Botched breast enlargement resulted in multiple fix-it surgeries

Palestinian woman suffered irreparable harm, and must continue to have surgeries to stem damage.
ABU DHABI // Since she had her breasts enlarged by an unlicensed practitioner six years ago, Peenar Hassan undergoes life-saving surgery every three months.

“I received a call advertising for injections to enlarge breasts, buttocks and so on,” said the 26-year-old housewife from Palestine. “I've wanted to enlarge my breasts since I was a child. They said it is done in three sessions and costs Dh20,000.”

Ms Hassan went with a friend to the alleged doctor's apartment for the first session.

“She inserted three syringes, like the ones used for drips, and the breasts started to fill up, just like they fill bicycle tyres,” Ms Hassan said. “It was very painful and no anaesthetic was used.”

After her third session, she travelled to Lebanon for six months. “During the first three months, my breasts looked good and there were no problems,” she said.

But afterwards, her breasts became “stone hard”, her skin turned blue and she suffered extreme pain. Ms Hassan said the substance put into her breasts was a mixture of dermal filler, salt and water.

“I did not know who to go to in Lebanon, so I called the doctor and she said I should go see her when I am back. I went to see her and demanded she discharge the substance. When she did, a black liquid came out.”

The doctor said it would take six sessions to remove the substance.

“During the sixth session, she inserted a bigger syringe than usual to pull out the substance and there suddnely appeared a fountain of blood and I passed out,” Ms Hassan said.

“When I was driving home afterwards I could not move my right arm and when I arrived home, I had a fight with my uncle and I fainted.

“Every time I argued with anyone, I would faint as a result.”

She went to see professional, licensed doctors and after countless exams and X-rays, Ms Hassan was told surgery was necessary.

“After the surgery, the doctor told me the left breast contained cancer. Of course, when I first heard the news, I kept crying.”

She had the cancerous lump removed, but that did not put an end to her suffering.

Since then, she has been undergoing surgery every three months, because the substance keeps returning and filling up her breasts.

“If the substance is not removed, it will spread through the blood in my body, and it is poisonous and fatal.”

She has had 22 surgeries so far, the last one during Ramadan.

“Surgery became something normal and routine for me. I once had four surgeries in two months.

“I went to Egypt, Lebanon and Beirut. I have paid around Dh700,000. I even asked the doctor to remove my breasts more than a year ago. I got sick of this.”

After undergoing the surgery, the doctor told her the muscle behind her breasts was infected as well, but having it removed will likely cause her to lose movement in her arms.

“Doctors say there is no solution except removing the substance through surgery every time. Most of them gave up on me,” Ms Hassan said. “They say there is no cure.”

hdajani@thenational.ae

Published: December 19, 2014 04:00 AM

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