Botched boob job left me for dead
We were really happy to help Lianne. She travelled to Bangkok to have a boob job and ended up planning her own funeral. Tell and Sell placed her story in the Daily Mail to warn others of having cosmetic surgery overseas.
When Lianne Young booked in for what should be a routine operation to replace her ten-year-old breast implants, she never imagined she would end up fighting for her life.
Lianne was 27 when she first had breast implants. She’d already had a successful career as a world famous pornstar and had always been happy with her natural chest. But after having two children, her chest wasn’t as firm as it used to be.
‘As well as needing a bit of an uplift, my boyfriend at the time preferred women with large breasts so he told me to go bigger,’ Lianne said. ‘He offered to pay for my boob job and I contributed £500.’
Lianne, a sex and relationship writer for House of Ardent, went under the knife going from a 34D to 30FF. Over the years she never had a problem with her implants, but three years ago they were due to be replaced.
‘I was excited because I was going to have my oversized breasts reduced to much more manageable 30Cs,’ she said.
Lianne, from Bristol, did her research thoroughly and chose a clinic in Bangkok with good reviews.
‘I had carefully researched the overseas procedures available in both the UK and Australia – I was living in Australia at the time – and was told a lot of Australians and Brits travel to Asia for surgery, so I settled on a clinic there. The surgery cost £5,000.’
In April 2013, Lianne travelled to Bangkok with her friend Carl and, at first, was excited about the whole process. But it soon turned into a nightmare.
‘The hospital entrance looked more like a luxury hotel, with gold-coloured pillar surroundings, lots of curtain-walls and long-run escalators,’ she said. ‘But when I saw my assigned surgeon, he stuck a needle into one of my breasts without warning and started draining the fluid from my implant. I was quickly left with one full breast and one that looked like that of a 90-year-old woman. When I was sent to the waiting room afterwards I thought, there’s no backing out now.’
Lianne was then taken to a room where she was changed into a gown and taken to surgery. On coming round after the operation, she realised there was a distinct lack of pain and wondered if the surgery had even taken place.
‘There was no pain at first but when I saw my bandaged chest I knew the surgery had been done,’ she said. ‘I was still high on morphine.’
Lianne was taken to her hotel in a tuk tuk, helped into her bed and given a Rohypnol tablet. Seven days after the procedure she returned to the clinic to have a follow-up examination.
‘I removed my top and lay down,’ she said. ‘The doctor cut through the first layer of bandage wrap and pulled it away. Right away I could see blood and a yellowish substance, which had soaked through and made the dressing stick to my skin. I asked if I could see my new breasts but I was told to lie still. So, when the doctor looked away, I took the opportunity to take a photo using my phone. That’s when I felt the blood drain from my face. What I could see in the picture did not look good at all.’
Lianne’s breasts were badly bruised and infected, with pus oozing from the unhealed wounds. Her left breast was more badly damaged than her right.
‘I should have screamed but I couldn’t find my voice, let alone catch a breath,’ she said. ‘I was hoping to wake up from the nightmare at any moment but of course, it was all real. The examination room was spotless, but it may as well have been a sleazy and dirty back street surgery.’
Desperate to escape, Lianne got on the next flight and flew home in agony. There, she went straight to the doctors and was seen by a specialist.
‘I asked him if I was going to survive but he simply couldn’t give me an answer. I couldn’t believe there was a chance I could die from this botched boob job.’
The specialist confirmed Lianne had blood poisoning, necrotising fasciitis and a blood clot from her upper arm to the top of her chest, so she was admitted to hospital immediately. She was booked in two days later for two operations to try and save her life, which involved removing both implants along with breast tissue.
‘Afterwards I couldn’t bring myself to look at my chest,’ Lianne said. ‘I was in shock that my life had done a complete U-turn, I’d gone from someone who had always been concerned with their appearance and looking good, to a sick patient who was literally falling apart.’
Lianne was left with a flat 30A chest, which she found a relief – knowing everything had been removed. But over the next few weeks she lost two stone and half her hair, nails and a tooth fell out; a side effect of blood-thinning medication and a depleted immune system.
‘Things went from bad to worse when I suffered an internal bleed,’ she said. ‘My consultant took one look at me and immediately identified the 800cc interna; bleed as one of the biggest he had ever seen in his long career. Then before my surgery he told me it was official - I was the owner of the worst boob job he has ever witnessed.’
Lying in her bed, Lianne refused to let her two children, then 17 and 19, to come and visit her and spent hours crying, regretting ever having a boob job in the first place. She even began planning her own funeral, making notes of the songs she wanted, and wrote goodbye letters to her children.
‘My body wasn’t coping and nor could I,’ she said. ‘Knowing I only had a 50% chance of survival sent me into a nervous breakdown. I just had no idea how things had got so bad.’
Eventually though, Lianne’s health improved and she had reconstructive surgery. It didn’t work because her left breast implant would not stay in place so three months later she had another reconstruction. Again her breasts rejected the implants so they had to be removed.
‘I was left with immense scarring and deformed breasts, one with half a nipple,’ she said. ‘I couldn’t live looking like that so I went under the knife again for scar removal and reconstruction without implants. Luckily it worked. I am now implant free and have had scar removal and tattooing for my remaining nipple.’
Altogether, Lianne spent a total of £50,000 and had eight operations to keep her alive and to get her breasts looking normal again. Since then, she has discovered the surgeon who performed her surgery wasn’t properly qualified.
‘Unfortunately, lawyers have told me it’s impossible to sue a clinic once you’ve left Asia and that the country’s authorities simply won’t cooperate,’ she said. ‘I’ve also learnt that there’s a difference between cosmetic and plastic surgeons. I’ve been told that the latter require a minimum of 12 years specific training and must be registered under a specialist medical board, whereas cosmetic surgeons don’t and may have received no training at all.’
Now Lianne has got a new partner and built up enough confidence for him to see her body. She has also written a biography with details of her traumatic experience, which she hopes will make other women think twice before having cosmetic surgery.
'This whole ordeal has affected my life in many ways and is ongoing both physically and mentally,' she said. 'Having the boob job resulted in me entering premature menopause at 37 and I have recurring seromas that need draining several times a year. I regret ever having my boobs done and hope what I’ve been through warns others considering travelling to places like Asia for cosmetic surgery.’