Kiwi superyacht hostess’ botched breast surgery
The pressure to look good can result in a world of pain. Cate Broughton reports.
A Kiwi woman who flew halfway across the world hoping to enhance her appearance is now warning others after the nightmare she experienced. Nicole Reed has been left with such a gaping flesh wound under her breast from a botched surgery that she can’t lift her handbag. After the operation in Istanbul at the beginning of October, the 30-year-old woke up shaking, sick, and vomiting blood. Despite this, the attending surgeon said she was well enough to fly to Thailand to recuperate. There, she developed a serious infection, and was admitted to Auckland City Hospital’s emergency department when she arrived back in New Zealand. ‘‘I was forced to check out of the hospital even though I did not feel well enough to go. I had noone to help me, just an angry doctor who I felt hated me.’’ Reed’s work as a superyacht stewardess came with high pressure to look a certain way. ‘‘I felt my body let me down.’’ She booked the initial breast lift and augmentation through medical tourism company Clinic Center. Weeks after the operation, she noticed her breasts sagging. The surgeon was no longer working through Clinic Center, so she contacted him directly. He had not done the lift – he thought she did not need it. They agreed he would do a breast lift, a Brazilian butt lift, facelift and liposuction in her arm. She had serious complications after the second round of surgeries. Reed’s GP has referred her for repair surgery and she has put in an ACC claim to cover the cost of a private surgeon. ‘‘The worst thing is I did this to myself. I regret it with my entire heart and soul. I want to warn people it’s not worth it and not to be sucked in to this.’’ Reed’s surgeon could not be contacted. Clinic Center owner Mustafa Temiz said the company was not responsible for Reed’s surgery. It operated like a ‘‘travel agent’’ which brought patients and surgeons together. New Zealand Association of Plastic Surgeons president and Auckland plastic surgeon Dr Jonathan Wheeler said Reed’s procedures were ‘‘major’’ surgery requiring significant postoperative recovery. In New Zealand, patients would be advised not to fly longhaul for six weeks afterwards. Middlemore Hospital treated one to two patients like Reed each month, Wheeler said. ACC received 29 claims for plastic surgery treatment injuries from overseas providers between July 1, 2016 and June 30 this year.
Superyacht stewardess Nicole Reed is warning others about cheap medical tourism providers.