Victims of cosmetic surgery cowboys
Jul 17 2011 by Matthew Barbour, The People
Clinics are luring thousands of takers for nose jobs, breast implants and facelifts with discounts of at least HALF PRICE.
Mum Rita Nugent, 29, was delighted to save a few thousand pounds on an op but she ended up DISFIGURED.
She said: “These types of clinics attract people who haven’t got much money. People I know got bank loans to pay.
“In my opinion they don’t care about their patients. They just want to get as much money as possible.
“Women must remember they’re not buying a second-hand car. They’re having a major operation on their body.”
A People investigation found one clinic where at least five women claim they were left with injuries after their procedures went wrong. Rita was one.
She told us: “I decided to fix a bump on the bridge of my nose and a lot of the clinics were quoting me up to €5,500.”
When Rita, a full-time mum to Caleb, six, saw a clinic offering to do it for €2,200, it was too good to resist.
But she said: “Alarm bells should have started ringing when the first consultation lasted little more than 10 minutes.
“And within half an hour of leaving I had a call on my mobile from the clinic manager saying I would lose my slot if I didn’t pay by that afternoon.
“I called back and paid up in full. Then five days later I had an appointment at the clinic to have the op.
“They gave me no time to reconsider. They just wanted to seal the deal.”
Things started to go badly wrong almost immediately after surgery.
Rita said: “I woke up afterwards and when I looked in a mirror I had congealed blood all over my face.
“It was like something from a horror movie. I asked to speak to the surgeon to ask what happened but I was told by a nurse he wasn’t available.
“Later that day I was discharged and given some paracetamol. For the next three days I kept calling the clinic but got no reply so I just decided to go there.
“I had stitches all over the septum in the middle of my nose. I was in severe pain. I had a terrible taste in the back of my mouth and I was generally unwell.
“The surgeon persuaded me I had to give it more time to heal.
“But he still didn’t explain why the tip of my nose had been so damaged.”
Over the next eight weeks Rita said she returned several times for stitches to be taken out but never saw her original surgeon, Dr Adeyinka Adeogba.
The wounds took six months to heal, by which point part of Rita’s nose had caved in, as our picture shows.
She believed her only option was to return every two to three weeks for a year to have fillers injected into her nose.
Rita, from Liverpool, said: “My nose still looked like a mess. It was only after I was told I could get it fixed on the NHS if I had a referral from my GP that I finally had reconstructive surgery.”
Some of the other pictures of women after operations at the clinic – the Birkdale, in Crosby, Liverpool, are too horrific to publish in a family newspaper.Another woman operated on by Dr Adeogba revealed her horrific injuries after she went for breast implants.
The bank worker, 30, who is too embarrassed to give her identity, saw a Birkdale advert offering €550 off.
After a consultation in August 2010 with Dr Adeogba she said she took out a loan of €5,500 to pay for implants.
He told us: “Everything about him and his clinic seemed very clean and efficient.” But four days after her operation she said her left nipple started oozing fluid.
A Birkdale duty nurse reassured her the problem would go away. But it didn’t. The left nipple started to turn black.
Finally she went to an NHS hospital where she said they told her there was permanent blood-supply damage.
To save catastrophic harm the implants were taken out immediately – but she lost half of her left breast.
Tearfully, she said: “My wedding is going ahead next month but I could never wear a bikini on honeymoon now.”
Three years ago another patient, Michelle Hemmings, 36, had breast implants from a different surgeon at Birkdale. Michelle, an office manager from Liverpool, said: “I woke up and saw a dressing on my stomach. The surgeon said they had dropped cauterising instruments on to me by mistake.
“I’m now left with burn scars on my stomach and I can’t wear a bikini.”
The Birkdale, which also has an address in London’s Harley Street, has been heavily advertising cut-price cosmetic surgery such as boob jobs for €2,200 in a link-up with Groupon.co.uk.
The Independent Healthcare Advisory Service said: “Breast augmentation simply can’t be done safely at these prices.”
The General Medical Council said they have had no complaints about Dr Adeogba. Birkdale director Dr Promod Bhatnagar said: “The clinic cannot be held responsible for surgical outcomes. It is the surgeon who wields the knife, not Birkdale staff.
“The clinic makes sure surgeons are fully qualified. Surgeons you refer to in your article are on the specialist register of the GMC. It is the GMC that deals with any concerns about competence.
“Even though the clinic is not responsible for surgeons’ acts, it does make sure surgeons with right skills and qualifications are allowed to practise there. There have been about eight cases which had ongoing concerns.
“What a client pays for the surgery has nothing to do with the treatment they receive. You get the same quality.”