A NIP here, a tuck there…cosmetic surgery is a business that’s booming like never before.
A pert bottom, bigger boobs, more sculpted face, even muscle implants – there seems to be no end to ways you can transform your looks.
These are the cosmetic hot spots around the world, but although the cheap procedures may seem appealing it’s not worth the risk, cosmetic docs have warned
But with the rise in popularity of cosmetic surgery comes a rise in people looking for cheaper, quicker ops.
More and more people are travelling overseas for surgeries including bum implants, hair transplants, tummy tucks and boob jobs.
But while it might be easier on your bank account it could come at a far greater cost – your life.
In the UK we have regulatory bodies that ensure the safety of procedures – and perform the necessary checks to make sure you are eligible both psychically and mentally for cosmetic ops.
Celebs like Towie’s Lauren Goodger, who has openly talked about her cosmetic ops, have contributed to the boom in overseas surgery, surgeons warnedCredit: Louis Wood – The Sun
Geordie Shores Chloe Ferry is also known to have had multiple cosmetic opsCredit: Refer to Caption
Overseas clinics cut corners and there is no guarantee on the safety of their ops, warned Ali Soueid a spokesperson for the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (Baaps).
There has been a six-fold increase in the number of patients needing urgent follow-up care after botched overseas ops since 2013, according to new research presented at Baaps annual scientific meeting.
It’s prompted the association to ask it’s members to stop performing Brazilian bum lifts until more research on the dangers of the procedure can be done.
Two British women have died from the controversial op this year.
Here we round up the cosmetic surgery hotspots around the world – and the ops you might want to avoid…
TURKEY: Hair transplants and bum lifts
Leah Cambridge died after having a bum lift at a Turkish clinic
The Brazilian bum lift, despite it’s name, is becoming increasingly popular in Turkey.
Celebs like Towie stars Lauren Goodger and Amber Dowding and Geordie Shore’s Chloe Ferry are all said to have undergone the controversial procedure in the country.
In August Brit mum Leah Cambridge, 29, from Leeds, died after collapsing shortly after the start of the £3,000 procedure to enhance her bum at a Turkish clinic.
The mum-of-three suffered three heart attacks during the op.
Leah, with her partner Scott, died after suffering three heart attacks during the op
A second British woman also died this year and an inquest into the second woman’s death is set to begin next year, according to the Victoria Derbyshire programme.
The deaths have prompted stark warnings from plastic surgeons about the dangers of the Brazilian bum lift.
Professor for aesthetic surgery Jim Frame from Anglia Ruskin University labelled the op, which involves injecting fat from other areas in the body into the bum, the “deadliest cosmetic procedure”.
“Most of these deaths appear to have been caused by inappropriately qualified practitioners working in non-approved facilities, including homes and garages,” he said.
“Other post-surgery problems, such as gangrene and sepsis, can also be fatal.
“Injecting fat into the buttocks can easily lead to serious problems if done incorrectly. These include a fat embolism, when fat enters the bloodstream and blocks a blood vessel.
“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.”
The procedure Leah had involves injecting fat from other areas of the body into the glutes and bum
THE COST CAN BE 70% CHEAPER
COSMETIC procedures in Turkey are advertised at prices more than 70 per cent cheaper than here.
Face and neck lifts in the country can cost as little as £2,640, against around £4,500 in Britain.
Boob jobs at one Turkish clinic are on offer for £2,725 compared with £5,500 at home.
The packages include consultations with the surgeon, the op, anaesthetist and hospital fees, medication and post-operative check-ups abroad.
And clinics say they can book flights, accommodation and transfer for as little as ten per cent of the treatment cost.
A hair transplant is priced at upwards of £12,000 in the UK, putting it out of reach for most Brits. But the cost in Turkey can be £1,500.
Botched foreign cosmetic surgery procedures have cost the NHS about £30million since 2013.
Meanwhile, hair transplants have also gained popularity at Turkish clinics.
