A British woman claims she lost her right breast and was left fighting for her life after undergoing “botched” cosmetic surgery in Turkey.
Sara Platt, 32, spent a whopping £14,000 for a tummy tuck, breast implant and three other procedures through a cosmetic surgery agency in Antalya earlier this year. But the mum-of-four says the 13-hour operation left her mutilated and caused her right breast to “die”, leaving her with a gaping, infected wound in her stomach.
She says she was rushed into surgery after the wound began oozing brown liquid and claims to have been left awake as surgeons burnt away the infected flesh.
Ms Platt admitted she felt she had to lie to the doctor about giving him a positive review online after fearing he wouldn’t sign a “fit to fly” certificate, which would have prevented her from travelling home. On returning to the UK she was rushed to hospital and had to undergo eight operations to save her life after her wound became infected.
The 32-year-old, from Llanharan, south Wales, says the ordeal has left her suffering nightmares and she can no longer bear to look at her own body. She said: “I’m not the person I was. I was very confident and strong and outgoing. Now I’m terrified of everything. I can’t shower because I can’t face looking at my own body.
“I have these horrible dreams about getting killed in hospitals, drowned in blood. I haven’t been outside in seven weeks. I get triggered by everything. If I can stop one person from going through what I went through that’s all I care about.”
Her nightmare began after she had a gastric sleeve fitted to help her lose weight after hitting 24 stone in September 2021. She said she had been having a “terrible” time with her health and had been having steroid treatment for her endometriosis which added towards her weight gain.
By January 2023, Ms Platt had lost a whopping 12 stone but was left with “intolerable” excess skin which developed boils and blisters from rubbing. She decided to undergo surgery to remove it and after spending 17 months researching various surgeons, she finally booked a tummy tuck in Antalya, Turkey, and flew out with her parents on 17 February for the op.
The 32-year-old claims she was rushed to sign paperwork in Turkish after arriving at the hospital in Antalya, in south Turkey, on 20 February. She says the doctor told her he had “sharpened his knife for her” ahead of undergoing an extended tummy tuck which would span from hip to hip and up to her chest bone.
Despite her concerns, Ms Platt said the doctor told her he could do all five ‘tuck’ procedures at once - which included a tummy tuck, arm lift, back life, a 360 upper body lift and breast lift with implants.
Thirteen-hours later she woke up “in agony” and was worried after noticing a lump in the middle of her chest that “looked like a third boob”. She said she was then put in a compression suit that was too small and so tight that it left her struggling to breathe, adding that she requested to see the doctor for nine days about the pain, suit and lump on her chest before she was finally seen.
The check-up identified brown liquid oozing out of the wounds from her stomach and she was quickly rushed to a clinic room, rather than an operating theatre, to have corrective surgery.
Despite being told she would be sedated for the procedure, Ms Platt claims she was kept awake as the doctor cut away at her stomach flesh which has started to die, adding that he used a “burning tool” to cauterise the wound.
She explained: “I was begging him to stop. It felt like I was on fire. I saw him drop the tool on the floor, dip it into something and then carry on using it.He told me to just stay still and I was held down by other staff. I passed out from the pain.”
Ms Platt said she begged to be allowed home after her wounds turned green and began pussing, and while she hoped the surgery would give her a new lease of life, she says it has instead left her with a butchered body. She claims that errors during the surgery caused her to lose her right breast after the tissue turned black and died, and 30% of her left breast also had to be removed.
Ms Platt added that she has been left with a “hunch” from excess fat left on her back, while the removal of too much skin from her stomach caused a gaping wound that needed skin grafts from her legs. Two months on, she says the hole is still gaping open.
After arriving back in the UK a month later - after a trip that was only supposed to take two weeks - the 32-year-old said she was too ashamed and scared to seek help through the NHS, so she instead went to see her GP who knew about her issues with her weight.
She said her doctor gasped when she lifted up her top to reveal her wounds and was immediately referred to Morriston Hospital in Swansea for urgent surgery the following morning.
But the stitches in her stomach ripped open the evening before and she was found to have contracted an often treatment-resistant infection, which meant she had to be isolated from the rest of the hospital and couldn’t see her children for weeks.
She said: “My family have lost me. I could have died. I trusted the medical company and the doctor with this procedure and my life. The doctors said the way he [the surgeon] cut into my skin was like a jigsaw and didn’t allow for blood flow to circulate through the skin. My life is still at risk until the infections are gone and the wounds are closed.”
‘It changed me completely’
Ms Platt spent another month in hospital and underwent eight corrective surgeries to save her life, including removing most of her breasts, the implants which were too large and using skin grafts to reconstruct her stomach which had too much skin missing.
She has now launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for her plastic surgery to allow her to move her arms above her shoulders, remove the hunch in her back and reconstruct her breasts which will cost her up to £28,000. In addition, she is raising £5,000 to help launch a legal case against the surgeon in Turkey.
The registered disabled mum said: “I’ve since stopped one girl online who was going to go for surgery with him. If I can stop one person from going through what I went through, that’s all I care about.
“It’s changed me completely as a person. I just want to be with my children. I understand the backlash I will get online with this story. I just want to sue the doctor and stop him from doing this to anyone else.”
After she started receiving treatment, she claims the Turkish cosmetic agency said in a message to her: “The doctor said that there is no problem caused by the operation, there is no infection, you did not rest after the operation when you should have rested.”
But a hospital document, which was signed and stamped by the doctor, stated that the operation “did not go to plan” and would need to be addressed with further surgery in six months. The document also admitted there were “circulation issues” and that “fatty tissue had been left on the stomach and back which needed removing”. It said: “Not all excess skin and fat was removed during the surgery...The back needs to be redone because there is an accumulation of fatty tissue in the middle of the patient’s back causing a humpback.”
A spokesman for the agency denied Mrs Platt’s claims and insisted it was simply a third party through which she was put in contact with medical staff. They said: “We are saddened to hear that Mrs Platt is holding us responsible for all the issues, but the truth is much different than what she portrays. We get all the necessary and legally mandated documents, approvals, and consent forms from her and enlighten her about all the processes prior to performing any procedures.
“Also, we would like to inform you that we are only the agents in this matter. We are not a hospital or doctor in this matter. Our entity only mediates between the health entity and the patient. Therefore, we are a different and independent economic entity than the doctor or the hospital.
“Our services direct patients to the best-qualified health entities. In this matter, all the necessary information regarding. Mrs Platt’s operation, including information about the operating doctor, hospital, potential side effects, and cautions she had to take into consideration, is explained to Mrs Platt.”