Louise Smith: Hairdresser dies after cheap weight loss surgery in Iran goes wrong

Louise Smith: Hairdresser dies after cheap weight loss surgery in Iran goes wrong
British citizen Louise Smith, 37, went to Iran for cosmetic surgery after she gained weight during the lockdown (Facebook)

The pandemic has not been easy on many people who are conscious of their bodies. Many people gained a lot of weight during the multiple lockdowns and one of them was British hairdresser Louise Smith. After gaining weight during the lockdown, she reportedly became obsessed with changing her appearance. Smith died after undergoing cut-price cosmetic surgery in Iran. The 37-year-old had travelled to the Middle Eastern country for the operation while living in Dubai. She had moved from the UK to Dubai in 2019.

From Coventry, West Midlands, Smith passed away on July 28, 2021 after the operation she had wanted, in order to lose her lockdown weight, went horribly wrong. Her friend Danni Chauhan reportedly said that she could not comprehend what had happened. "What a young life lost all because we want to look a certain way that social media portrays us to look like. I’m so sorry you had to go through this alone."


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As per the publication, Smith worked for Toni & Guy in the UK for 19 .years. Following a breakup in 2019, she decided to move to the Middle East for a better life. Her family back in UK are still coming to terms with the devastating news. They are now struggling to bring her body back home. Louise’s 51-year-old sister Sharon Elston reportedly told The Sun, “We are all in shock at the moment."

Louise's dad Neil said the process was moving "incredibly slowly" and he has no clear date for when she will be home. He posted online, "We are still in the dark, just coming up again a brick wall about getting her home. We have emailed local MP Will Quince to no avail doing everything possible please, please British embassy we need this help get the ball rolling." Around £14,000 has been raised through crowdfunding.

According to the publication, in recent years, Iran has become a global centre for cheap cosmetic surgery — some estimates in 2019 suggested more than 150,000 nose jobs were carried out there every year, as compared to UK's figure of just 2,000. According to a report in their conservative Etemad newspaper, it was estimated that as many as 2,00,000 Iranians, mostly women, go to cosmetic surgeons each year to reduce the size of their nose.

Some of the travel agents in Iran even offer packages like "Iran plastic surgery tour package" and "Iran cosmetic surgery tour package". Iranian specialists reportedly offer surgeries such as rhinoplasty, cosmetic eyelid surgery, cheek implants, chin implant, botox injections, breast augmentation, liposuction, aesthetic surgery or even a full facelift at low prices. Rhinoplasty procefures have a high success rate, at roughly 500 dollars for the procedure. The cosmetic tourism industry is a high demand marketplace with many patients flying in from Iran's neighbouring countries. Dr Masoumeh Ebtekar, Vice President for Women and Family Affairs of Iran, spoke with the publication in 2019 about the rage of plastic surgeries in Iran. "Iran has changed," Masoumeh Ebtekar said. "We have so many surgeons. We have access to medical facilities and improvement in quality of life."

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