Leeds & West Yorkshire

Brazilian butt lift victim 'wanted op for some time'

Leah Cambridge Image copyright Scott Franks
Image caption Leah Cambridge flew to Turkey with her mother on 26 August and died the following day

A beautician who died after having a "Brazilian butt lift" had wanted the surgery for some time, an inquest heard.

Leah Cambridge, 29, from Leeds, died at a private hospital in Turkey in 2018.

It was said she went under the knife after growing paranoid about excess stomach weight from having children.

At Wakefield Coroner's Court, her partner Scott Franks said: "It was obvious that she was quite interested in doing it for some time."

The court previously heard the mum-of-three died from a fat clot caused by the surgery.

'She's gone'

During the pre-inquest review hearing, Mr Franks said: "She spoke with me regarding it on several occasions, and it was obvious that she was quite interested in doing it for some time.

"Obviously she's booked it and just gone, and that's it, she's gone."

Richard Paige, who is representing the family at the inquest, added: "This was very much done on her own volition."

Mr Franks also said his partner was told she would need to put on 15lb (7kg) before having the operation in Izmir on 27 August.

Highest death rate

The hearing was told Ms Cambridge arranged the surgery through a firm named Elite Aftercare, which acts as a go-between linking clients and surgeons.

Mr Paige said "Brazilian butt lifts" had the highest death rate - believed to be as high as one in every 3,000 operations - of all cosmetic surgery procedures.

He quoted from a report issued in October by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (Baaps), in which it suggests surgeons refrain from performing the treatment until more data can be obtained due to "the risk of injecting fat into large veins that can travel to the heart or brain and cause severe illness and death".

Representing Elite Aftercare, Sarah Hemingway told the court the firm does not directly employ the surgeons themselves, and has no formal contract with the hospital involved in the surgery.

But Mr Paige added the company's website claimed to employ "the best surgeons and nurses".

The court heard no direct contact was made between Elite Aftercare and Ms Cambridge's GP.

A three-day inquest into her death is due to take place in early July.

What does buttock augmentation surgery involve?

  • The procedure is used to make buttocks bigger, more rounded or lifted
  • Surgeons may insert silicone-filled implants and/or inject fat transferred from other parts of the body, including the stomach and back
  • In the UK it tends to cost between £2,000 and £7,000, depending on the clinic and whether additional work is needed
  • After surgery, patients are likely to have some pain, bruising and discomfort over the area of the implant for a few weeks and are advised not to sit on their buttocks directly for three weeks
  • Complications can include wound infection, rupture of prosthetic implants and fat embolus, where fat can enter the bloodstream and block vessels

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