UK Coroner Warns of Cosmetic Surgery Dangers Abroad After Tragic Death in Turkey.

31-year-old British Woman Dies in Istanbul Clinic; Coroner Raises Concerns Over Lack of Information and Regulation.

A stark warning has been issued by a UK coroner about the risks associated with undergoing cosmetic surgery abroad, following the tragic death of a 31-year-old British woman, Melissa Kerr, who died after a buttock enlargement procedure in Turkey.

Melissa Kerr, hailing from Gorleston in Norfolk, sought to enhance her appearance through a buttock enlargement surgery performed at the private Medicana Haznedar hospital in Istanbul. This cosmetic procedure, commonly known as a Brazilian butt lift, involves the transfer of fat from other areas of the body into the buttocks.

The inquest, conducted in Norwich, revealed that Kerr had received only “limited information regarding the risks and mortality rate” linked to the surgery. Tragically, she passed away on the very day of the procedure, November 19, 2019, as injected fat entered a vein, blocking her pulmonary artery. The official cause of death was recorded as a pulmonary thromboembolism.

Jacqueline Lake, the senior coroner for Norfolk, expressed her concerns that individuals may not be adequately informed about the hazards of cosmetic surgery abroad, potentially leading to future fatalities. She plans to write to the health secretary, Steve Barclay, urging for improved patient information and safeguards.

Kerr’s correspondence with a hospital worker prior to her trip to Turkey revealed her apprehension about the operation. She had arranged to pay £3,200 in cash for the procedure and had expressed her nervousness. Notably, she had repeatedly requested to see photographs of previous patients, but there was no evidence to suggest that these were provided. Kerr had no known pre-existing health conditions and had previously undergone a breast enlargement without complications a decade earlier.

Simon Withey, a consultant plastic surgeon who provided expert testimony in Kerr’s case, emphasized the high risk associated with Brazilian butt lifts, suggesting a death rate “likely to be in excess of one in 4,000.” He further speculated that had the procedure’s risks been explained to Kerr before committing financially, she might not have proceeded.

The Brazilian butt lift is a popular cosmetic surgery globally, but its reputation is tarnished by its high mortality rate. Several countries have either banned or restricted the procedure due to safety concerns. In 2018, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) issued a warning, advising its members against performing Brazilian butt lifts until further research was conducted.

Melissa Kerr’s tragic demise occurred four years after another British woman, Leah Cambridge, lost her life following a Brazilian butt lift in Turkey in 2018. Cambridge, 29, had undergone the procedure in a private clinic in Izmir after becoming self-conscious about stomach weight gain. Her partner had advised against the surgery.

These cases underscore the significant risks associated with traveling abroad for cosmetic surgery, where standards and regulations may not meet UK standards. According to BAAPS, more than 200 British individuals experience serious complications annually after undergoing cosmetic surgery abroad. The organization strongly advises anyone considering such procedures to conduct thorough research and consult with a qualified surgeon before making any decisions.

The tragic death of Melissa Kerr serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of patient safety and informed decision-making in the realm of cosmetic surgery, both domestically and abroad.






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