A young mum died as a result of complications with gastric bypass surgery, which her dad 'warned her not to have', a coroner has ruled today.
East London Coroner’s Court heard that 26-year-old Khelisyah Ashamu, an IT professional from Romford, died in Izmir, Turkey, on February 9, 2019, when her son Cairo was just 11-months-old.
She had booked the surgery through Get Slim, a Turkish-based company owned by two Brits, and travelled to Ekol Hospital to have it done.
Her devastated father Oyebanji Ashamu said in a statement: “I was against her having the surgery.
“Her baby was not yet one-year-old.
“I was not comfortable with it at all. She told me not to worry and that all of her friends were going.
“All of her friends came back, she was the only one who did not come back.”
Tracey Ozdemir, one of the owners of Get Slim, told the inquest how the company operates as a booking service, connecting British and Irish travellers with willing surgeons in Turkey.
She explained how 98% of customers opt for gastric sleeves, whereas Ms Ashamu chose a gastric bypass operation which has a life-changing impact on the patient.
“It’s not about the surgeon being unable to do it, it’s about the life changes that need to be made,” she said.
Ozdemir then explained how the operation only costs £3,000 in Turkey, whereas in the UK it is £12,000 to go private – with NHS waiting times of up to seven years.
The inquest also heard how Get Slim does not require patients to share their medical records from GPs.
Ozdemir said: “The surgeon goes through the full medical history with them but it relies on them telling the truth.”
Dr Ismail Aman, who performed the surgery, spoke at the inquest via video link to tell how, of the 4,000 bariatric surgeries he completed in the past five years, only 100 were gastric bypasses.
He said he advised Ms Ashamu to have a gastric sleeve, but she refused and asked for a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.
“She told us that she had done the research and with a bypass she will not gain weight”, he said.
The inquest heard that the gastric bypass works by separating the upper and lower parts of the stomach, with the upper then attached to the small intestine, thus bypassing the lower and decreasing appetite.
Long-term side effects include B12 and iron deficiencies, and Dr Aman said he told Ms Ashamu that the mortality risk was between one to two-and-a-half in 1000.
He said: “The usual complications are bleeding, pulmonary embolism, and anaesthetic complications.”
The inquest heard how Ms Ashamu had a second operation on February 3, the day after the gastric bypass, as adjustments were deemed necessary following a routine abdomen scan.
She suffered a cardiac arrest 30 minutes after the second operation, it was said, and she was placed into a medically induced coma.
On February 6 she was pronounced brain dead, and three days later she was taken off life support.
Coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe said that the cause of the cardiac arrest remained unclear, but concluded that she died as a result of complications arising from a surgical procedure.
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