A hair transplant is a surgical technique that involves moving healthy hair follicles from one part of the body to to a balding part, usually the head.
If done correctly it can be a highly successful treatment for baldness, even giving people back a full head of hair.
But it can go badly wrong.
Last year Irish model Jeremy McConnell has had a secret hair and beard transplant in TurkeyCredit: NUSIC LONDON
Dr Soueid warned: “The most common complication you’d see is the fact they will take a follicle and split them into multiple hairs, because sometimes the follicle has three or four hairs, but when they do that they damage the follicle.
“So the patient will expect to have hair growth after six months time, but in fact they will get limited growth because it was done badly.”
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“Hair transplants are actually quite an invasive procedure, so in the UK everyone who has one would have had a thorough health screening,” he said.
“Normally for a major hair transplant you would take 4,000 to 4,500 follicles, but in Turkey they are quoting people for 6,000 to 8,000 follicles – that’s impossible.”
And apart from a botched transplants, patients are risking infections.
Jeremy McConnell was covered in bandages and gauze after the opCredit: NUSIC LONDON
Dr Soueid added: “We have seen pictures from Turkey where there are 16 or 20 people lying in a room on beds less than a metre apart with seven or eight people doing a transplant on each individual – so there is a high risk of cross infection from patient to patient.
“The hair also doesn’t look very good and won’t grow in the right direction and once the hair is transplanted you can’t do anything about it, it is going to grow the way it grows.”
A SHARP INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE SEEKING OVERSEAS SURGERY
SOME 80 per cent of cosmetic surgeons in the UK have noted a sharp rise in the number of people seeking overseas surgery.
There has been a six-fold increase in the number of patients needing urgent follow-up care after botched overseas ops since 2013, according to new research from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (Baaps).
The cause – cheap surgeries and celebrities endorsing the cosmetic ops, plastic surgeons said.
All but one case deemed “major” by the NHS were for Brazilian bum lifts.
On average, patients needing urgent aftercare following botched ops stay on hospital wards for 20 days and cost the NHS £32,500.
Complications from the procedure ranged from severe bacterial infections including hospital superbugs MRSA and pseudomonas, necrosis (tissue death), scarring, wound ruptures and abscesses.
One patient contracted the “flesh eating” infection necrotising fasciitis which cost the NHS £47,000 to treat.
It’s a risky procedure, causing around one in 3,000 deaths worldwide as a result of complications from the surgery.
MEXICO: Bum lifts
Evita Sarmonika, from Australia, died after a botched bum lift in Mexico in 2015Credit: Facebook
Turkey isn’t the only place where bum lifts are becoming popular, in Mexico business is booming.
With celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, sporting enhanced behinds, the demand for bum lifts has soared.
The procedure involves fat from other areas of the body being placed into a person’s bum to make it look bigger, and more pert.
BOTTOM LINE Brazilian bum lifts are ‘deadliest cosmetic procedure’, warns top doc – as Brit mum dies in Turkish clinic
But Dr Soueid warned that surgeons in Mexico often cut corners to save money, usually by using cheaper materials.
“There have been a couple of cases of infection reported,” he said.
“The cases reported were from something called microbacteria which essentially comes down to poor environments.
“It could be down to instruments not being sterilised correctly or it could be down to the products used.
52-year-old American Roseanne Falconer died of infection 36 hours after a bum lift in MexicoCredit: Channel 7
“In the UK we know the products that are going to be used, we know their sources, but overseas we don’t know where they are getting their products from.”
Another risk patients are taking by travelling to Mexico is a lack of patient aftercare.
Dr Soueid added: “A lot of the problems come from no follow-ups or after care because most of the time people will be travelling straight back.
“Mexico is sold as a holiday destination but the last place you want to be after a plastic surgery is a holiday destination because there are a lot of people which heightens the risk of infection and the sun is a terrible thing for wound healing.”
