How cheap Turkish surgery ruined my life: Depressed 46-year-old who spent £7,000 on a ‘mummy makeover’ because she hated her body tells how cut-price left her ‘lumpy and bumpy’… and now she can’t afford to get it fixed
- Emma Witney could not afford the UK £27,000 quote after losing 11.5 stone
- The mother-of-six said she only got the surgery because she was depressed
A depressed mother claimed she has been left permanently ‘lumpy and bumpy’ after jetting to Turkey for a £7,000 ‘mummy makeover’.
Emma Witney, from Seaford, East Sussex, had her breasts lifted, fat removed from her stomach and a tummy tuck in Istanbul, in March.
But the 46-year-old said it went ‘so badly’ and she has been left with different-sized boobs, an oddly shaped stomach and was sewed up too tightly.
The mother-of-six says she can’t afford to get it fixed, has been left in ‘horrendous’ agonising pain and has had to double the dose of her anti-depressant medication.
The assistant to children with additional needs said she only got the surgery because she was depressed over her body but now feels worse than before. She is now urging others to save up and have cosmetic work done in the UK.
Emma Witney had a tummy tuck, her breasts lifted and fat removed from her stomach in Istanbul, in March but has now been left in agonising pain and permanent ‘lumps and bumps’
Emma has been battling to lose weight for years.
She had a gastric-bypass surgery in 2020 that saw her lose 11.5 stone (73kg), which left her with loose skin.
After looking into options to remove her excess skin, she discovered ‘mummy makeover packages’ but couldn’t afford to cough up the £27,000 it would cost in the UK. However, sites in Turkey advertised the procedure for a quarter of that price.
She reached out to a clinic in Turkey in November and booked her surgery for March after being promised a low price and seeing no negative reviews online.
The day before she jetted off, Emma’s mother died. She said the clinic would not let her rearrange the procedure and she would lose her deposit if she did not show up.
READ MORE: Inside UK’s deadly, celebrity-inspired craze for Turkish surgery – as campaigners call for patients to pay ‘Turkey tax’ to help NHS claw back £2m each year to correct botched ops
She said: ‘I was devastated when they said they couldn’t change the date. I felt so guilty leaving my children for a week but I knew I wouldn’t be able to go and do it again.’
After the procedure, she Emma said she was left with ‘lumps and bumps’ covering her body and her breasts were different sizes.
She said: ‘My tummy goes into a V shape, and it’s bumpy too.
‘One of my boobs is bigger than the other and my right arm puckers where it’s been sewed tightly. It feels so tight and odd.’
Clinic staff told her that the problems were due to a build-up of fluid, which would be rectified by lymphatic massages — which helps promote the drainage of lymphatic fluid — Emma claims.
Emma also said her post-op care wasn’t what she would have expected.
She said: ‘Luckily I had taken my own pain relief over. I can’t imagine what I would have done if I hadn’t.’
Once she returned to the UK a week later, she forked out £500 for ten massage appointments.
But she was eventually told her ‘lumps and bumps’ could not be drained and would be permanent.
Emma said she only got the surgery because she was depressed over her body but now feels worse than before
After losing 11.5 stone following a gastric-bypass surgery in 2020, the personal assistant said she looked to have the procedure done in the UK but could not afford to cough up £27,000
The day before she flew out to Turkey, Emma’s mother died and she says the clinic would not let her rearrange the procedure and would have lost her deposit. ‘I was devastated when they said they couldn’t change the date,’ she added. ‘I felt so guilty leaving my children for a week but I knew I wouldn’t be able to go and do it again’
Emma said: ‘After 10 weeks of getting specialist massages I was told it’s not fluid.
‘There’s not much I can do at this point. No one’s getting back to me.
‘Now I’m healed I’ve been left all lumpy and bumpy — it’s awful.
‘I never would have expected to have paid all that money and be left like this. Now I don’t have anything left to fix it.’
The clinic has been approached for comment.
