NZ woman's horrific botched breast surgery prompts warnings about overseas jobs

Warning: This article and accompanying video contain graphic images and nudity.

A New Zealand woman's horrifically botched breast reduction has prompted surgeons to warn about going overseas for cosmetic surgery.

It's a personal and painful story for Margaret*, and the horrific photos make it obvious how badly infection spread after the operation in January.

"I was gutted because I'd saved for ages to do it - and yeah, it was pretty ugly," she explained.

NZ woman's horrific botched breast surgery prompts warnings about overseas jobs
Photo credit: Supplied

She went to Thailand for breast reduction surgery because it was cheaper than having it done here - but just a couple of days after she returned home, she went to hospital where they detected a 'super bug'.

"I had appointments I had to attend every day for a while for dressings; then every second day; and then five surgeries after I've come back - so it was quite a big impact."

Dr Michelle Locke says New Zealand needs to start keeping data on the number of people returning from South East Asia needing fix-up jobs.

"I certainly feel in the last two years or so there's been a big increase in the number coming back with problems."

NZ woman's horrific botched breast surgery prompts warnings about overseas jobs
Photo credit: Supplied

In New Zealand, non-surgical enhancements like filler and Botox are growing faster in popularity than cosmetic surgery.

The risk with those less invasive procedures is counterfeit products, where something is meant to be dissolvable and it's not or the product's long-term effects are untested.

The riskiest is a look driven by celebrity Kim Kardashian. Requests in New Zealand for buttock enhancements are on the rise, but large blood vessels in that area mean it's the most dangerous of all procedures.

"If that filler goes into the blood vessels instead of into the tissue where it should, it can kill you," says Dr Locke.

Margaret now needs breast reconstruction. The surgery changed her life, but not in the way she hoped.

*Not her real name.

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