British woman Shannon Bowe, 28, dies after travelling to Turkey for ‘gastric band surgery’

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Tributes have been paid to “angel” Shannon Bowe who died after travelling to Turkey for weight loss surgery

A young Scottish woman has died after flying out to Turkey for ‘gastric band surgery’.

Shannon Bowe, 28, was understood to have travelled to the country for a weight loss procedure. However the Denny, Falkirk resident died on Saturday (1 April), leaving her friends and family distraught.

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It is not known whether her death occurred during the surgery, where a band is used to reduce the size of the stomach, or from complications afterwards. A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesman said they were supporting the family of a British national who died in Turkey.

Our sister website the Falkirk Herald has reported that Shannon’s boyfriend of three years, Ross Stirling, led tributes to her. In a post on Facebook he wrote: “Sleep tight my angel, love you forever and always.”

Tributes flood in for Shannon

Her aunt, Amanda Bowe, wrote: “My beautiful niece Shannon there are no words just heartbreak and grief. Life can be so cruel my love and thoughts go out to Jackie and all her family and friends who loved Shannon so dearly! She was a beautiful funny crazy girl who will always live in my heart. You will be sorely missed.”

Other social media tributes included: “She will be sorely missed by everyone, one of a kind! Will never ever be forgotten.” Another person wrote: “Shannon was such a beautiful person.”

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Shannon Bowe, 28, died during a gastric band operation in Turkey. Shannon Bowe, 28, died during a gastric band operation in Turkey.
Shannon Bowe, 28, died during a gastric band operation in Turkey. | Shannon Bowe Facebook

Foreign Office issues statement

The government has confirmed that a British citizen died in Turkey. A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesperson explained: “We are supporting the family of a British national who died in Turkey and are in contact with the local authorities.”

What is gastric band surgery?

Private healthcare provider Bupa explains that it is a common type of weight-loss (bariatric) surgery for people who are very overweight or severely obese. It involves putting an adjustable band around the top part of your stomach, so you can’t eat as much.

Explaining the procedure, Bupa adds: “You can still drink liquids and eat small amounts of food. But you can’t eat lots of food in one go. When you eat, the small pouch fills up quickly, so you feel full earlier than normal and for longer. This means you eat less, and eat more slowly, helping you to lose weight.

“Your surgeon can tighten or loosen your gastric band by injecting liquid into it through a port which sits just under the skin of your tummy. This affects how quickly food passes from the pouch into the lower part of your stomach. This will make sure that you steadily lose the right amount of weight.

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“How well gastric band surgery works depends on how well you’re able to follow a healthy lifestyle after the operation. You’ll need to change your eating habits and be more active. You also need to be careful with high-calorie drinks including alcohol because these can still pass through your gastric band.”

What are the risks of cosmetic surgery abroad?

Ruth Waters, consultant plastic surgeon and British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) President, told NationalWorld that no procedure is free from risk and complications after cosmetic surgery can occur both in the UK or abroad. However, she said that if you choose to have a surgical cosmetic procedure in the UK, then the surgeon who conducted the surgery will provide you with any necessary aftercare.

Therefore, if something does go wrong, either if a complication arises or the outcome of the procedure is “unfavourable”, then the surgeon will be on hand to discuss it with you and decide how the problem can be resolved. But, Ms Waters said this reassurance “cannot easily be provided when travelling abroad to have cosmetic surgery.”

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