Mental Health Worker Dies in Turkey from Cosmetic Surgery Disaster


In a tragic turn of events, Melissa Kerr, a 31-year-old mental health practitioner based in Gorleston, Norfolk, lost her life in 2019 at the private Medicana Haznedar Hospital, situated in Istanbul, Turkey. She was undergoing a popular procedure known as the Brazilian butt-lift or BBL, marred with inherent risks. A coroner’s inquest concluded that Kerr was not afforded adequate information to make a fully informed, safe decision regarding the procedure.

Sadly, despite an ensuing correspondence with the health secretary about the inherent dangers of this procedure by Coroner Jaqueline Lake to help prevent future fatalities, the hospital failed to issue any comments. Expressing their grief, Kerr’s family iterated their hopes for individuals to exercise prudence before opting for cosmetic tourism in Turkey.

Kerr, who worked with the mental health charity, Mind, was reportedly self-aware about her appearance. The fact that BBL operations confer the highest risk amongst all cosmetic surgery procedures became apparent during the inquest. Impressively, the United Kingdom has a standing moratorium on such procedures, viewing the endangerment involved, as per the observations of expert witness and plastic surgeon Simon Withey.

He posited that Kerr would, in all likelihood, not have committed financially to the procedure, had its grievous risks been adequately explained to her.

On the date of the incident, 19th November 2019, Kerr paid £3,200 upfront in cash just a day after arriving in Turkey. She was subjected to a “limited” pre-operation assessment prior to the surgery. The operation was executed by Dr. Yakup Duman, an aesthetic and reconstructive surgeon and a visiting doctor.

By employing a liposuction process, fat was extracted from Kerr’s jowls, thighs, and abdomen, and subsequently injected into her buttocks. In the re-injection phase, which saw the fat inserted deep into her buttock muscle tissue, Kerr fell victim to a lethal clot that had made its way into her lungs.

According to the evidence presented, Kerr had been in the operation theatre for over three hours before resuscitation attempts began. Sadly, she passed on shortly after.

Unfolding events reveal that Kerr had no reported health concerns as per her UK GP. She had successfully undergone a breast augmentation a decade prior, without any complications.

The coroner recorded a narrative conclusion, stating that Kerr’s death ensued from cosmetic surgery, more specifically, a pulmonary thromboembolism and fat thromboembolism. In her report to the secretary of state, Lake voiced her concerns about patients not being adequately informed about the risks or mortality rates pertinent to such surgeries.

She further added that while the UK government holds no jurisdiction over the practices in other nations, it is concerning that citizens who continue to travel overseas for such procedures are at risk. She expressed a firm belief that future fatalities could be mitigated by disseminating more comprehensive information.


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