Cosmetic surgery is a fad which is becoming more and more popular, coincidentally in line with the increase in popularity of social media. These days, many people feel the need to go under the knife to become more physically attractive.
Leah was only 29, and she seemingly had it all. As a successful beautician, she was more into her body image than most, but when she decided to go for that “Brazilian butt lift” in Turkey, the result would be devastating.
Leah loved her three kids with a passion and was a good mother on the whole. When she decided to take a trip to Turkey with her partner Scott, she made sure her kids were taken care of for the short time she was away. The bags were packed, and the couple was looking forward to a few days in the sun.
The reasons for the trip weren’t only rest and relaxation though, as Leah had an ulterior motive for visiting Turkey. Sure she was always up for some surf and sand, but this trip was more about Leah improving her physical attractiveness. The couple relaxed for a few days in the Turkish city of Izmir ahead of Leah’s surgery.
Despite its claim of offering “UK standards of care,” the Izmir clinic failed to take proper care of Leah, and the result was devastating. Leah was an attractive girl already by most standards, but had been obsessed with the idea of having a bigger bottom and decided to pay nearly $5,000 for it. But the bum lift didn’t go according to plan.
One of the reasons Leah decided to use this specific clinic was because it was renowned for performing cosmetic surgeries on well-known celebrities, with great success. The clinic’s website states that British celebs such as Lauren Goodger and Amber Dowding had procedures carried out there, and they went perfectly and without incident. Apart from that, Leah was saving a fortune by having the bum lift done in Turkey and not back home in the UK.
While the exact details are still unclear as an investigation is carried out, Leah died at some point during the procedure or just after it. She was otherwise in good health and had no reason to suspect that the operation would go wrong for her. But it’s the fact that prices for such procedures are up to 70 percent lower in Turkey than in Britain, and that is very appealing for people who are desperate for surgery.
Cosmetic surgery in Turkey is a booming business. While facelifts can cost as little as just $3,000, breast jobs cost around the same price. The service in Turkey is a comprehensive one too, and includes consultations with the surgeon, hospital fees, and post-op check-ups. But the service goes even further than that.
In an effort to drum up even more business many of the clinics in Turkey offer an all-inclusive service, meaning they will even book your flights and accommodation near to their clinic in advance for you. This means that the prospect of cheap cosmetic surgery is even more appealing for many, especially those on a budget.
Still in Turkey
While Scott loved Leah just the way she was, he supported her decision to have the cosmetic surgery in Turkey, despite his reservations. Scott had to stay longer in Turkey to arrange for Leah’s body to be flown back to the UK. The whole incident has been harrowing for Scott. For him, it’s more like a “bad dream.”
“I just wish this was a bad dream,” Scott told reporters. “Two days ago I was happy. Now I’m a broken man and will be forever. I’m hurt so bad, and this is only the start. My life has crashed.”
What makes things even worse for Scott and his family is that they still have no idea what went wrong with Leah’s procedure. “People need to be aware of situations that can happen with this treatment,” he warned. “We are still waiting for answers and are also trying to get a flight to bring Leah home.”
It seems that it was all about getting props on social media for Leah. Soon after arriving in Turkey she took to her various online platforms, posting messages to her friends. Just before the operation, Leah posted, “Hi guys I’ve just arrived at Elite Aftercare, and I’m very excited to let you know what I’m having done soon — so keep watching.” Her friends kept watching but were blindsided by what ultimately happened to Leah.
The butt lift procedure, as it is known, is a controversial one although it’s considered to be a lot safer than many other procedures. The main advantage is that it involves taking fat from the waist or stomach and inserting it into the buttocks. It is considered safer as no silicon is involved, but that wasn’t the case for Leah.
Like a Nightmare
The fact that Leah left three young kids behind makes the story even more tragic. After her condition worsened during the procedure, doctors and nurses were unable to stabilize her.”It’s like a nightmare,” said Scott, “Leah wanted to get married, and we definitely would have in next few years, but instead, I’m going to have to plan a funeral. I’m looking at her face on video, and I think it can’t be true.”
According to Professor Jim Frame from Anglia Ruskin University, the butt lift can be a dangerous procedure. “To be successful, a fat graft needs nutrition and so has to be injected into tissue that has a blood supply,” he warned. “Fat has more chance of staying in place if it is inserted into muscle – but this is where the risk lies. Injecting fat into the buttocks can easily lead to serious problems if done incorrectly.”
Professor Frame explained that when fat enters the bloodstream, it can block a blood vessel which is most likely what happened to Leah. “In the lungs, for example, it blocks oxygen from entering the bloodstream, while in the brain it can cause a stroke – both can be fatal,” he said. But Leah isn’t the only one who has died while under a cosmetic surgeon’s knife.
According to Frame, last year a survey of 692 surgeons found that at least 32 patients died from a condition called a fat embolism as a result of botched cosmetic surgery. “Most of these deaths appear to have been caused by inappropriately qualified practitioners working in non-approved facilities, including homes and garages,” explained Frame.”Other post-surgery problems, such as gangrene and sepsis, can also be fatal.”
Sharing His Pain
Scott took to Facebook to reach out and share his pain at the loss of his partner. “I can’t believe I’m setting off to say my goodbyes to my little darling,” Scott wrote. “This is going to be the hardest thing I’ve done. I can’t imagine being in the house without her. … I will always leave a space for you at the table and make sure our kids remember you.”
Elite Aftercare makes some pretty big claims on their website. Operating out of a luxury villa on the outskirts of Izmir, patients enjoy sea views and five-star service across the board. The establishment offers butt lifts, tummy tucks, breast jobs, liposuction, and a variety of other procedures. At the same time, the clinic’s website claims, “Elite Aftercare aims to provide a UK standard of care,” a sentiment not shared by Leah’s family.
For now, it isn’t clear what happened to Leah during her operation. What is clear is that some negligence must have been at play here for an otherwise standard procedure to go so wrong. And while the main Elite surgeon, Dr. Ali Üçkan, usually heads up the procedures, it’s unclear whether he carried out the surgery on Leah.
For Scott and his three young children, with the oldest being 12, life is tough. Having lost a loving partner and mother, Scott is doing what he can to pull things together, if only for the sake of the kids at this stage. The fact that Leah was tragically taken as a result of botched cosmetic surgery is something Scott and his family will have to come to terms with.