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Liposuction
Liposuction has become an increasingly popular surgery with the likes of Towie star Lauren Goodger admitting to having the procedure doneCredit: iCelebTV
Liposuction is a surgery that’s been around for years.
In a nutshell, it involves sucking out small areas of fat that are hard to lose using just diet and exercise.
While it is a commonly known procedure that doesn’t make it any less risky if you have it done overseas.
“I have seen two cases coming out of the Dominican Republic, both of them involved severe skin necrosis – the blood supply to the skin had been so badly damaged that the skin died,” Dr Soueid said.
Beverly Brignoni, from the US, died after botched liposuction in the Dominican Republic in 2014Credit: Facebook
“Each time it was about the size of a palm and the skin had to be completely removed and they needed skin grafts.
“These particular cases occur when they’ve [the surgeon] has been very aggressive when doing the procedure.”
The problem is the site where the fat is sucked from the body.
Surgeon’s suck out the fat through a very small hole, but if bacteria infects it it can multiply rapidly because the area is warm and damp and moist.
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Once the bacteria is in the flesh it can cause major problems, like skin necrosis or tissue death.
Another risk of travelling overseas for liposuction is blood clots.
“Normally after a major procedure like liposuction you have an increased chance of getting blood clots in your legs,” Dr Soueid added.
“With long-haul flights, especially, there is an increased danger.
“Normally it is advised you wait one month after surgery before you travel, but [when you go overseas] many people will not do that and they will travel home in a matter of days.”
Blood clots can result in a heart attack or a stroke if they break off and travel through the blood stream.
YOU CAN’T GUARANTEE WHAT MATERIALS OVERSEAS SURGEONS ARE USING
OVERSEAS surgeons may not be subject to the same rules, regulations and training as doctors here in the UK.
That means you can’t guarantee the safety of the equipment or material they are using.
Unsterile equipment dramatically increases your risk of infection, which could lead to necrotising fasciitis (flesh-eating bugs), sepsis or even death.
On top of that, if you are opting for fillers or injections anywhere on the body there is no way of knowing if they are using dangerous substances.
Cosmetic surgeons have warned against cut-price surgery as there is a very real risk you will be injected with “unsafe substances”.
Prof Ash Mosahebi, honorary secretary of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons’ (BAAPS), said most patients either opt for cheap injections or implants to boost their bum.
“If they are having injections then god knows what they are being injected with, if it is safe, or if it is sterile,” he told The Sun Online.
“Oil, for example, does make it look bigger for a few days but then it deflates and it’s likely infection like sepsis can kick in.
“I know of silicone oil being used, which shouldn’t be used for medical purposes.
“I’ve heard of cement but I haven’t seen it myself, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s things like that.
“Most of the time the injections end up having a lot of bacteria in them as well because they aren’t sterile.
“It could lead to something called necrotising fasciitis, which is a flesh-eating bug.”
INDIA: Tummy tuck
When tummy tucks go wrong: Though it didn’t happen in India, Chicago woman Quanna Brown is the perfect example of what happens when a tummy tuck procedures causes infectionCredit: Caters News Agency
A tummy tuck is a common procedure among people who have lost a lot of weight and have excess skin hanging from their middle section.
If performed properly it is a life-changing surgery that can give people back their confidence.
But, if it isn’t performed with the right levels of patient care, it could cause more harm than good – and even land you with a life-threatening infection like HIV.
“It is a major surgery and a lot of these places will do the abdomen, the breasts and the thighs in one sitting,” Dr Soueid said.
“So it takes a long time, which increases your risk of blood clots in the leg, and you also lose a lot of blood during the operation so you may need a blood transfusion.
“The main risks of blood transfusions revolve around cross infections like Hepatitis C and HIV.”
In the UK the risk of catching these infections is incredibly low because the blood is properly screened, but you can’t guarantee that in other countries.
Quanna was ravaged with infection that caused her flesh to rot and ended up in hospital for more than 50 daysCredit: Caters News Agency
Multi-resistant bacteria is also a common problem in India.
