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Doctors warn against medical tourism after woman dies overseas

The dangers of undergoing cosmetic surgery abroad have been highlighted following the death of a young British woman during an operation in Turkey.


Leah Cambridge, 29, from Leeds, died while under anaesthetic at the Elite Aftercare in Izmir on the Aegean coast. She reportedly travelled to the clinic in order to undergo a “Brazilian butt-lift” procedure, which reshapes the buttocks by transferring fat into them from the stomach and back.


Her partner, Scott Franks, 31, said on social media: “I just wish this was a bad dream… 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.”


Franks said the mother-of-three had three heart attacks during the procedure.


Medical tourism has been growing in recent years, at an estimated rate of 15 - 25 per cent, as patients seek out procedures that can be considerably cheaper than in the UK.


Bryan Mayou, a consultant plastic surgeon and member of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, told the Guardian: “It is becoming more of a problem... I cannot tell you any figures, but it is notable, I think people do go abroad more and more, and so there are more complications.”


Michael Saul, partner at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, said: “We would advise anyone who is considering a cosmetic procedure to avoid travelling abroad for their operation. While it is understandable that these cheaper deals are attractive, the risk involved can be considerable.


“Aside from the risks of the operation itself, flying home afterwards can increase risk of deep vein thrombosis or a pulmonary embolism (when a blood vessel supplying the lung becomes blocked by a clot).


“In addition, aftercare following any cosmetic surgery is a crucial part of the recovery process and it is vital that a patient is able to contact and see their surgeon should any issues arise further down the line. By having the procedure abroad, this naturally impedes this element of the operation and can lead to an already uncomfortable or painful situation being further complicated.”


Read our guide here for more information and advice on how to find a safe cosmetic surgeon in the UK.


If you have experienced problems following surgery, and believe they are the result of negligence, get in touch with us to see if you have a case for compensation. Call 0800 634 0285 or request a callback by completing the contact form here.

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