Bargain cosmetic procedures still attract victims despite risks

Officials, experts say awareness key to curbing illegal practices

(Photo: Envato Elements)
(Photo: Envato Elements)
AMMAN — Cosmetic surgery and non-surgical cosmetic treatments have become a popular option for clients hoping to ease wrinkles, remove fat, or mitigate other personal insecurities, but in Jordan, unlicensed providers offering cosmetic procedures have led to health consequences.اضافة اعلان

“I had a severe headache that lasted for more than a week after I had a terrible Botox injection experience in Amman,” said a 53-year-old Jordanian woman who spoke on condition of anonymity to Jordan News. Botox, a neurotoxin, is injected into muscles, relaxing them and thereby temporarily reducing the appearance of facial wrinkles. 

“At that time, I heard that many of my friends wanted to undergo some cosmetic treatments,” she told Jordan News. “We are getting old and our faces need that at a certain age, but I did not have enough money to go a popular and well-known (provider). So my friend advised me to go to a dentist in eastern Amman who does some plastic surgeries at bargain prices.”

“After I suffered from the headache for a while I decided to go to a doctor and checked. I thank God that I did that,” she said. “The doctor told me that at some point my health status was not that bad - that is why I healed quickly. There were concerns that I might suffer from blood clots that might cause speech problems.”

“It was my fault. I knew that the doctor I went to was not a certified plastic surgeon,” she said. “My advice to all people who are willing to do plastic surgeries is that they have to be cautious; they need to look for doctors who are known for their good reputations, not to look for bargains.”

While the woman Jordan News interviewed recovered, others have not been so lucky. In early 2021, it was reported that a young woman died after undergoing liposuction, a procedure in which unwanted fat is suctioned out with cannulas, at a private clinic in Amman. The procedure was performed by a general practitioner who was not specialized in plastic surgery. 

In 2017, Jordan introduced regulations for the licensing of cosmetic clinics which can provide non-surgical interventions, such as Botox and fillers, according to Al Tamimi & Co. law firm.

The Regulation for Practicing Skin Care and Hair Removal Profession No. 99 of 2016 mandated the formation of a special committee at the Ministry of Health overseeing these clinics and also includes several regulations for clinics and providers.

Lamees Suleiman, an attorney, told Jordan News that, “I have received some cases in which some clinics hire employees who are not holders of medical degree. They hire people who have worked in beauty salons and that is unacceptable and the result is side effects that might adveresely affect their bodies and their lives.” 

“Some clinics also hire fresh graduated doctors, those who do not have enough experience to do plastic surgeries for patients,” Suleiman added. “These clinics do that as a form of camouflage in front of people (to show) that they do have doctors on board.” 

“I can say that the issue is bigger than just injecting needles and syringes in the face. Injecting a needle in the wrong place or in the wrong way might cause terrible pain and damages,” Suleiman said. “It requires professional and experienced doctors to do it.” 

Mohammad Rasool Al Tarawneh, acting president of the Jordan Medical Association, told Jordan News that the association also has its own committee to monitor clinics. 

“If the committee notices that some are working against the regulations, these clinics will be in big troubles,” he added. “We have closed some clinics for doing this and we will always do that to protect the society.”

“It is against our regulations that some doctors work in some specialisation they do not have a full knowledge in,” he said. 

“I have to advise patients themselves too to be careful not to be victims of misleading advertisements,” Tarawneh said. “When a surgery costs JD500, it is illogical to be performed at JD100. If they believe this, then it is their fault.”

A source from the Ministry of Health told Jordan News that “the ministry constantly checks and monitors doctors and clinics to make sure they have the legal authorization and that they are doing their job right.” 

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity urged people people “to help us too….You cannot go to a dentist and ask for a plastic surgery.”

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