The women you are about to meet have suffered the devastating effects of botched cosmetic surgery. They rue the day they had the procedures and are now speaking out to warn others of the potential risks.
Valerie Lawrence had a couple of itchy sunspots on her cheeks that wouldn't go away.
She was advised to have them surgically removed by plastic surgeons at a major teaching hospital and says she was told it would be like having a mini facelift.
But when she woke up she had 40 stitches in her face.
"I looked like the bride of Frankenstein," she said.
Ms Lawrence was told the doctors were looking for skin cancer but a biopsy before the operation had shown it was not at all cancerous - and the real pain came when she discovered she didn't even need the surgery.
"Two dermatologists have told me it was a shame I'd had plastic surgery ... a tube of cream could have fixed it up," she said.
She is now considering legal action and wants to warn others of the potential risks of cosmetic surgery.
"People have got to realise when they go to these hospitals and talk to the specialists they're 99 per cent of the time not the ones performing the surgery," she said.
Kerry Harris' nightmare began just two months after her plastic surgeon inserted her breast implants when her breasts developed deep ripples.
She had to have the implants removed quickly but was told by a different surgeon to have new ones inserted in the huge cavity left.
Again, she contracted a serious infection and on top of that, in hospital she contracted life-threatening golden staph.
"I ended up with big hole in my breast. The implant was actually hanging out of that hole," Ms Harris said.
Ms Harris had an emergency operation to remove the implants.
All up, she's had six costly operations: that's almost three years of misery costing nearly $60,000 and because so many doctors have been involved, compensation is a virtual impossibility.
Ranghaild Herman's facelift has left her permanently bruised and scarred.
She says she's wasted her money and is furious about the off-hand way she was treated.
The Health Care Complaints Commission's Amanda Adrian urges people to report claims against medical practitioners so they can be investigated.
"The responsibility is primarily on the medical practitioner to make sure the consumer knows all they need to know," she said.
And that's why Ms Lawrence, Ms Harris and Ms Herman have told their stories: to warn others not to be swayed by sales talk and to thoroughly research the potential risks.To contact the ACT Community and Health Services Complaints Commissioner call 02 6205-2222 or visit www.healthcomplaints.act.gov.auTo contact the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission call 1800 043 159 or visit www.hccc.nsw.gov.auThe NT Health and Community Services Complaints Commission can be contacted on 1800 806 380 or visit www.nt.gov.au/omb_hcscc/HCSCC/welcomehh.htm To contact the Queensland Health Rights Commission call (07) 3234-0272 or 1800 077 308 or visit www.hrc.qld.gov.auTo contact the SA Ombudsman call 1800 182 150 or visit www.ombudsman.sa.gov.auThe Tasmanian Health Complaints Commission can be contacted on (03) 6233-6348 or 1800 001 170 or visit www.justice.tas.gov.au/health_complaints/home.htmlTo contact the Victorian Health Services Commissioner call 1800 136 066 or visit www.health.vic.gov.au/hscTo contact the WA Office of Health Review call (08) 9426-0100 or 1800 813 583.''Disclaimer
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