Shanghai Plastic Surgery Nightmare: Doctor’s Sexual Abuse Scandal Exposed on Chinese Social Media

The personal account of a young woman’s horrific plastic surgery experience in Shanghai’s Ninth People’s Hospital has gone viral on Chinese social media. Since the post, many other netizens victimized by the hospital and Dr. Yu Dong have also come forward. The sexual abuse scandal is one of the most talked about topics of the day on Weibo.

The personal account of a 19-year-old woman describing how she was sexually molested and maltreated by her plastic surgeon in Shanghai’s Ninth People’s Hospital has caused a stir on Chinese social media. The girl, who calls herself “Unhappy Bunny 555” (@不开心的兔兔555) posted her story on Weibo on December 9.

Within 42 hours after posting, her post was viewed millions of times, receiving thousands of comments. Because her first post was allegedly removed by Sina Weibo, the young woman had to post it again. The second post was viewed nearly 11 million times by the time of writing.

Image of Dr. Yu dong as shared by 'Tutu' [alias].
Image of Dr. Yu dong as shared by ‘Tutu’ [alias].

The girl, nicknamed ‘Tutu’, has been posting about her experiences earlier this year. In her latest long blog post, which has been making its rounds on Chinese social media, she writes:

“I am a 19-year-old girl. In the winter of 2015, I went to Shanghai’s Ninth People’s Hospital’s Dr. Yu Dong (余东) for surgery on my face. The story I am about to tell comes from my own personal experience, and if it contains any inaccuracies I am willing to face potential legal consequences.”

“Because the shape of my face is somewhat sharp and not delicate, I started searching for plastic surgery on the internet. I come from a family that is not rich, and my parents are very conservative. I saved up my own Chinese New Year money and worked part-time jobs in my spare time, and after several years of saving, penny by penny, I planned to go to the big city to find a reliable doctor for the big surgery.”

“I told Dr. Yu Dong I only wanted to fix my lower jaw, but he told me it would not be possible without also operating my chin. I trusted in his expertise and agreed.”

“Like many other girls, I found Dr. Yu Dong through the internet. Looking at his work and writings on Weibo, I felt he was a very advanced, confident and competent doctor. Considering he was a specialist at the Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital, I trusted there would not be any problems. Since I had to register at the hospital in order to get an appointment with him, I already spent a lot of money [arranging this] before I finally got my consultation. I told Dr. Yu Dong I only wanted to fix my lower jaw, but he told me it would not be possible without also operating my chin. I trusted in his expertise and agreed.”

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“I arrived on time on the day of my admittance to the hospital, paid the surgery fee, and waited in line with other girls to take pictures. I met a girl there who had come for a second facial surgery. She told me her first operation was on her cheekbones by Dr. Yu Dong, which did not come out right, and that she would now do a second operation. I immediately felt something was wrong (if the first time was not good, why would you come in a second time? Shouldn’t it be right the first time around?), but this surgery had been my dream for such a long time and I had already paid for it, so I told myself it was okay.”

“Until the day of the surgery, I did not see Dr. Yu Dong at all. Right before I would go on the operating table, I met Dr. Yu Dong in his office together with two other girls to briefly discuss our surgeries (he did not address the specifics of our surgeries, nor their medical implications). One of the girls named Hu then told the doctor that he had also had a breast surgery. The doctor then suddenly reached out, put his hand inside her hospital gown (which we had to wear without any underwear for the operation) and touched [her breasts]. When I asked Dr. Yu Dong about my own surgery, he just quickly withdrew his hand from Hu’s hospital gown and suddenly touched my breasts. He smiled and half-jokingly told me “they definitely are not fake.” Because I’d never encountered such a thing, I was just dumbfounded and felt very uncomfortable, but since he is a doctor who has seen so many beautiful women, and since the other girls did not react at all, I thought I was just imagining it.”

“I was all alone in that hospital, without my family or friends, and I would be the next one on the operation table.”

The girl then goes on to tell that before the operation, Dr. Yu Dong also made pictures of her in a small separate room without windows, where he again touched her breasts while making small-talk. “At this point,” she writes: “He must have thought I was very naive and he said he wanted my WeChat and my number to contact me.”

In a text message, the doctor then told Tutu to come to his office. “I thought it was to discuss my surgery,” Tutu writes. She describes how, once in his office, the doctor held her in a strong embrace. Tutu writes:

“My mind was muddled, and before I could respond he had already locked the office, pinned me to the bed and had sex with me. It all happened within seconds and afterward Dr. Yu Dong quickly got up, pulled up his pants and told me he was being too crazy and begged me not to say, that he had never done this before and just really liked me. (..) He told me my surgery would be okay. To me, it was all a blur and happened so fast. I was all alone in that hospital, without my family or friends, and I would be the next one on the operation table. I was afraid to offend him out of fear it would affect my operation – I admit I was also at fault for attaching so much importance to my appearances – but I had saved up for so long and had already paid, this operation was something I’d dreamed about for so long. I did not think about how bad I actually felt and was afraid to tell anyone. In a complete daze, I got on the operation table.”

