Kiwi su­pery­acht host­ess’ botched breast surgery

The pres­sure to look good can re­sult in a world of pain. Cate Broughton re­ports.

Sunday Star-Times - - NEWS -

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.

ABI­GAIL DOUGHERTY / STUFF

Su­pery­acht stew­ardess Ni­cole Reed is warn­ing oth­ers about cheap med­i­cal tourism providers.

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