Gao Liu posted candid pictures of her post-surgery face on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform, which showed a part of her nose blackened with dead flesh.
She wrote to her five million followers that the experience had left her feeling suicidal and cost her several acting jobs.
“I had thought that these four hours (of surgery) would make me more beautiful, but I didn’t realise that they would be the beginning of a nightmare,” she wrote Tuesday.
Plastic surgery is booming in China, with over 15.2 million patients estimated to have gone under the knife last year, according to a report by Chinese market research firm iiMedia.Gao said she hoped the surgery would improve her acting career.But what she thought was a “micro-adjustment” to graft cartilage onto the tip of her nose in late October left it infected, requiring repeated follow-up surgeries, she wrote.
Gao said she was then hospitalised for 61 days and lost some 400,000 yuan ($61,800) in work.
Photos she posted of her face show a clear patch of blackened flesh on the tip of her nose, as well as bandages and bruising.
Her post this week has sparked sympathy online and the hashtag “why is cosmetic surgery becoming more and more common” had gained 330 million views on Weibo by Friday.
“I feel so bad for Gao Liu, everyone should take this as a warning and be aware of the risks of cosmetic surgery,” wrote one user in a comment liked more than 100,000 times.
“We should emphasise natural beauty,” wrote another.
A local health bureau in the southern city of Guangzhou, where the clinic is located, has confirmed it was investigating the matter, reported Chinese media.
China became the second-largest market for plastic surgery in the world in 2020, worth over $14 billion, according to a report by Daxue Consulting.
Medical disputes in the sector are rampant, and iiMedia has estimated that only 12 per cent of China’s 13,000-plus beauty clinics are compliant with laws and regulations.
Many patients are young women, influenced by high beauty standards set by celebrities and ubiquitous online influencers.