28 years ago, Shi was a traditional opera singer from Henan province. She said her small eyes, flat nose, and big face hindered her career, which also resulted in a heart-broken divorce.
This drove her to have her first surgery, which was followed by many more. She had her eyes enlarged several times, reduced her chin, got breast implants, flattened her stomach and tightened her buttocks.
But Shi Sanba went one step further, and studied to become a cosmetic surgeon herself. She now owns a chain of clinics with nearly 80 doctors and nurses. And the changes on her body didn't stop.
Health authorities have warned that patients face medical risks in any surgical procedure.
Shi Sanba said, "Since I'm in this business, I have to continue to try different new materials, so that I can tell my clients first hand information, such as how it feels to have them in my body, and whether there are any side-effects. Some people say I have had plastic surgeries fifty or sixty times. To be honest, I've lost count."
Her personal experience has brought her fame, and strong market demand has helped her business thrive. One million operations take place in China every year, with eye and nose modifications the most common.
Health authorities have warned that patients face medical risks in any surgical procedure. But for people desperate enough to go under the knife, maybe any risk is worth taking.
(CCTV November 19, 2008)