Bride-to-be dies during liposuction procedure


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KUALA LUMPUR • A Malaysian woman who wanted to lose weight to look good at her wedding ended up losing her life instead when she underwent liposuction at a beauty salon that was not licensed to perform the procedure.

Malaysian police have detained the owners of the beauty salon in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, and are investigating the matter after the death last Saturday of 23-year-old Coco Siew Zhi Shing, whose hanyu pinyin name is Xiao Zhixin.

Ms Siew had been preparing for her wedding and wanted to look her best for the once-in-a-lifetime event, her brother Xiao Mingan told Sin Chew Daily.

She had found the beauty salon online while scouring the Internet for liposuction-related treatments, and signed up for a RM2,500 (S$820) procedure to extract fat from her arms, according to Mr Xiao.

Last Saturday, Ms Siew visited the salon for the first time, accompanied by a friend. She received an injection for anaesthesia upon arrival, local media reported.

About half an hour later, she started to feel unwell, and about an hour later, her heartbeat stopped, according to the reports.

Ms Siew was rushed to hospital but efforts to resuscitate her failed and she was certified dead at around 5pm.

Mr Xiao said his family members were especially grieved that they did not arrive at the hospital in time to see his sister before she died.

The owner of the beauty salon was not present during the procedure and did not appear at the hospital until 8pm, he said.

“After our repeated questioning, the person in charge of the salon finally revealed that they were not licensed to conduct such medical procedures, but were licensed only for normal beauty treatments,” Mr Xiao told Sin Chew Daily.

“The beautician who performed the procedure for my sister did not have a professional licence.”

The two owners of the beauty salon, a woman and her daughter, have been detained to assist in investigations into Ms Siew’s death, The Star newspaper reported.

“We are still ascertaining the cause of death,” Kuala Lumpur police chief Saiful Azly Kamaruddin told a press conference at the Sentul police headquarters yesterday.

Liposuction packages at the salon were being advertised for between RM1,500 and RM3,800, and it had performed the procedure for at least 10 customers, according to local media reports.

Mr Xiao said his sister led a healthy and fit lifestyle and cared greatly about her looks. She had come in first in an Asian modelling competition in 2014, he added.

“I hope my sister’s experience will serve as a warning to many young women,” Mr Xiao said.