PLASTIC SURGERY IN GHANA: GoWoman Investigates

In a world where body image is in the forefront of our media, more and more women find the idea of plastic surgery highly acceptable. Women no longer feel guilty or let stereotypes force them into living in a body that they don’t like. Whether they are college graduates, moms, working professionals or wives, they can look like the woman that they want to be, with no apologies. Like a lot of women, I would like to get plastic surgery to restore my pre-baby figure. However, at a time when cosmetic surgery seekers in West Africa have been left with the only option of traveling to advanced countries, getting plastic surgery was a thing of the distant future for me. Then I heard of Dr. Dominic Obeng-Andoh CEO of ADVANCED BODYSCULPT CENTER in Accra, Ghana. I was so excited, I just had to meet him.

I left my house that afternoon very excited, thinking of what I wanted to change and how I would look, but as we drove up to Obengfo Hospital I became more worried than excited. The Hospital was an unfinished building with “Stop Work – Produce Permit” sprayed in red on the front of the building. As I walked in, I noticed live wires hanging from walls and some parts of the ceiling. I counted four nurses in the entire hospital. One nurse was walking around with blood stains on her uniform, another was taking temperature and measuring weight and height of patients, while the other two chatted amongst themselves. It was obvious that this Hospital was not ready to accept patients. The building is unfinished and they are clearly understaffed. Sitting there watching the nurses, all the horror stories I’ve ever heard started replaying in my head. I couldn’t help but worry that if complications arise on the operating table, I will not have access to emergency medical care. The ‘operating room’ may not be sterilized, leading to infection and other risks.

Some of the women were getting tired of the long wait to see the doctor and had begun whispering in displeasure. As they whispered to each other, I overheard one of the women say that the reason it’s taking so long to see the doctor, is because investigators came the day before and the hospital was forced to close for the day. After hearing this I started to panick. I wanted to find out more about this hospital so I pulled out my iPad and started researching the hospital as I waited. It turns out there was a report of death at the Hospital in March and many other reports of malpractice against Dr. Obeng Andoh. Rumors have it that Dr. Obeng Andoh is not qualified to undertake the types of surgeries he is performing. The Dental and Medical Council says although he is a medical doctor, Dr. Obeng Andoh is not a specialist in the area he professes to specialise in, and he has not been licensed to practise as a surgeon. It is reported that Dr. Andoh admitted to being trained in cosmetic surgery in Florida, USA for only two weeks and was awarded a certificate. At this point I was definitely sure I would not be getting plastic surgery from Obengfo Hospital. However, I still wanted to sit down and talk with Dr. Obeng Andoh. After all, I came this far. I might as well see it through.

 Excerpt only. Read more in our current issue…

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GoWoman is the reawakening of the 21st Century African Woman - a bi-annual magazine sharing the complete stories of the African Woman who finds a way or makes one. We do this for self-love, for womankind and for the continent.

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