A mum says getting a Brazilian butt lift (BBL) in Turkey was ‘the biggest mistake of her life’ after she died on the operating table and had to be resuscitated – leaving her with heart problems at life. Courteney Smith flew to Turkey for a BBL – where fat is transferred from the abdomen to the buttocks – in August 2020 after finding a cosmetic surgery company on social media.
The 25-year-old says she regretted the operation the moment she woke up from surgery in excruciating pain and was then forced to spend days in the clinic’s private villa without any doctor to take care of her. After waking up from surgery two hours later than expected on her back instead of forward and with an unusual mark on her chest, the mother suspected something had gone wrong, but said doctors had denied any problems.
But when she returned to the UK and visited her GP with chest pains, she claims she was told the bruise was from resuscitation, which she says the doctors in Turkey finally confessed. Courteney says she now has lifelong heart problems as well as other lasting issues from the surgery, although she didn’t even get the result she was hoping for.
Courteney, from Hertfordshire, said: “When I woke up from surgery I was lying on my bottom. Obviously you’re not supposed to be lying on your bottom when you’ve just had BBL surgery, you are supposed to be on your face.
“As they took the garment off me I was screaming and crying because I was in so much pain – my butt looked like a skin graft, it was bright red. The pain was 1,000 times worse than giving birth without pain relief, it was unbearable, I literally thought I was going to die.
“The next day I was lying on my stomach like you are supposed to after surgery, but I was having trouble breathing and had pain in my chest. When I looked at my chest, I had a huge bump and bruise.
“I asked them why it was there and they basically said it was because of the liposuction but the liposuction should stop below your breasts. When I got back to the UK I went to the doctor and they said the bruise had just been resuscitated.
“It was really scary to hear. I had never had heart problems before, so I didn’t expect them to say that.” The stay-at-home mom says her experience with the Turkish clinic was bad from the moment she arrived at the hospital for surgery.
She claims the promised consultation to discuss her goals for the operation was bypassed with the surgeon instead of just branding her body and saying he would give her ‘what all English girls love’. Courteney says she was told the operation would take three hours, but woke up five hours later confused to find herself lying on her back.
BBL patients usually remain lying on their stomachs after doctors have worked on their buttocks and they are advised not to lie on their backs for the first two weeks after surgery. This, coupled with a bruise and chest pain, led Courteney to discover that her heart had stopped beating during the operation and she needed to be resuscitated.
After confronting staff at the Turkish clinic with her symptoms and what her GP had told her, Courteney says they finally admitted what had happened. Courteney said: “I was supposed to have a consultation but was told that because the clinic wasn’t open that early the doctor was literally going to come in and call me and that was it.
“The surgeon didn’t even ask me what I wanted it to look like or if I had any pictures to refer to, he just said ‘all English girls like to have the hourglass figure’. But that wasn’t not how I wanted it I wanted a small amount put in the top of my butt – they put way too much in my butt and also filled my hips to make me look much wider.
“They don’t have doctors in the villa you’re staying in, there’s only one administrator who’s sitting at a computer in the front room. If I end up having another cardiac arrest in my room, there was no one to give me the care I needed.
“I had to take a taxi to the clinic the day after the operation because I was in so much pain and the doctor just looked at me and said ‘you’re fine, you can go’. C It was literally like when they took the money from me, everything changed. It was so unprofessional, I don’t think they know what they’re doing.
Despite being initially told she had to stay at the clinic’s villa for seven nights to recover from the operation, the mother-of-two left after four nights due to what she perceived as a “lack of care”. After returning to the UK and discovering the disturbing reality of what had happened during the operation, Courteney claims she underwent numerous tests to assess the damage to her heart.
She says doctors suspect she has Brugada syndrome – a condition which affects the way electrical signals travel through the heart and can cause the heart to beat dangerously fast. But due to being pregnant just four months after the BBL operation, the mum said doctors were only able to carry out some tests after her baby was born in September 2021.
The mother says she was even forced to give birth to her daughter without any painkillers as she feared it would trigger cardiac arrest. She is currently undergoing further tests to try to confirm her diagnosis.
Besides the heart issues, Courteney says she was also left with painful bumps on her ribs and a “crease” on her stomach from where too much fat was taken from, as well as constant pain in her buttocks. She says the Turkish clinic responded to her many concerns by offering revision surgery, which she declined due to health fears.
Courteney said: “I didn’t even get the results I wanted. They left me with a crease in my stomach where they took too much fat in the navel area causing the upper part to bend If I bend to the side and stretch my skin, you can see that there are two bumps that are painful – I feel like my skin is literally going to burst.
“I also have these pains in my buttocks and it feels like there’s fat sitting on the nerves that shouldn’t be there. When I told them they seemed pretty freaked out and told me asked to come back for revision surgery for free.
“But I just told them that with all the problems I’ve had, I’m not going back and having another operation with them. They just said ‘that’s all we can do for you’ .” Courteney now vows never to go under the knife for cosmetic surgery again and even fears local anesthesia could kill her due to the damage to her heart.
She hopes to warn others of the risks of undergoing cosmetic surgery abroad as she continues to deal with lingering health issues. Courteney said: “I wish I had never done it, it was the biggest mistake of my life.
“I had a healthy heart before this operation, but now I wouldn’t even go for anesthesia because I’m afraid I won’t wake up if I fall asleep. I would never recommend the operation to anyone. whatever. . It’s too risky to know that you could die to not even get the results you wanted in the end.”