A young mother in Perth got a very nasty surprise following a cosmetic surgery jaunt to Thailand when she discovered her breast implants came along with a “festering” superbug. 28-year-old Courtney O’Keefe ended up suffering through a partial mastectomy and a seven-month hospital stay to save her life. She told Nine News that the entire ordeal left her unable to breastfeed her five-month-old baby afterward.
According to Ms. O’Keefe, she and nine other women from Perth went on a surgery holiday to the Pattaya Hospital in Thailand in 2013. That’s where she picked up a bacterial infection. The $7,500 trip to get breast implants was intended to celebrate a successful 35-kilogram weight loss, but it turned into a much less festive occasion when she got a look at the hospital.
“I remember thinking that this looked completely different to what I was used to seeing in Australia,” O’Keefe related to Nine News. “It felt and looked wrong. Much dirtier than I would expect a hospital to be.”
O’Keefe entered hospital quarantine due to seizures shortly after returning to Australia. She says she was experiencing serious brain, heart, liver, and kidney problems.
Doctors speaking with Nine News offered a different point of view, suggesting that O’Keefe’s infection developed from poor post-surgery care that was her fault.
Ms O’Keefe has been through repeated corrective surgeries in the past four years. Today she feels like “less of a woman” due to the permanent scars left by her ordeal and the difficulties she’s experienced in trying to feed her baby daughter. Now she wants to warn others about the risks of going overseas for cheap surgery.
There have been at least three cases of Australian women dying after having cosmetic procedures (including breast augmentation and liposuction) performed in other countries.
Evita Sarmonikas, of the Gold Coast, died in 2015 during a buttock implant procedure in Mexico.
Dr John Flyn, censor-in-chief of the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery, says a minimum of 15 percent of his patients come to him because they’ve experienced problems with overseas surgery.
Surgical Price Comparison:
Breast Augmentation: Thailand – $5,000; Australia – $5,800
Mummy Makeover: Thailand – $14,000-$15,000; Australia – $35,000
Rhinoplasty (nose job): Thailand – $6,000; Australia – $15,000-$20,000
Six Most Common Cosmetic Procedures
1) Breast Augmentation
2) Breast Lift Including Implants
3) Tummy Tuck
4) Breast Revision
5) Mummy Makeovers (including breast augmentation, tummy tuck, facelift, and liposuction)