Leeds & West Yorkshire

'Butt lift' inquest: Leah Cambridge had pulmonary embolism

Leah Cambridge Image copyright Scott Franks
Image caption Leah Cambridge saved up thousands of pounds for the surgery after feeling "paranoid about her body"

A beautician suffered a massive pulmonary embolism while having a cosmetic "Brazilian butt lift" surgery, a coroner has said.

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

Her partner Scott Franks said she had been "paranoid" about her body and was keen to have the operation, which transfers fat to the buttocks from elsewhere in the body.

Senior Coroner Kevin McLoughlin is now asking for a UK ban on the procedure.

Wakefield Coroner's Court previously heard the mother-of-three died from a fat clot caused by the operation.

Mr McLoughlin will write to the government asking it to consider banning the procedure.

Recording a conclusion that Miss Cambridge died having the Brazilian butt lift (BBL) after not being fully apprised of the risks involved, Mr McLoughlin said: "Against this backdrop, those involved in facilitating or conducting BBL procedures must decide whether it's safe to continue to do so.

"In my judgement, this decision should be made on ethical grounds, rather than business ones relating to the revenue streams involved."

A consultant plastic surgeon had told the inquest that any UK-wide ban on the operation could prompt potential customers to go abroad to have it done.

Mr McLoughlin said: "I believe that our foremost duty is to protect our citizens from what maybe is considered to be their own folly.

"If the approach that I am considering involves a paternalistic despotism, the process of curtailing individual freedom may be considered to be a price worth paying.

"What's more, if the UK takes a stance this may affect the prevailing view from other countries."

Mr McLoughlin said Ms Cambridge "willingly consented" to the procedure "albeit she was ill-informed about the risks involved".

In a statement through a firm of solicitors Miss Cambridge's family said she "will be missed forever by all and our lives will never be the same".

It added: "We hope that no one has to go through what we have been through and nobody else loses their life while undergoing this type of procedure."

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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