‘Brazilian bum lift’ Dr speaks out after British mother dies after op

‘Life or death’: Surgeon behind botched ‘Brazilian bum lift’ which killed British mother-of-three admits surgical mistakes can ‘rupture organs’

  • Dr Ali Uckan carried out ‘bottom lift’ surgery on Leah Cambridge who later died
  • The mother-of-three suffered three heart attacks after her surgery in Ismir 
  • The Elite Aftercare clinic surgeon said risks are always present during operations

The surgeon who carried out a British mother’s ‘bottom lift’ which caused her to have a fatal heart attack, previously said surgical mistakes can be ‘life or death’ during the controversial procedure.

Dr Ali Uckan, operated on mother-of-three Leah Cambridge who had travelled to Ismir, Turkey, for a ‘Brazilian Bottom’ Lift.

Leeds woman Miss Cambridge, 29, suffered three heart attacks after her procedure.

Dr Ali Uckan, of the Elite Aftercare clinic in Ismir, Turkey, was caught on camera by a documentary team saying ‘every time’ he makes the implant as large as possible, when asked a question over size by a patient.

He also said there are huge risks involved – and that a mistake is ‘life or death’.

Dr Ali Uckan operated on Leah Cambridge at the Elite Aftercare clinic in Ismir Turkey where she later died 

Leah Cambridge, 29, died after surgery in Turkey. Her Turkish doctor said there are always ‘present risks’

He told a new documentary series made by Cherry Healey, the surgeon said: ‘I average two patients a day. The United Kingdom love BBL (Brazilian Butt Lift).

‘In every surgery you have risks, like imbalance, bleeding, infection or clot. But if you just hit somewhere wrong and just rupture the internal organ….’

Asked whether the operation was a matter of ‘life and death’ he said ‘yes’. 

The surgeon said he briefed the mother on the dangers, The Sun reported.

Dr Uckan said: ‘It is a scientific fact that undesirable and un­predictable risks are always present in this kind of surgery.’

Miss Cambridge’s partner Scott Franks, 31, said: ‘Leah was paranoid that she had excess weight from having three kids round her stomach.

Miss Cambridge, who was a mother of three boys, is thought to have suffered complications very soon into the procedure. Doctors and nurses were unable to save her

Mr Franks, her partner for ten years, described her death as ‘like a nightmare’

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Miss Cambridge’s partner Scott Franks, pictured together, left, has described his devastation at her loss. The mother of three (right) is thought to have suffered complications very soon after the procedure

‘I told her she was beautiful how she was but she really wanted it for her own confidence.


A Brazilian Butt Lift uses fat transferred from other areas of the body, such as the love handles, hips or stomach, to provide patients with a fuller derriere.  

Clinics report the procedure, which costs between £6,500 and £10,000, has seen more than a 50 per cent increase compared to five years ago. 

The procedure’s nickname was coined in 1996 after Dr Leonard Grossman was filmed performing fat transfer surgery on a patient from Brazil. 

The surgery takes anywhere from one to two hours to perform. The amount of downtime ranges from one to three weeks, plastic surgeons claim.


1. Liposuction to remove fat from abdomen/hips/thighs

2. Fat is ‘processed’

3. Fat is injected into buttocks


  • Upside-down heart, or ‘A-shape’: Much smaller waist and larger buttocks towards the bottom
  • Round: emphasis on increasing the size of the butt, not pulling in the waist or thighs 


  • Don’t smoke (increases infection risk and blood clot risk)
  • Don’t gain weight (when you lose it again, your butt will change) 


Higher than most operations – 20 in 100,000 compared with 1 in 100,000.

There are two major risk factors that can make a BBL fatal:

  • Blood clots travel to lungs
  • Accidental injection of fat to blood vessel 


1. Don’t work for 10 days

2. Don’t sit for 6 weeks

3. Sleep on stomach

4. Final shape will take months or a year to form

‘I didn’t think this would ever happen – or could happen to her.’

He believes Leah’s operation went wrong after fat was deposited into her blood stream and her oxygen levels dropped.

He says she was brought back to stable but she then had three heart attacks.

He said: ‘Leah was under anaesthetic and complications happened due to fat getting deposited into her blood stream and her oxygen levels dropped.

‘She was brought back to stable but had a further three heart attacks and there was nothing they could do after.’

Joining her parents in Turkey to fly Miss Cambridge’s body home, he said: ‘Leah was one in a million and I was so lucky to have her with me for ten years.

‘Two days ago I was happy – now I’m a broken man.

‘I know I’m moody and did her head in sometimes but I wouldn’t be where I am today without her is both guiding each other.

‘Leah wanted to get married and we def would of in next few years but instead I’m gonna have to plan a funeral.’

The so-called ‘Brazilian butt-lift’ procedure involves taking fat from the waist or the stomach and injecting it into the bottom.

It serves as an alternative to buttock augmentations using implants and is believed to offer a safer way of plumping your bottom due to the ‘natural’ fat used, which minimises the risk of silicon rejection.

The Turkish clinic where the mother-of-three from Leeds was operated on has been used by celebrities recently, who praised the surgeons online.

Miss Cambridge, who worked as a beautician, followed the likes of reality TV stars Lauren Goodger and Amber Dowding in opting for the Turkish clinic.  

Other reality stars to have had surgery there includes The Only Way is Essex star Georgia Kousoulou, who had a nose job there.

Ex on the Beach stars Zahida Allen and Kayleigh Morris, Laytesha Grace, who appeared on MTV show The Valleys, and Geordie Shore and Celebrity Big Brother contestant Marnie Simpson, also had operations at the clinic.

Dr Ali Uckan said he ‘always’ makes implants as large as possible when asked by another patient

Jemma Lucy, who has appeared on Ex on the Beach and Celebrity Big Brother, revealed she had a Brazilian butt-lift there this year.

She wrote on Instagram: Thankyou so much to @elitecosmeticsurgery !! The only place in the world where I would get surgery and enhance myself..’   


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