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‘I was completely black and blue’

Dawn Cracknell

Ms Cracknell went to Prague for cosmetic surgery

UK plastic surgeons say they are seeing more and more people who need follow-up treatment after cosmetic surgery done abroad has gone wrong.

They are warning that such patients should not always be entitled to NHS help except in emergencies. So why do people seek surgery overseas?

Dawn Cracknell decided drastic action was needed. After having four children, she was unhappy with her body.

“I couldn’t get undressed in front of my husband and our sex life was suffering,” says the 33-year-old from Norfolk. “I decided I wanted cosmetic surgery.”

Back in 2006 she started looking at the cost for a tummy tuck, but soon realised that the £10,000-plus prices being quoted by UK surgeons was out of her reach.

“I began to think about going abroad. I really researched it and spoke to NHS surgeons. It seemed like a perfectly reasonable option so I decided to head to a clinic in Prague.

“I was there for 10 days in total – two pre-operation, eight post.”

I was completely black and blue. More so than the other woman who had had a tummy tuck
Dawn Cracknell

The flight, accommodation and treatment – a tummy tuck and liposuction – cost her less than £3,000.

But as soon a she had it done she started to worry.

“I was completely black and blue. More so than the other woman who had had a tummy tuck.

“When I got back I noticed the wound was not healing and a lump was developing. I rang the clinic and they told me to come back but I couldn’t afford to.

“When it got worse I turned to the NHS.

“After eight months I eventually got to see a surgeon in Norwich and he told me blood was collecting behind the wound because they had cut through too much muscle.

“I was so upset.”

Since then she has had the blood drained on a regular basis, but it still keeps returning.

She has now had two operations to clear up the problem and although it is improving she is still finding blood collects.

“It is horrible. I have terrible scars and the lump just comes back.

“I think people should think very carefully about going for cosmetic treatment abroad.”