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How did Chethana Raj’s plastic surgery cause her death? A cosmetologist answers


Chethana Raj, a popular name in the Kannada TV world, came to an unfortunate end on Tuesday. The untimely demise of the 21-year-old actress has sent shock waves across the country. On the other hand, it has lifted the veil from the dark and dirty effects of body idealism. The body image of a woman has been put through a series of filters like society, cinema, social media, and pop culture, and we have forgotten what real bodies look like. Years of glitz and glamour and airbrushed images mixed in a cauldron of ‘ideal body’ has made us all succumb to hating our own selves. Is it worth it?

Chethana Raj, who has played promising characters in soap operas such as ‘Doserani’ and ‘Geetha’, had a bounty of opportunities but all in vain. According to reports, Chethana Raj underwent a fat loss surgery on May 16 at Dr Shetty’s Cosmetic Centre in Bengaluru. By the end, she started experiencing some difficulty in breathing which happened due to fluid accumulation in her lungs, as per some media reports.

However, to know what must have gone wrong in the surgery and the risks involved with such procedures, Health Shots got in touch with Monica Kapoor, who is a celebrity Cosmetologist.

What is a fat-free surgery that Chethana Raj had?

Dr Kapoor shares, “Chethana Raj’s death was caused due to complications in a fat-free plastic surgery that is also known as Liposuction. Under this surgery, fats from certain stubborn areas of the body which are resistant to diet and exercise are removed. People from the age group of 18 to 65 can perform this surgery.

What are some risks involved with liposuction?

Dr Kapoor told Health Shots, “The patient will not feel any pain during the liposuction surgery. But you can feel pain after the procedure. Its recovery can also be painful. You can experience severe pain, swelling, bruising, soreness, and numbness after liposuction surgery. Before the surgery, the patient needs to be assessed properly to make sure that they are fit or not fit to undergo the procedure. After liposuction patients can face bruising and swelling, which may last up to six months. Another after-effect is numbness, which should ideally go away in six to eight weeks. Scars on treated areas, of course, inflammation of the treated area, or the veins underneath them are additional risk factors. In worst cases, fluid coming out from the cuts made by the surgeon and swollen ankles, if the legs or ankles are treated, are also seen.

weight loss pills
It is a hard pill to swallow but actresses succumb to pressure of not looking fat on screen. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What could have gone wrong with Chethana Raj’s fat-free procedure?

A build-up of fluid in the lungs due to the fluid injected into the body caused breathing issues in the case of Chethana Raj. A blood clot in the lungs and damage to internal organs during the course of the procedure may happen. “Liposuction can occasionally result in lumpy and uneven results, bleeding under the skin. It can cause persistent numbness that can last for months,” says Dr Kapoor, who is also the director at FLAWLESS Cosmetic clinics & ILACAD Institute.

What needs to be kept in mind before going for a fat-free surgery?

“Whether the person is a good candidate for liposuction or not, needs to be declared after a detailed examination by the expert doctor. Liposuction is good for people who don’t have a lot of excess skin, have good skin elasticity, have good muscle tone and have stubborn fat deposits that won’t go away with diet or exercise. However, the patient needs to be in a good physical shape and overall health, aren’t too overweight or obese and non smokers,” says Dr Kapoor.

cosmetic surgery
People are increasingly going under the knife. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How does smoking increase the risk of deaths in such procedures?

“People who smoke, have chronic health problems, have a weak immune system, are overweight and have saggy skin. If a patient has a history of diabetes and takes medications that can increase the risk of bleeding, that person should not go under fat-free plastic surgery.”

The side effects of liposuction are long term. Dr Kapoor explains that the appearance of new fat can go deeper under the skin and it can be harmful for the body if it grows around the area of the liver or heart. After the fat-free plastic surgery, some patients can experience permanent nerve damage and changes to skin sensation. Some other patients may develop depressions or indentations in the areas that were suctioned, or may have bumpy skin that doesn’t go away so easily.

“Nobody can avoid 100 percent of the risks involved in this treatment but informing the patient about these risks before the surgery is one of the most important jobs. One needs to be mindful about these risks involved in the surgery before taking the plunge”, says Dr Kapoor.

After experiencing difficulties in breathing and non-availability of an ICU in the cosmetic surgery centre, Chethana Raj was shifted to another facility. However, she was declared dead following an examination. While doctors reportedly did CPR for 45 minutes to revive her, it was too late and we lost a budding star.

body image issues
Embrace your body as it is. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The last words

Dear readers, take it as a sign to choose your body ideals responsibly. As the physical looks we embrace and are tempted to get may often result in a loss for one and all. We often keep realistic expectations aside while looking for secrets to get toned legs like J’Lo or a booty like Beyoncé. These things are often at odds with our body type and genetic structure. Love yourself a little more and have gratitude for the gift of life you’ve got.



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