Cut-price overseas butt lifts, tummy tucks and ‘mommy makeovers’ in Turkey are landing more and more Brits in hospital, a new audit warns.
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) found 324 Brits have needed medical treatment or corrective surgery after having gone under the knife overseas since 2018.
This has surged 94 per cent in three years, the organisation claimed, as increasing numbers of Brits seek to look more like their celebrity idols.
Turkey was the largest source of botched ops, BAAPS figures suggested.
Almost 80 per cent of Brits who needed corrective ops in the last year were treated originally in surgical tourism hubs like Istanbul and Ankara.
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons analysed 324 cases of Brits needing medical treatment or corrective surgery after having gone under the knife overseas since 2018
Other big surgical destinations for Brits included the Czech Republic and Lithuania, according to BAAPS.
Brits who head abroad for cut-price surgery are coming home with life-threatening infections, implants bursting through the skin and blood clots.
Some are even returning with antibiotic-resistant bugs, medics warned.
Such bacteria are known to leap between patients in hospital settings, triggering potentially fatal infections.
An estimated 12,000 Brits are killed by drug-resistant bacteria every year.
Procedures to treat botched cosmetic ops cost the NHS millions of pounds each year.
BAAPS estimates the average cost to the health service of treating a Brit botched overseas is about £15,000, putting the total bill since 2018 at about £4.8million.
This bill represents the cost of resources like medication and dressings, as well as the time surgeons and other NHS staff must spend on such cases.
While the £15,000 figure is an average, surgeons have previously told this website more serious cases can cost upwards of £100,000 to the taxpayer.
BAAPS’s president Marc Pacifico said the audit only includes surgeons who are members of the charity, and therefore, are an underestimate of the issue.
‘We are only scratching the surface of the true number needing treatment on an already-stretched health service with a record-high waiting list,’ he said.
Mr Pacifico said BAPPS is in discussion with regulators and governments, both here in the UK and abroad to try and reduce the number of botched overseas surgeries.
‘We’re not trying to stop this, we’re in no position to and nor is this what we’re aiming for,’ he said.
‘We’re aiming to try and raise awareness, increase safety, ultimately protect patients but also relieve the burden on the NHS.’
He said one of these discussions is about advs promoting surgery overseas, with too many Brits lured to places like Turkey thinking they can go under the knife and enjoy a holiday in the sun at the same time.
‘Nothing could be further from the truth,’ Mr Pacifico warned.
He added:’ Medical advice and support for people looking to go abroad is drowned and dwarfed by the number of paid promotions and glossy advertisements for the cosmetic tourism market itself’.
MailOnline has previously warned about so-called ‘all inclusive’ package deals that offer Brits weighing up surgery luxury hotels, VIP airport transfers and more to sweeten the deal as well as discounts on multiple operations.
BAAPS audit of the 324 cases where Brits required treatment doesn’t include information on outcomes, such as if patients made a full recovery or suffered life-long injuries.
Liposuction that offers to remove up to 15 litres of fat, BBL’s, eye colour changing laser treatments and hymenoplasties are all offered in clinics across Turkey
But at least 25 Brits are known to have died following medical procedures in Turkey since January 2019, according to Government data.
Price isn’t the only factor driving Brits to seek cosmetic surgery overseas.
British surgeons have previously warned this website that Turkish clinics will also perform procedures on Brits who ‘should never have gone under the knife’.
Such cases can be because Brits are too fat or have other health conditions that make them more likely to suffer dangerous complications post-surgery.
Turkish clinics have also been known to offer extreme procedures like mega-liposuction, which are not offered in the UK due to the risks to the patient.
Brits who have died after going under the knife in Turkey
At least 25 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 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 traveled 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 10 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.’