Their unchecked use of antibiotics means many bacteria have become resistant to treatment, so when a patient presents with an infection on their return home it can prove highly challenging for doctors to fix.
Dr Soueid added: “Because India has a liberal use of antibiotics the bacteria is multi-resistant.
“It can eat away at the flesh and it can cause wound breakdowns where the wound opens up which can recover months and months of therapy to repair.”
THAILAND: Gender reassignment
It’s important for people to feel comfortable in their own skin, like Caitlyn Jenner who did not have surgery overseas, but the lure of cheap surgery in Thailand is putting many people seeking gender reassignment surgery at riskCredit: Getty – Contributor
Gender reassignment is a hugely delicate procedure for a number of reasons.
Firstly, psychologically, a patient has had to go through the process of deciding to transition and eventually transitioning – which can have a significant emotional toll.
Secondly, physically, the surgery is performed in one of the most delicate areas of the body, so there is absolutely no room for error.
“It boils down to the same theme about being safe – there have been a couple of cases of people dying in Thailand,” said Dr Soueid.
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“The complications are the same things [as elsewhere], infections are a serious risk.
“But gender reassignment surgery is quite a delicate surgery, so if it is done inappropriately a person’s options afterwards would be quite limited.”
What that boils down to is: if it is done incorrectly it can completely destroy the patients chance of ever having their genitals corrected.
Dr Soueid added: “Usually the first time is the best time for these surgeries and people have gone through a long process to change their gender, through using hormone treatment and so on.
“It is possible to have corrective surgery, sometimes, but this usually means multiple operations and that will cost them more.”
POLAND/CZECH REPUBLIC: Boob jobs
When bob jobs go wrong: Though this case didn’t happen in Poland or Czech Republic it’s a great example of how badly the flesh can be destroyed by bacteria – Lori Steer from the UK had to have her implants removed
Many women seeking to have their boobs enhanced are looking to places like Poland or the Czech Republic, said Dr Soueid.
That’s because the offer the service for a fraction of the price the procedure would be in the UK.
“Being in the European Union there will be some regulation [similar to the UK] but they will compete on price,” he said.
“The well-known brands cost more or less the same in each country so you are not going to get that much cheaper in a different country.
“The cost cutting comes from other ways, it might be that labour costs are cheaper or they use cheaper tools and so on.
“The most important thing in breast augmentation is to know what implant is being put in the patient and the patient should ask about that because there has been scares with implants causing blood disorders and things like that.”
In cases where the gel implant ruptures it can cause a gel leak – meaning dangerous toxins can leak into the blood streams.
Infection isn’t the only thing that can go wrong…delivery driver Dennie Lees was left with lopsided boobs after a botched op in HollandCredit: SWNS:South West News Service
The implants can even begin to rot inside their chest and become misshapen and hard, causing a women constant pain.
SOUTH KOREA: Face implants
The South Korean plastic surgery boom is a relatively new trend, according to Dr Soueid.
But that doesn’t make it any less dangerous.
Facial implants are a delicate, and relatively unknown, procedure.
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It is as it sounds – surgeons place different implants in different areas of the face to give you the shape you want.
Think higher cheek bones or a dimpled chin.
But they come with a risk of infection and, being on the face, it can leave a patient with noticeable scarring.
Dr Soueid said: “They are foreign materials so you are risking infection, and obviously infections from the tools could spread into the face, there are risks they will move from their position, they can rupture just like any other implant.
“And because of the nature of the face, because all the nerves are very close by, they can cause nerve irritation and that might not happen straight away – it could happen further down the line.
“Facial implants are also not permanent, so they might have to be changed or altered, so if you don’t know what implants have been put in it might be difficult to get them corrected.”
That being said, Dr Soueid said South Korea is probably one of the “better regulated places in terms of cosmetic surgery”.
But it is still not as safe as having the procedure carried out by a UK surgeon.
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