GETTING RID OF THE QUACKS
Fly-by-night plastic surgeons
The falling rand and the top-notch quality of health care means SA has become a plastic surgery hotspot. But it has also opened the way for operators who are not trained to do such work
Draped in a purple blazer with multicoloured patterned socks peeking out from beneath his trousers, Dr Chris Snijman evokes the image of a beloved Roald Dahl character. Only, unlike Willy Wonka, his day job does not involve managing Oompa-Loompas and lining the pockets of the nation’s children with chocolate. He is a creative and strange genius of another kind. Still, a golden ticket to his factory could save you from the ridicule that may come from being born with a cleft palate or having your ear sliced off in an accident. Snijman mends gaping holes, reattaches limbs and can even construct a penis from your forearm. He is a magician of the anatomy, waving his wand over South Africans from his Sandton plastic and reconstructive surgery practice. Though popular opinion has it that his field of medicine is only the playground of the rich and famous, he says that isn’t so. "Forget the Hollywood hype," says Snijman. "The discipline of plastic surgery selects the surgeon to do it, not t...