|Regulators are investigating Rose Beauty Salon for offering illegal weight loss injections. — Photo danviet.vn|
HÀ NỘI — V.T.A, a 65 year-old woman who lives in Đống Đa District, was unhappy with her weight and the size of her waist. Last week, the Hà Nội Department of Health found that the solution she sought – weight loss injections and other treatments at a salon in Cầu Giấy – was offered illegally and dangerously to V.T.A and many others.
A said that she was introduced to Rose Beauty Salon in Cầu Giấy two months ago. A staff member here told her about the salon’s weight loss services, which promised to reduce her waist circumference by up to 25cm with only one injection.
She weighs more than 70kg and considers her waist large. Therefore, A decided to have two injections at the price of VNĐ5 million (US$250).
After receiving injections, the salon recommended A have her belly fat beaten at VNĐ800,000 per term. During this treatment, a salon employee literally beats the client’s stomach, with the promise that the bludgeoning will flush out and eliminate fat. The total price for injections and 20 sessions of belly fat beating was VNĐ17 million, which included a discount.
“I had two weight loss injections. Medicine was infused directly into my belly through a syringe,” A said. “The first belly fat beating session started ten days later. Although I received all injections and almost finished the belly fat beating course, my waist size remained the same. Rose Beauty Salon’s staff assured me that it would reduce gradually.”
However, on September 6th, the Hà Nội Department of Health found that Rose Beauty Salon had illegally operated skin whitening and weight loss injection services.
Tô Tử Anh, deputy head of Private Medical Practice Division under Hà Nội’s Department of Health, said that beauty salons were prohibited from offering those services.
A is not the salon’s only victim. Making calls to two random numbers in the salon’s customer record, inspectors recorded two more cases of clients who received injections without any effect.
According to Nguyễn Tài Sơn, deputy head of Hà Nội Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery, weight loss injection has not been approved in Việt Nam and is prohibited in many other countries.
“Weight loss injection definitely affects muscles and tissues, causing anaphylaxis. It is extremely dangerous when the medicine is absorbed into bloodstream,” Sơn added. “The Ministry of Health has never licensed this service and experts like us will never dare to offer it.”
Nguyễn Vũ Phương Ngọc, a former lecturer at the Department of Plastic Surgery under Phạm Ngọc Thạch University of Medicine, said that weight loss injection contains Phosphatidylcholine (PCC), which is dissolved by Deoxycholate natri (DC), a bile salt.
Phosphatidylcholine was previously be circulated in the EU as Lipostabil. This medicine is applied to treat fatal pulmonary embolism, but can be abused in plastic surgery.
Lipostabil is dangerous since it not only destroys fat cells’ membranes, but also damages blood vessels and nerve cells around the injected area. Moreover, broken fat cells release triglyceride in the form of emulsion. This amount of emulsion, if not extracted from the body, can form lipomas, permanent scars or skin necrosis.
Nguyễn Xuân Trừ, former head of the dermatology clinic under 108 Military Central Hospital, said that weight loss injections cause numerous health threats.
“Normally dissolved fat is eliminated through the natural ways; however, some portion can be absorbed into bloodstream,” said Trừ. “Therefore, injections may cause steatosis (fatty infiltration of the liver) and blood lipids. People receiving weight loss injections may lose weight temporarily yet face serious health issues in the long run.”
He recommended people focus on balanced meals for effective weight loss.
"It is important to have sensible diets and effective exercises to lose weight naturally and stay healthy," he added. — VNS