One of Dubai's most senior cardiologists spoke out on Friday about the boom in local cosmetic surgery practices, warning patients to prepare in advance of potentially risky operations.
Dr Klaus Kallmayer, from the German Heart Centre in Dubai Healthcare City, said more had to be done to warn patients about the dangers of the surgery so decisions were not taken lightly.
An Emirati woman underwent laser liposuction surgery at a Dubai hospital in November, 2007 but at the end of the procedure, her heart stopped, cutting off the oxygen supply to the brain.
Doctors resuscitated her but she had already slipped into a coma and died a few days later.
And, where the licences of the plastic surgeon and other staff involved in this incident have been suspended, Dr Kallmayer believes more should be done to explain the dangers to potential patients.
He said: "This was not a singular incident. In fact, damaging and even fatal outcomes of cosmetic surgery happen on a regular basis, with many of the cases not reaching the public eye.
"Cosmetic surgery is hugely popular in Dubai, particularly among the local population. The density of clinics offering cosmetic surgery in Dubai is now staggering, and these procedures are aggressively advertised in this region.
"At the same time there is very little awareness of the fact cosmetic surgery is not a minor procedure and should not be taken lightly.
"It remains surgery and these invasive procedures carry all the usual risks associated with surgery. General anesthesia alone carries a risk, however small, of severe organ damage, permanent disability and even death.
"Having personally visited one of Dubai's busier cosmetic surgery clinics, I was appalled to be informed the only preoperative 'cardiovascular test' performed there was to make the patient walk up and down a flight of stairs. Anyone completing this was considered fit for surgery, which is highly alarming."
His comments echo the views of Arabian Business readers - 65 percent said in a recent online poll that they would not go near a local clinic because there was not enough regulation in the industry.
Last week it was revealed that health inspectors closed several clinics and withdrew licences from some doctors as part of a move to impose tougher rules on the industry.
In our poll, a further 15 percent said they would avoid treatment locally because they were worried about the standard of service they might receive.