Hang Mioku worked as a successful model and singer before her descent into plastic surgery addiction. She got her first procedure at age 28, then more as she became obsessed with getting softer and smoother skin. She even moved to Japan for multiple treatments. Eventually, doctors refused to work on her anymore. Her face had become enlarged. Then her obsession took a darker turn, eventually leaving her with permanent disfigurements and many regrets.
The Story of Hang Mioku
Mioku returned to Korea but her parents could not recognize her. She began to receive psychiatric help but Mioku stopped these appointments to hunt for a new plastic surgeon willing to operate on her. Finally, she found one willing to give her silicone injections; he even provided a syringe and silicone for Mioku to treat herself. But when she ran out, she ended up injecting cooking oil into her skin. 
This left the former model’s face swollen, scarred, and disfigured. Local children called her “standing fan” because of how large her face looked compared to the rest of her body. After a Korean news outlet covered her story, many people felt sorry for her and donated to help her fix her appearance. However, it was too late for Mioku to return to her old looks. After 10 operations, the doctors succeeded in reducing her face size but all of the damage was irreparable. During these procedures, they removed 60 grams of silicone, cooking oil, and other substances from her face and 200 grams from her neck. |
Today, Mioku wishes for her old face back. She is 59 and works in The Beautiful Shop, a recycled clothes shop, and gets by with state handouts.
Read: ‘I died for a minute’: Celebrities Share Their Breast Implant and Plastic Surgery Horror Stories
Fixing “Botched” Cosmetic Procedures
While Mioku’s story is extreme, it’s not uncommon. Many cosmetic and plastic surgeons report “revision” cases where they had to fix botched procedures either done by an unqualified person or the patient to themselves. “I once revised somebody who wanted an enhancement and had the breast injected with liquid silicone, not even by a physician,” said Dr. Malcolm Z. Roth, director of plastic surgery at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. This resulted in “hard, lumpy, painful, irregularly shaped breasts.” To correct this, Roth had to perform what was essentially a mastectomy and rebuilt from there. 
However, the more operations that are done, the harder they become to correct. Plus, second-rate doctors with cheap prices may draw patients in, but leave them with complications and unappealing results. At that point, many are forced to find more qualified and expensive doctors to correct these mistakes.
Therefore, Dr. John Canady, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, urges people to look for quality over price. “As a patient, you owe it to yourself and your kids and your family that you really need to do that with a fair amount of planning and forethought. If you’re talking about surgery on yourself, that’s not the time you want to be out getting the lowest possible bargain rate.”
The Signs of Plastic Surgery Addiction
Meanwhile, Mioku’s story also casts the spotlight on another issue: plastic surgery addiction. While many people undergo such procedures, addiction is a behavioral disorder that leads to people wanting to surgically change their appearance regularly. It can begin all well and good, with a routine procedure with a positive outcome. But from this experience, the patients might begin to think about what to change next. That’s the key difference. The goal is no longer about the outcome of the surgeries, but rather what the next surgery would fix, making the addiction never-ending.
Signs of such plastic surgery addiction include:
- Multiple procedures scheduled at once or on a frequent basis
- Going to multiple surgeons (Doctors are wary of performing too much on one person, leading to the addict to shop around for someone who will operate on them.)
- Fixation on the next procedure
- Viewing their body parts as needing fixing
- Unrealistic expectations of the outcome of the procedures 
Body dysmorphic disorder is often the root of plastic surgery addiction. It’s a condition that forces the person to obsess over perceived physical flaws. People with BDD often fall into this addiction because they believe surgically altering their perceived flaws will fix their negative self-image. However, remedying the flaw does not resolve the underlying disorder, leading sufferers into the cycle of cosmetic procedures and endless dissatisfaction. 
BDD can be diagnosed by a medical professional and it’s treated with therapy sometimes combined with medication. Even if a person does not have BDD, therapy can help curve a plastic surgery addiction, even before it happens. If someone is having multiple procedures and is concerned about developing an addiction, a therapist can help them stay on track.
Keep Reading: After lip lifting, a woman who almost died from her surgery addiction is now unable to close her mouth
- “Woman who injected COOKING OIL into her own face after doctors refused to give her any more plastic surgery.” Daily Mail. Becky Evans. May 9, 2013
- “What is Hang Mioku Doing Now? Plastic Surgery Took Her Close to Death.” Glamour Buff. June 15, 2021
- “Cosmetic Surgery Desperation and Depression.” ABC News. Lauren Cox. November 14, 2008
- “Everything You Need to Know About Plastic Surgery Addiction.” Very Well Mind. Ariane Resnick, CNC. January 03, 2022
- “When Plastic Surgery Becomes an Addiction.” Psychology Today. Michael Reilly, MD, and Keon Parsa, MD June 15, 2021