Tutu goes on and describes the period after the operation:

“Within three days after the surgery, the hospital urged me to leave because of a shortage of beds. I had lost a lot of blood during my operation and my face was still very swollen and very painful. Unfortunately, I started getting a fever and after a week the swelling only got more serious. I did not want to face Dr. Yu Dong again and wanted to avoid his medical treatment. So I went to find the surgery assistant Dr. Xu Liang (徐梁), who gave me medication through IV but it didn’t help. The doctor told me he had never seen anything like this, and that I should go and see the main doctor Yu Dong to have it checked out.”

With Tutu’s fever getting higher, and the pain getting worse, she went back to Dr. Yu Dong, who used a needle to puncture her cheek to let out the fluids. When the situation only got worse, he had her hospitalized to clean out her surgical wounds.

“This whole affair has brought tremendous injuries to my body and soul. The pain in my chin reminds me that there is no way to escape this nightmare.”

In her blog post, Tutu described that during her second hospitalization she was crying with pain, had not eaten proper food for over two weeks, was weakened and dizzy. When she went for her appointment with Dr. Yu Dong, he had sex with her again:

“He suddenly locked the door, barbarously pushed my head against the office desk, tore my clothes and entered me. I was weak and light-headed, and could not even speak because of the tube in my mouth (…) After it had happened, he repeatedly warned me not to speak out about it and said that the expenses of my second hospitalization would not be charged. (..) I felt horrible, but I was in bad shape and had no money left. Being a girl from a simple background all alone in Shanghai, I was also afraid to offend a man with the position of associate professor of a top hospital, and thought nobody would probably believe me.”

Tutu’s account continues, as her wounds do not get better and she needs her stitches to be removed. When she returns to Dr. Yu Dong to be helped, she writes that he tells her he can only help her if she satisfies his needs and forces her to receive oral rape.

Six months after the operation, Tutu still suffers from intolerable pains and feels as if there are holes in her chin. Although Dr. Yu tells her there is no problem, a new facial scan points out her chin has broken bones and two big holes. Tutu also shared her CT scan on Weibo (see image).

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Tutu writes that it was not until the day of her CT scan that she discovered the doctor had actually performed a V-Line operation on her – a controversial surgery where the jaw is cut in a V-shape that is not even allowed to be performed in many hospitals.

South Korean clinic's representation of the V-line operation.
South Korean clinic’s representation of the V-line operation.

With no relevant department to turn to within the hospital, and Dr. Yu having blocked her out as a patient, Tutu decided to share her story on social media:

“This whole affair has brought tremendous injuries to my body and soul. I cannot sleep and every time the pain in my chin reminds me that there is no way to escape this nightmare. I’ve thought about suicide countless times. I’ve sought medical help everywhere, but this cannot be fixed, it’s an irreversible damage. My pain goes with me everywhere, I can no longer go out with my friends, although I should just be able to live a happy life like other young girls. I don’t want to be weak anymore, I want to get my story out there. I know I will receive a lot of backlash, but I have to share this to make sure other girls won’t end up in the same nightmare.”

“Dr. Yu Dong is evil and has no medical ethics.”

The Weibo post includes screenshots of WeChat conversations between ‘Tutu’ and Dr. Yu, hospital bills, CT scans, and screenshots of social media posts by other women who say they have become a victim of Dr. Yu’s malpractices.

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Tutu’s revelations have stirred up much controversy on Weibo and WeChat, with many netizens supporting her and expressing their anger. “How can such a bastard become a doctor anyway?”, many people wonder.

Despite the support, there are also many people who doubt Tutu’s story for lack of evidence of the sexual assaults. Although there are many other women claiming they also had sex with Dr. Yu, some people wonder if it could be considered rape. “He is a doctor who had sexual relations with his patients,” one netizen responds: “Either way, his medical ethics are flawed.”

Other people have also come forward on Chinese social media with stories about the Shanghai Ninth Hospital malpractices. “I don’t know if this story is true or not, but I do know this hospital has many dirty practices,” one netizen says, sharing her own bad experiences with the hospital staff. Another netizen says: “I had a nose job in this hospital in June, and it completely failed. My nose is crooked.”

“I had my eyelids done by Dr. Yu Dong, and he was terribly impatient. It was the first time I had ever had a surgery and I was so scared, but he never consoled me and only ridiculed me. (..) Although I did not experience the same problems as the author after the operation, I do feel like Dr. Yu Dong is evil and has no medical ethics,” netizen ‘Daix‘ writes.

Tutu also shared that she has been receiving many private messages from young women who have been molested by Dr. Yu Dong since she has shared her story on Weibo.

The Shanghai’s Ninth People’s Hospital released a statement through its official Weibo page on Sunday. The hospital has set up a research team to investigate the case, the post says, and will take legal measures depending on the outcome of the investigative report.

“You knew about this long before,” one netizen writes: “But you did not take any action until this case blew up. This is just no good.”

In the meantime. Dr. Yu’s wife has also come forward on Weibo. She has stated that her husband denies all allegations, and that she will stand by him.

– By Manya Koetse
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About the author: Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, Sino-Japanese relations and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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