I know all palates for the macabre have pretty much faded like Halloween, but a recent tale shared by a friend over drinks left my stomach churning and bile rising – and we haven’t even started drinking yet.

The tale involved the most unlikely of ensembles: foul stenches, cooking oil and a rhinoplasty… all mentioned in the same breath.

The horror story eventually came with a happy ending, but not without many questions raised about the integrity of the industry, and a stark realization that can do us a world of good.


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The Tale

So according to my medical director friend, this patient came into her clinic for a consultation with her plastic surgeon, with the intention of ‘correcting’ a rhinoplasty she underwent in Mexico while on holiday.

She had been observing very regular discharge coming out of the tip of her nose, along with a noticeable loss in volume. It pretty much felt like her post-rhinoplasty nose was leaking. She had strictly followed all of the aftercare instructions, but what could go wrong still went wrong for her.

Along with those symptoms came another complaint about a foul stench she constantly picks up, but can’t place where it’s coming from.

All of these quirky signs pointed to a botched nose job. To properly ascertain what exactly was wrong with the ‘very cheap’ procedure, a sample of the discharge from her nose was extracted and tested.

This was where the punchline was delivered by my friend – the tests came back and confirmed the discharge to be COOKING OIL.

YUP. The kind you find in the kitchen, the kind you fry your fish with. The test results gave her a panic attack, as the story almost did us. A rhinoplasty that was too good to be true turned out to be just that – untrue, and not good at all.

That stench turned out to be coming from the cooking oil that was EXPIRING inside of her, turning toxic and smelling worse with each day.


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The Takeaway

Instead of using the standard cartilage, alloplastic or silicone material medically approved for rhinoplasties, corners were severely cut, with a perishable material like cooking oil being injected into her for a quick fix, with no regard whatsoever for her well-being.


The bacteria from the oil turning bad inside of her could have done more than botch her nose job – it could have turned fatal.


This very unfortunate incident shed some much-needed light on a prevailing trend that has led to the general negativity and stigma surrounding aesthetic procedures.


The market has gotten so competitive due to the never-ending demand, it’s now evolved into a pricing war, with the lowest prices attracting the most people. Most of these bargain hunters fail to realize that corners are cut, and safety protocols are thrown out the window at that price point.


The price to pay for a procedure at this price is your safety – even your life.


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The Happy Ending

The silver lining eventually came in the hands of one of the veteran plastic surgeons in my friend’s clinic.

He calmly allayed all of the poor lady’s fears of irreversible damage, and put together a plan to extract all of the now-toxic cooking oil within her, and replacing it with FDA-approved materials specially meant for rhinoplasties.

The good surgeon managed to reverse and remove all signs of damage caused by the budget nose job and reconstructed the patient’s nose with precision, far surpassing her expectations.

That was quite the bullet dodged for her, but I was pretty sure that she (and all of us pretty much) can agree that that might be nothing to gain from a bargain, where plastic surgery is concerned.

Always invest in making yourself look good, because take it from good ol’ L’oreal: You’re Worth It.


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