The dangers of Britain’s dangerous Turkish surgery fad, which was fuelled by celebrities


Leah Cambridge, 29, died after the 'Brazilian butt lift' procedure in Turkey

At least 24 Britons have died as a result of medical tourism to Turkey since January 2019, according to the government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Here, MailOnline highlights some of the victims.

Leah Cambridge

Leah Cambridge, 29, suffered a blood clot during a £6,500 Brazilian butt lift operation in Turkey.

Leah Cambridge, 29, died after the ‘Brazilian butt lift’ procedure in Turkey

The mother-of-three from Leeds died just one day after traveling to an Elite Aftercare clinic in Turkey in August 2018.

The beautician-in-training, described as “paranoid about her body,” paid cash for the procedure after being inspired by photos posted on Instagram.

The procedure involved taking fat from the waist and injecting it into the buttocks.

But she suffered a fatal complication when fat was accidentally injected into a vein, causing her three heart attacks on the operating table.

Cambridge’s partner Scott Franks told Wakefield Coroner’s Court the surgeon who performed the procedure told him he had ‘injected the fat too far into the muscle and it had entered her veins’.

Mr Franks said when he flew to Turkey after his partner died, Dr Ali Uckan, the surgeon who treated Leah, told him: ‘It’s a gambling game, you can’t see where you’re going.’

Ms Cambridge’s father, Craig, took his own life in 2021 with an inquest held last July and learned how he could never get past the loss of his daughter.

Diarra Akua Eunice Brown

Diarrhoea brown

Diarra Brown, 28, died after liposuction in Turkey

Diarra Akua Eunice Brown, died at the age of 28, two days after liposuction at a clinic in the Bahcelievler suburb of Istanbul, in October 2021.

She reportedly underwent the surgery to have fat removed from her hips.

Although the procedure initially appeared to be a success, Ms Brown ‘suddenly’ fell ill while her bandages were being changed.

She died just hours later.

Social media posts from family and friends described her as a “beautiful soul” and a “good friend.”

“This must be a dream,” said one post. “I still can’t process this.”

“I miss you angel. I am devastated that you were taken far before your time,” said another.

Shannon Bowe

Ms Bowe's loved ones have flooded Facebook with tributes to the 'beautiful angel' who was the 'life and soul of every party'

Shannon Bowe, 28, died after gastric band surgery in Turkey

Shannon Bowe, from Denny, near Falkirk, died in April 2023 during gastric band surgery in Turkey.

The 28-year-old died during the procedure in which a band was placed around the abdomen.

Exactly where Ms Bowe underwent the procedure in Turkey and the complication that led to her death has 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 ever.”

In gastric band surgery, a doctor places a gastric band around the top of the stomach, creating a small pouch.

When the patient eats, this little pouch fills up faster 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

Melissa Kerr, 31, of Gorleston, Norfolk, died following a BBL in Turkey

Melissa Kerr, 31, of Gorleston, Norfolk, died following a BBL in Turkey

Melissa Kerr, 31, died during a 2019 Brazilian butt lift in Turkey, just before her wedding.

Ms Kerr traveled to Istanbul’s Medicana Haznedar Hospital in November that year for a gluteal augmentation, which can cost up to £3,150.

The psychotherapist from Gorleston, Norfolk, died of a blocked artery in her lung as a result of undergoing the surgery.

Her twin sister Natasha, who started a justgiving.com page after her death, described her as a “pure and beautiful soul inside and out.”

She said, “Words cannot describe the pain and heartbreak we are going through, life will never be the same without her.

“We miss her terribly and nothing will fill the void we have left.”

Melissa’s partner Skye Birch said, “I will love you with all my heart until my last breath.”

Ms. Kerr also volunteered helping victims of domestic violence and supporting people in bereavement.

Abimbola Ajoke Bamgbose

Abimbola Ajoke Bamgbose, a 38-year-old social worker from Dartford, Kent, has died after buying an overseas package deal with Mono Cosmetic Surgery

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 following liposuction surgery in Turkey.

The mother-of-three bought an overseas package deal with Mono Cosmetic Surgery after getting fed up with people asking her if she was pregnant, her husband said.

A post-mortem examination revealed that Ms. Bamgbose had suffered perforations in her bowel during surgery, the cause of death being peritonitis with multiple organ failure.

Peritonitis is an infection of the peritoneum, the inner lining of the abdomen that covers vital internal organs such as the kidneys, liver, and intestines.

Her husband Moyosore Olowo told an inquest that he was unaware his wife had traveled abroad for cosmetic surgery, instead thinking she had just gone on holiday with her friends.

It wasn’t until Mrs. Bamgbose called her husband to say she had abdominal pain as per 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 the cost was too high for her to have the treatment in Britain.

Carol Kenan

Carol Keenan was offered and accepted the chance to simultaneously undergo a third procedure for free to shape her abs and

Carol Keenan, 54, died after a BBL and abdominoplasty in Turkey

Carol Keenan, 54, died six days after undergoing a combined Brazilian butt lift and abdominoplasty in Turkey.

The grandmother from Glenrothes, Fife, paid £7,000 for the procedures at a private hospital in Istanbul in 2022 after worrying about how her body looked.

Ms. Keenan also accepted the offer of free abdominal muscle repair surgery shortly before she was taken to the operating room.

But she died before she could have a final checkup and fly home.

Speaking to MailOnline in April, her family said they are still awaiting the results of her autopsy 11 months after her death.

Her daughter Leonie Keenan, 32, said: ‘My mother was a fit and healthy person. She was a very small size 10 and she kept in shape by walking everywhere and going for a swim.

“She was a very active grandma who loved bouncing on the trampoline with the kids, but she wasn’t happy with her body, even though everyone said she looked great.

She set her sights on surgery after seeing stories of other people and celebrities undergoing procedures. I don’t know if it was some kind of midlife crisis.’