Singer's death triggers safety concerns about plastic surgery in China

11:10, November 28, 2010      

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In 2005, "Super Girl", a TV talent show in China, turned college student Li Yuchun into a nationwide celebrity, but few could remember another contestant Wang Bei until recently, when she died during plastic surgery.

Health authorities confirmed that Wang, 24, died on Nov. 15 due to complications from anesthetic during plastic surgery in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province.

Postings about Wang's death drew extensive attention from the public, triggering safety concerns about the rising plastic surgery business.

"The investigation results should be made public without delay," says the Ministry of Health on Saturday, calling on local health authorities to step up supervision over the medical cosmetology industry.

"She's so pretty, why bother having surgery?" asked a netizen named "short life" at the website

Most netizens expressed their sympathies online, but questioned her decision in the first place.

Wang's mother, who also had cosmetic surgery in Wuhan's Zhong'ao Cosmetic Hospital, is still recovering there.

The demand for plastic surgery is surging in China, as many young people believe cosmetic surgery will earn them a better position in pursuing a job or a romantic relationship.

In an extreme case, a 30-year-old woman had received over 30 plastic surgery treatments in the past ten years, according to a doctor in a plastic surgery hospital in Wuhan, who refused reveal his name.

"Beauty gives me confidence," said 27-year-old Tang Yun, who underwent an operation to shave her jawbones a year ago in east China's Jiangsu Province. "If makeup helps girls be pretty, why not try plastic surgery?"

Ms. Shen, who has undergone more than six cosmetic operations over the past five years, including eyelid tucks, liposuction and a nose job, said it was a kind of addiction. "I was stimulated by a great feeling the first time, I've never been more confident," said Shen.

Although her friends thought her pretty enough, she still could not help going for more treatments until doctors declined to treat her. "They told me to turn to psychologists instead of surgery doctors," she said. "I think they were right."

By Xinhua writer Lu Qiuping
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