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Swedish woman in coma after botched breast op
Screenshot: Medica Travel

Swedish woman in coma after botched breast op

Published: 17 Nov 2010 15:06 GMT+01:00
Updated: 17 Nov 2010 15:06 GMT+01:00

A Swedish woman who underwent breast enlargement surgery in Poland after booking with a medical tourism company remains in a coma three months after the operation.

The 31-year-old Swede, named only as Christina by Sveriges Television's (SVT) Uppdrag Granskning investigative news programme, decided to head to Poland to have the operation to increase the size of her breasts ahead of her planned wedding.

Christina contacted Trelleborg-based company Medica Travel, a medical tourism firm that advertises itself as "an alternative to Swedish health care," in order to arrange the formalities.

But shortly after the operation in a hospital in the Polish city of Gdansk, it became evident that all was not well with the patient when her heart stopped and then she remained in a coma, unable to wake up.

"People never hear of how it can go wrong. They must know that it is a risk you take," Christina's fiancé, Benny Håkansson, told SVT.

Five days after the fateful operation, Christina was brought back to Sweden where doctors have concluded that they believe that she received too much anaesthetic during the operation, resulting in brain damage.

Håkansson has furthermore learned that it is unlikely that his fiancée will ever regain consciousness. However, he refuses to give up hope.

"I am convinced that she hears and feels and understand things. When she is worried and I lie beside her, it calms her down," he said.

Håkansson made contact with Medica Travel to seek help in finding out what went wrong with his fiancée's care, but despite several attempts, he has not received a reply.

The hospital in Gdansk has since terminated its contract with Medica Travel following the incident and the two parties are currently in dispute over who is responsible for the woman, SVT reported.

When contacted by The Local, Medica Travel CEO Jörgen Petersen declined to comment about the case, saying only that he would make a statement as soon as he had gathered all the facts.

Talking to local Swedish daily Sydsvenskan, Peterson was more forthright:

"The hospitals, those who administered the care, so to speak, they have full responsibility. I am just the consultative part."

On its website, Medica Travel advertises that it arranges dental care, plastic surgery, private hospital stays, hair transplants, weight loss care, infertility treatments, laser eye surgery, alternative medicine, hearing aids, eyeglasses and beauty treatments such as hair extensions in Poland.

The firm makes an explicit pledge to assist clients who encounter problems while receiving care.

"There are always risks in health care and on occasion, things can go wrong. We at Medica Travel will help you in these situations. When you use Medica Travel, you can always feel assured that you have access to the best care," the website states.

Vivian Tse (vivian.tse@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:22 November 17, 2010 by tzatara1
well , that's very sad ,

but after all is a pefect chance for " Medica Travel " to prove everything that has been claimed so loud
16:37 November 17, 2010 by Tennin
Really scarey.
17:32 November 17, 2010 by mjennin2
>>... and the two parties are currently in dispute over who is responsible for the woman...
19:06 November 17, 2010 by nsp
Even in Japan anesthesia related mortality is a bit higher than 0,5%, There is always risk so getting a stupid boobjob is never the smartest idea... But Medica Travels and the clinics behavior is ... well, no comment
21:09 November 17, 2010 by Rizwan Rahim
im pretty sure Christina will raise soon, and i salutes Benny Håkansson for not giving up hope.

on the other hand why does young girls need this type of artificial boobs when inherit natural ones....is it coz of boys ? looks ? seems a psychological syndrome if you think in a matured manner
21:17 November 17, 2010 by Swedesmith
Oh, what is the price of vanity?
08:14 November 18, 2010 by villjobba
Really sad story. But I hope Swedish women - not only for those into boob jobs but any form of artificial beautification procedure - see some lessons to be drawn from this case.
09:17 November 18, 2010 by fm
My GF needs a boob Job
10:46 November 18, 2010 by spo10
i feel sorry for the woman who only wanted to be the perfect bride on her wedding day but sure enough, this is the price for that vanity. i hope the family will get compensation from the hospital who performed this operation.
21:20 November 18, 2010 by peterpol2468
Apparently the operation was illegal in that hospital. I know that from the polish news. Maybe that explains that after operation went wrong they did not try to get anybody from outside to help. You guys should be careful trying to do any business with Poland. It's a big mess. I know that. I am polish but I had spent many years in Canada. I came back to Poland and I am in a big shock from what I am seeing here. Poland is a mess. You think if you pay good money you will be in good hands. Not here in Poland. This is a warning for you people.

You take care!
06:23 November 19, 2010 by volvoman9
Some of you are missing the point I feel. What difference does the type of procedure make? A young woman is comatose because of a shabby rip-off medical provider. How crass to criticize her choice of cosmetic surgery.
21:25 November 20, 2010 by grantike
i saw the programme.it was really sad to see that Benny go through this unless he was part of the plan .i hope all other women will desist from this act .boobs job what that .... is that.its crazy
09:22 November 22, 2010 by Igor Niechajev
Public in Sweden is widely educated by the press how to check on their doctor, gather refetences, google, check with the Ministry of Health if the doctor has any remarks, check his homepage, go and get secon opinion and so on. I the case of surgical procedures abroad, as Medical Tourism should be properly called, people are unfortunately naive and stupid. They throw themselves with the blinded eyes in the arms of an agent who picks the hospital and the doctor abroad. The agents does not have an ability to evaluate foreign doctor credentials, if he or she is a specialist at all. All they care is to have the procedure done and pocket their share. Asked what was the name of the doctor or the hospital most swedish patients operated abroad answer " I don't know".

Unfortunately in the case of Christina there appears to be no hope.

This was the view of the local plastic surgeon.
15:16 December 2, 2010 by Zenon
Medical tourism to Poland-warning

The potential patients from other countries should realize that in a country( like Poland), where corruption at hospitals is connived or I'd say even officially tolerated, the probability of a danger for a patient is much higher. That's obvious, I think I don't have to explain it. Just one example from Lodz -if a professor of medicine forces patients to buy stapling instruments for intestinal anastomosis in a press&foodstuff kiosk at the hospital (what are the conditions of distribution and sterile store of such surgical equipment?!) and forced them to pay huge bribes to get it (officially it should be free as the National Health Fund refunds it), so it means, that everything can happen to a patient in this clinic.But the professor -chef of the Clinic of Colorectal Surgery in Lodz, with all his connections and sucks is still untouchable..This is extremely irresponsible, not easy to find in the so- called "third world".Except for the articles below, pleace notice that you -in western countries, may know more about similar swindles here, I mean for instance the Swedish movie titled "Skin Hunters", which is forbidden in Poland.

http://interwencja.interia.pl/news?inf=714651

http://wiadomosci.gazeta.pl/wiadomosci/1,61085,3147055.html

Doctor from Poland
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