British government officials will meet with their counterparts in Turkey to discuss the dangers of cosmetic tourism after a young British woman died in a private hospital there following a £3,200 “Brazilian butt lift”.
Melissa Kerr, 31, was admitted to Medicana Kadiköy Hospital in Istanbul in 2019 and died after the procedure in which fat was collected and injected into her buttocks.
The mortality rate for this procedure is “at least ten times higher than for many other cosmetic procedures.”
Norfolk’s chief coroner, Jacqueline Lake, said Ms Kerr, from Denton, Norfolk, had only been given “limited information about the risks and mortality rate” associated with the operation.
The coroner wrote to the Department of Health and Social Care with her concerns following an inquest in September this year.
Melissa Kerr, 31, from Norfolk, was on holiday in Istanbul when she underwent the procedure
Ms Kerr paid £3,200 for the procedure (pictured Ms Kerr and her partner Skye Birch)
She wrote: “I am concerned that patients traveling to Turkey for this procedure are not being made aware of the risks and high mortality rate associated with this operation.”
Ms Lake also raised concerns that there were “no or limited controls over the conduct of such operations”.
Her concerns were addressed to then Health Minister Steve Barclay and a response has since been received from Maria Caulfield, Minister for Mental Health and Women’s Health Strategy.
In her response this month, Ms Caulfield said: “My officials will… visit Turkey shortly to meet with their counterparts.”
“The intention is to discuss the regulatory framework and safeguards for UK nationals and identify specific areas where the UK and Turkish authorities should work together to reduce risks to patients in the future.”
She continued: “It is particularly important that those who choose the Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) procedure are fully aware of the risks and have time to fully consider their decision before the operation.”
“As you note in the report, the risks associated with this procedure are high.”
“The risk of death from BBL surgery is at least ten times higher than many other cosmetic procedures and it has the highest mortality rate of any cosmetic procedure.”
“As you note, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) has advised its members not to perform Brazilian butt lift surgery until more is known about safer techniques for the procedure.”
“The Government is considering how we can most effectively communicate with those considering medical treatment abroad to ensure people are better informed about the risks before surgery and understand the need for appropriate aftercare, including consideration “When it is safe to return home.”‘
Ms Caulfield said she hoped her response would be “helpful in making clear how seriously the UK Government takes the issues raised in your report”.
The medical cause of death for Ms Kerr was listed as pulmonary thromboembolism and fat embolism as a result of planned cosmetic surgery
Ms. Kerr, who had undergone breast enlargement surgery a decade earlier without complications, died at Medicana Kadikoy Hospital on the day of the buttock lift.
The procedure involves taking fat from other parts of the body and injecting it into the buttocks – November 19, 2019.
In a series of WhatsApp messages between Ms Kerr and a hospital worker before the Brit traveled to Turkey, Ms Kerr arranged for £3,200 to be paid in cash.
She asked to see photos of previous patients four times, but there was no evidence that they were provided.
Ms Kerr said in her messages she was “a bit nervous”.
Ms. Lake recorded her narrative conclusion, saying Ms. Kerr died after undergoing cosmetic surgery.
She died after injected fat entered a vein before displacing and blocking her pulmonary artery. The cause of death was listed as pulmonary thromboembolism and fat embolism, and the secondary cause was listed as elective cosmetic surgery.