136kg HK woman goes into coma after liposuction and dies

136kg HK woman goes into coma after liposuction and dies
PHOTO: 136kg HK woman goes into coma after liposuction and dies

She weighed 136kg and was a dance teacher.

Mrs Josephine Lee Ka Ying, 32, went for a liposuction treatment at a hair clinic in Hong Kong. The treatment in late April lasted about four hours, Hong Kong Standard reported.

But she died on Thursday after becoming comatose. Mrs Lee did not wake up from the anaesthetics when they were supposed to wear off. Hong Kong police and the Department of Health are investigating the death.

Mrs Lee owned Josephine's Dancing Studio, which she opened in 2007, and was mother to a young daughter. Her husband wrote on her Facebook page: "I am the husband of Miss Kaka. Miss Kaka left us this afternoon."

Licensed doctor Vanessa Kwan Hau Chi and four staff members were allegedly present in the treatment room while the liposuction was carried out.

Dermatologist Henry Chan Hin Lee said that given Mrs Lee's weight, it is possible she might have had heart disease that could have complicated the treatment.

He also said intrusive treatments should preferably be conducted in the presence of an anaesthesiologist, who can determine whether the patient is suitable for treatment.

The patient's condition can also be monitored throughout the treatment.

"I am a dermatologist myself, but I'd definitely leave a surgery like this to a plastic surgeon," the Standard quoted Dr Chan as saying. Hong Kong Medical Association president-elect Louis Shih Tai Cho said it is worrying that the incident comes two years after a customer died after allegedly receiving a blood transfusion health therapy in October 2012.

A doctor was also allegedly involved in the incident, in which a few women became seriously ill.

Mr Shih, a dermatologist, said: "I think the Medical Council and the Department of Health have the responsibility to safeguard the public's health. Both should have more staff and be more proactive in looking at what is happening in the community.

"The Department of Health should regulate these beauty salons operated by businessmen because very often, they employ doctors who are young and inexperienced to do the procedures."

This article was first published on July 28, 2014.
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