Appeared originally on: http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/09/22/20/09/former-patients-of-sydney-cosmetic-surgery-clinic-considering-legal-action
A Sydney cosmetic surgery clinic is being investigated by health authorities after a number of patients have been rushed to hospital during what should have been routine procedures.
As The Cosmetic Institute leaves a growing list of unhappy patients, A Current Affair has spoken with former patients who say they feel disfigured and deformed because of botched breast surgeries.
Worse than simply producing poor outcomes for these women, the cosmetic surgery clinic is not only refusing to refund their money – but charging more to correct the poor results.
For their privacy, the women featured in this story have not been identified by their surnames.
Ashleigh, 25, was left devastated after undergoing a breast augmentation at The Cosmetic Institute in 2014.
Like thousands of Australian women, Ashleigh was lured by the low price; for less than $6,000 she could get the bust she had always desired.
“The price was really a big factor,” Ashleigh told A Current Affair.
“I was considering going overseas for my breast augmentation and found that [The Cosmetic Institute] were in Australia,” she said.
But as soon as the surgery was over, the mother-of-three knew something wasn’t right.
“I woke up in something called a symmastia bra – which was never mentioned to me prior to having surgery,” Ashleigh said.
Another term for symmastia is “mono boob” and it occurs when an implant that is either too big has been used, or the implant has been put towards the centre of the cleavage – lifting the skin up off the sternum.
For Ashleigh, not only was her skin lifting, but her breasts were now also uneven.
“Very lopsided – awful, just awful,” Ashleigh said.
“There are no words to describe how awful they look,” she said.
For months, she was forced to wear a special bra and a strap designed to even-out her breasts, but it didn’t work.
“It resulted in one breast bottoming out, the other still hasn’t dropped,” she said.
When she complained to The Cosmetic Institute, she was told she would have to pay $2,000 to have her lopsided breasts repaired.
Babak Moini, one of the owners of The Cosmetic Institute, could not answer questions relating specifically to Ashleigh, but she he claims that if Ashleigh’s breast augmentation was in fact botched, the surgery TCI would have to fixed it free of charge.
“If there is something wrong, if they choose to make the implant bigger, then yes. If there is something wrong with the procedure, they should not have to pay,” she said.
Koebii claims to be another unhappy patient of The Cosmetic Institute.
Not only was she also forced to pay $2,000 to fix her botched first breast augmentation, but she alleges one of her implants also started leaking.
“I was in tears because I hadn’t done anything,” Koebii told A Current Affair.
“I just went to sleep and I woke up and it was like that,” she said.
After having both her breast implants removed, Koebii has been left with scars and forced to continue paying for the procedure through a finance company promoted by the clinic.
“It’s really broken me,” she admits.
“I have no self-confidence, I have no self-esteem, I am depressed.”
Three weeks ago, The Cosmetic Institute made headlines after a 22-year-old was rushed to hospital by an ambulance during what was meant to be a routine breast augmentation.
In January, an ambulance had to be called after 22-year-old Amy Rickhouse suffered a cardiac arrest while also undergoing a routine breast augmentation.
Currently in Australia, there is little regulation of the industry and anyone with a medical degree can call themselves a cosmetic surgeon.
Unlike plastic surgeons, they don’t need any specialist training.
Medical Board of Australia chair Dr Joanna Flynn says for cosmetic surgeons, unlike specialists within the Royal Australian College of Surgeons, there are no formally recognised registerable qualifications.
The recent medical emergencies at clinics like The Cosmetic Institute has raised serious questions about the use of strong anaesthetics for breast augmentations.
Instead of using general anaesthetic for their procedures, cosmetic surgery clinics like The Cosmetic Institute use “conscious” sedation, also known as Twilight, and local anaesthetic for pain.
The women featured in A Current Affair’s story now just want all other women considering breast augmentations at cosmetic surgery clinics to be aware of the risks.
After speaking with A Current Affair, they are now considering taking legal action against The Cosmetic Institute.
The Health Care Complaints Commission has now also launched an investigation into The Cosmetic Institute.