“With the increasing popularity of cosmetic surgery in the UK, Dr Christian Jessen shines a spotlight on the industry and comes to the aid of women who have fallen victim to botched operations”. In The Ugly Face of Beauty, shown last night on Channel 4, Jenssen looks at cosmetic surgery which has gone wrong, the impact on those women’s lives and explores how easily some women were led into signing up for surgery without even talking to the surgeon or understanding the risks involved. Their main concern seemed to be how to finance the surgery. Maybe we are entering a new era of cheap deals and BOGOF cosmetic surgery with little thought about whether people actually need this surgery.

Firstly, and most importantly, get help to decide whether or not to have surgery in the first place by getting imaging done to show yourself with the cosmetic changes you require. By seeing images of yourself you can then decide whether cosmetic surgery is for you – it may not be worth the pain and expense after all. Then, if you still want to go ahead, contact BAAPS (British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) to find a reputable surgeon, not the cheapest. Look into the risks, what’s involved, how much recovery time and how much after care you will receive.

Get imaging done at changemyface from £39

See more information on the series The Ugly Face of Beauty at Channel 4

‘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.”