beauty salons around China.

"Major hospitals would never use Ao Mei Ding. It is the smaller hospitals and beauty salons that use it to gain big profits," said Zhang Yiming, director of plastic surgery at Wuhan Union Hospital.

The liquid was sold to hospitals and beauty salons for 6 yuan (US 75 cents) per millilitre, and they then sold it to consumers for between 20 and 70 yuan (US$2.50-8.75) per millilitre. At the top price of 70 yuan, a 300-millilitre procedure would net a profit of 19,200 yuan (US$2,400).

Small wonder, then, that some hospitals and beauty salons were bombarding women with sweet words about the "magical liquid."

More than 300,000 Chinese women have been injected with the liquid in the past five years, estimated Qiao Qun, director of plastic surgery at Peking Union Hospital, where she said more than 100 women come every year to have the liquid removed.

Chen Huanran, a doctor of the Plastic Surgery Hospital at the Chinese Academy of Medical Science, said he receives more than 30 victims every year at his hospital.

"Many fell upon their knees and some even kowtowed upon seeing me," he said. "Some of these women have rotting and disfigured breasts, which are too horrible to look at.

"The saddest part of the story is that the colloidal liquid will move to other parts of the body. It can never be totally removed, and it will stay with the woman throughout her life."

Taking action

Women also had the liquid injected into their hips and faces in the hope of making them look plumper.

One young woman, surnamed Qin, in Shenzhen had it injected into her face in 2002 at the Fu Hua Plastic Surgery Hospital in the city. She has complained of great pain when opening her mouth ever since.

Qin sued the hospital but lost. Zhang Huiqin, from Beijing, who is in her 30s, also sued the hospital in Shenzhen last year but without success.

In March 2004, plastic surgery doctors at the 12 major hospitals in Wuhan, capital of Central China's Hubei Province, called for their colleagues to stop using Ao Mei Ding.

Last November, hundreds of women who had the "magical liquid" injected into them wrote an open letter to the SFDA, pleading for a ban on it.

In January this year, the pharmaceutical monitoring centre of the SFDA publicized a report, which included 183 cases of side effects of the liquid from 2002 to November 2005 and finally led to the ban.

Chen, the plastic surgeon, said: "Those who were injected with the liquid should see a doctor even if they have not found anything wrong with themselves."

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