Emma said: ‘I got the surgery in the first place because I was depressed and I wanted to feel better about myself.
‘But it’s gone so badly I’m now having to double my anti-depressant dose. I paid so much money and now I can’t do anything about it.’
She added: ‘Don’t take the risk. If you can save enough and do it over here [in the UK], do it.’
Liposuction that offers to remove up to 15 litres of fat, Brazilian butt lifts, eye colour-changing laser treatments and hymenoplasties are all offered in clinics across Turkey
British surgeons have raised the alarm about the rising cost of fixing botched cosmetic ops performed overseas, with one case alone costing the NHS an estimated £100,000
Turkish clinics offer packages including VIP airport transfers in ‘luxury vehicles’ and 5-star hotel stays with breakfast. Some even promise free tours of cities like Istanbul and the choice to take another guest at no additional cost, as well as 24/7 emergency lines, overnight nurse visits and even massages
Tens of thousands of Brits, particularly women in their 20s and 30s, flock to Europe for boob jobs, bum lifts and lip enhancements every year.
Turkey has become one of the most popular destinations, fuelled by celebrities and influencers who’ve made the four-hour trip in pursuit of revamping their bodies.
Clinics also offer luxurious ‘all-inclusive’ packages at five-star hotels, complete with meals and VIP transport. Such deals, on sale for in the region of £2,500, include the treatments themselves.
But despite seeming safe on the surface, Turkey is called the ‘capital of butchery’ by campaigners.
Dozens of ordinary patients have shared their horror stories at the hands of ‘cowboy’ surgeons, including some who needed life-saving treatment as soon as they landed back on UK soil. Correcting such botched ops costs taxpayers millions every year.
At least 24 Brits have also died going under the knife in Turkey since 2019, where standards are notoriously laxer than in the NHS. Surgical aftercare can be non-existent, too, argue victims of the procedures.
All the known British fatalities in Turkey from surgery
At least 24 Brits have died as a result of medical tourism trips to Turkey since January 2019, according to the Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
Here, MailOnline highlights some of the victims.
Leah Cambridge, 29, suffered a blood clot during a £6,500 Brazilian butt lift surgery in Turkey.
Leah Cambridge, 29, died after having the ‘Brazilian butt lift’ procedure in Turkey
The mother-of-three, from Leeds, died just one day after travelling to an Elite Aftercare clinic in Turkey in August 2018.
The trainee beautician, described as being ‘paranoid about her body’, paid in cash for the procedure after being inspired by pictures on Instagram.
The procedure involved having fat extracted from the waist and injected into the buttocks.
But she suffered a fatal complication when fat was accidentally injected into a vein, causing her to have three heart attacks on the operating table.
Ms Cambridge’s partner Scott Franks told Wakefield Coroner’s Court that the surgeon who carried out the procedure told him he had ‘injected the fat too far into the muscle and it entered her veins’.
Mr Franks said when he flew out to Turkey after his partner died, Dr Ali Uckan, the surgeon who treated Leah, had told him: ‘It’s a guessing game, you can’t see where you are going into.’
Ms Cambridge’s father, Craig, took his own life in 2021 with an inquest held in July last year hearing how he was never able to get past the loss of his daughter.
Diarra Akua Eunice Brown
Diarra Brown, 28, died after having liposuction in Turkey
Diarra Akua Eunice Brown died aged 28, two days after getting liposuction at a clinic in the suburb of Bahcelievler in Istanbul, in October 2021.
She reportedly underwent the operation to have fat removed from her hips.
While the procedure initially appeared to be a success, Ms Brown ‘suddenly’ fell ill while having her dressings changed.
She died just hours later.
Social media posts from family and friends described her as a ‘beautiful soul’ and a ‘close friend’.
‘This must be a dream,’ one post said. ‘Still can’t come to terms with this yet.’
‘I miss you angel. I’m devastated you were taken away way before your time,’ said another.
