Woman sues for damages following botched cosmetic surgery

By Olivia Lambert

Odd cosmetic surgery becoming more popular. Photo / 123rf
Odd cosmetic surgery becoming more popular. Photo / 123rf

A woman wanting to look like a character from Lord of the Rings ended up resembling a mutant bat after a botched cosmetic procedure.

She had a desire for pixie ears and after an operation to mutilate herself to receive the sci-fi look, she realised it was a huge mistake.

Her ear was left with horrific scar tissue and the top of the ear had lost it's shell-like appearance and was bent out of shape by a body modification clinic.

She's now suing Piercing HQ, who allegedly conducted the procedure, for damages and she told the Herald Sun she had tattoos and piercings before and wanted more work done, but it didn't turn out as she hoped.

"For two years, I have suffered complications, pain and discomfort," she said.

"I'm devastated at what's happened and I don't want anyone else to have to go through the same thing."

The woman, from Cranbourne in Melbourne's southeast, will now need plastic surgery to rectify the damage caused to her ear.

Not only has her ear been disfigured, she has also suffered from sensitivity, chronic pain and anxiety and depression.

Piercing HQ manager Louise Hickman denied being responsible for the botched ear job and told the Herald Sun the woman was never a client of the business.

The woman allegedly had consultations with Hugh Mattey, who has since died.

The patient claimed Mattey was contracted by Piercing HQ to perform the procedure.

Despite this being a risky operation, this woman is not the only one with a penchant for the bizarre.

Two years ago a Japanese porn star was ridiculed for undergoing surgery to look like a pixie.

Rina Nanase was compared to Dobby, the elf from Harry Potter.

She had operations to thin down her cheeks, sharpen chin, lengthen her nose and enlarge her eyes.

Dennis Avner was another who underwent radical body modifications to look like a tiger.

He had overgrown fingernails, fangs and striped skin tone.

His upper lip was split, ears were surgically pointed and he had silicone cheek and forehead implants.

Some people have too made bizarre surgery requests to Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons vice president Dr Gazi Hussain.

He told news.com.au odd operations were not common, but he has been asked to reshape ears while a colleague was asked to construct a nose like a Klingon from Star Trek.

"We would want to delve more deeply into the motivation into these requests and what their realistic expectations are," Dr Hussain said.

With the more unusual requests, Dr Hussain said there was a higher risk of things going wrong and the outcome being less than desirable.

"It's much more difficult to try and correct things once you have surgery," he said.

"It has permanent ramifications and it's not always possible to go back to what you had before."

Dr Hussain said some people did not take plastic surgery seriously and thought it could be easily reversed, but a botched surgery can cause lifelong damage.

Cosmetic surgery could be dangerous if the person performing the procedure was not highly trained.

Dr Hussain said there was also a concern people were performing procedures in backrooms rather than in safe, accredited clinics.

With these more bizarre procedures, infections become more likely and Dr Hussain said they could lead to the destruction of cartilage.

"Infections can also lead to cauliflower ears, which are caused by trauma and irreversible damage to the cartilage," Dr Hussain said.

"It can lead to the destruction of the ear and permanent deformities."

Dr Hussain said bizarre cosmetic surgeries were usually due to fads and movies like Lord of the Rings.

"These elfin characters on the face of it look very glamorous and it might be something that appeals to an older teenager or young adult," he said.

"In 20 years time they might want to get their procedures recorrected but it's not always possible.

"It's a bit of a cliche but think really carefully before you make over anything at all. Circumstances and opinions of what you find attractive may change."

An operation to achieve the pixie ear look is one quite painful and not just a case of cutting and reshaping skin.

The cartilage is the framework for the entire ear and Dr Hussain said the operation involved the cutting and the screwing of cartilage.

Some plastic surgeons even put permanent stitches in the ear to keep the desired shape.

"These are not standard procedures and to a certain extent they haven't been tested so you don't know what the long-term result of these operations are," he said.

People wanting an unusual procedure should ask their practitioner to see previous results.

"It's nice to know how many of these unusual operations a practitioner has done," Dr Hussain said.

"Ask if it's possible to speak to previous patients to get a better sense of the realistic result.

"If you're unable to see examples of previous work, the concern is, are you the first person having it done and do you really want to be a guinea pig?"

Dr Hussain said people should take cosmetic surgery as seriously as other surgeries.

"The same consideration should be given to cosmetic surgery that you would give to something like a hip replacement," he said.

- news.com.au

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