Shannon Bowe, 28 died after undergoing gastric band surgery in Turkey
Shannon Bowe, from Denny, near Falkirk, died while undergoing gastric band surgery in Turkey in April 2023.
The 28-year-old passed away during the procedure which involves placing a band around the stomach.
Where exactly Ms Bowe had the procedure in Turkey and the complication that led to her death have not been revealed.
In the aftermath of her death, Ms Bowe’s boyfriend Ross Stirling wrote on social media: ‘Sleep tight my angel, love you forever and always.’
Gastric band surgery involves a doctor placing a gastric band around the top of the stomach, creating a small pouch.
When the patient eats, this small pouch fills up more quickly than their stomach normally would, making them feel fuller with less food.
By encouraging them to eat less, the procedure can help patients lose weight.
Melissa Kerr, 31, of Gorleston, Norfolk, died after having a BBL in Turkey
Melissa Kerr, 31, died while undergoing a Brazilian butt lift in Turkey in 2019, just before her wedding.
Ms Kerr traveled to Istanbul’s Medicana Haznedar Hospital in November that year for gluteal augmentation, which can cost up to £3,150.
The psychological wellbeing practitioner, from Gorleston, Norfolk, died from a blocked artery in her lung as a result of undergoing the surgery.
Her twin sister Natasha who set up a Justgiving.com page after her death described her a ‘a pure and beautiful soul inside and out’.
She said: ‘Words cannot describe the pain and heartbreak we are going through, life without her will never be the same again.
‘We miss her deeply and nothing will fill the emptiness we are left with.’
Melissa’s partner Skye Birch said: ‘I will continue to love you with all my heart until my last breath.’
Ms Kerr also worked as a volunteer helping domestic violence victims and supporting people through bereavement.
Abimbola Ajoke Bamgbose
Abimbola Ajoke Bamgbose, 38, died after liposuction in Turkey
Abimbola Ajoke Bamgbose, a 38-year-old social worker, from Dartford, Kent, died in August 2020 after undergoing liposuction surgery in Turkey.
The mother-of-three bought an overseas package deal with Mono Cosmetic Surgery after becoming fed up with people asking her if she was pregnant, according to her husband.
A post-mortem examination found that Mrs Bamgbose suffered perforations to her bowel during the surgery, with the cause of death given as peritonitis with multiple organ failure.
Peritonitis is an infection of the peritoneum, the inner lining of the tummy which covers vital internal organs like the kidneys, liver and bowel.
Her husband Moyosore Olowo told an inquest he was unaware his wife had travelled abroad for cosmetic surgery, instead believing she had simply gone on a holiday with her friends.
It was not until Mrs Bamgbose called her husband to say she was suffering from stomach pains following the procedure that he found out what had happened.
Mr Olowo said his wife had visited a private medical practice in the UK for surgery but added that the cost had been too high for her to have the treatment in Britain.
Carol Keenan, 54, died after having a BBL and tummy tuck in Turkey
Carol Keenan, 54, died six days after undergoing a combined Brazilian butt lift and tummy tuck in Turkey.
The grandmother, of Glenrothes, Fife, paid £7,000 for the procedures at a private hospital in Istanbul in 2022 after becoming anxious about the way her body looked.
Ms Keenan also accepted the offer of free abdominal muscle repair surgery shortly before she was taken into the operating theatre.
But she died before she was due to have a final check-up and fly home.
Speaking to MailOnline in April, her family said they are still waiting for the results of her autopsy 11 months on from her death.
Her daughter Leonie Keenan, 32, said: ‘My mother was a fit and healthy individual. She was a very petite size ten and she kept in shape by walking everywhere and going swimming.
‘She was a very active grandmother who loved bouncing on the trampoline with the kids – but she was not happy with her body even though everyone told her she looked great.
‘She set her heart on having surgery after seeing stories about other people and celebrities having procedures. I don’t know if it was like a mid-life crisis.’
Source: Read Full Article