A man who risked his life during an £18,0000 liposuction and tummy tuck procedure that saw him drop over 35kg (5.5 stone) in fat, is over the moon with his transformation and claims he has no regrets.
Chad Teixeira weighed 160kg (25 stone) before undergoing surgery and claimed he had been through dozens of personal trainers trying to shift the weight he wanted to lose.
So back in March, when Turkey was still on the red list and Chad, 26, was stuck at his Mayfair home in lockdown, he finally took the plunge and booked himself in for the intense surgery with a Turkish surgeon.
Three days and £18,000 later, he had landed in Turkey and was ready to go under the knife.
“I basically decided to book this on some sort of whirlwind, in the middle of the pandemic lockdown last year,” Chad told My London. “I was stuck in the house, feeling so negative. I didn’t like the way I looked, didn’t like anything basically.
“So I booked it, a combined surgery which has never really been done before: I had mega lipo, it’s like normal lipo but they removed crazy amounts in one go, and I had the tummy tuck, all combined.”
Do you have a story? Email [email protected]
During the surgery Chad had 18 litres of fat removed from his body – over three times what UK plastic surgeons would consider safe to do in one sitting. The rest of the weight that he lost was from all the excess skin removed in the tummy tuck.
Chad had originally contacted a London-based surgeon to see if they could take on the procedure, but was told that for his size, it would be unsafe.
“They said they could only do the lipo, and for the amount of fat I could get removed in Turkey I would have to have five sessions, six months apart in the UK at £8,000 to £10,000 per session,” he said.
Chad said that because of the amount of fat removed from his body, it initially swelled up to twice its pre-op size.
In addition to this, he was bruised all over, and every day for two months he had to have lymphatic drainage massage.
He also found out afterwards just how dangerous the surgery was: he had to have two complete blood transfusions.
“Post-surgery is where the whole ‘risked my life’ thing came in – I had two complete blood transfusions,” he said. “Normal blood transfusion, to replace literally a whole human’s blood in their whole body is about eight bags [of blood], and total, post-op, they gave me 14 bags of blood.”
Despite this inherent risk, Chad doesn’t regret a thing: “But then again, I’m alive, thank the Lord – I mean, I’m going back for more.
“I’m having a round two of lipo, and I’m going to have an arm lift, which is like a tummy tuck for your arms, to get rid of your bingo wings. I’ve just booked it, actually, I’m going this month.”
Prior to having surgery Chad says he hated the way he looked, and was in “quite a negative space”.
“Where I live in Mayfair, there’s so much pressure from people we know as a family, people that I socialise with, to always be on your best game and look your best,” he said.
Chad has transformed his life and health after his surgery, drinking far less alcohol than he used to and making healthier food choices.
He’s also making progress at the gym, finding it far easier to work to keep the weight off and notice progress now that the fat has been removed.
“It’s a quick fix, but just because you had lipo doesn’t mean that it’s going to stick long-term,” he said. “I think it’s changed my mindset on how much I drink, what I’m eating.
“I’m so happy. It’s done wonders for my confidence, wonders for the way I look. I feel amazing. So happy I did it.”
When asked about the safety of surgeries like Chad’s, plastic surgeon Dr Paul Banwell said there were “significant safety concerns” regarding massive liposuction and a very high risk of complications and even death.
“I know that a lot of people are tempted to go abroad for plastic surgery because it may be cheaper, however I would urge anyone considering this to exercise caution,” he warned.
“Whilst there are a lot of good surgeons abroad, it can prove harder to research the surgeon’s qualifications and experience abroad, and no surgery is risk free.
“If you have complications after an operation in the UK it’s the surgeon’s responsibility to provide follow-up treatment, in other countries this may not be the case. Similarly the standard of care may not be as good as in the UK.”
He continued: “It’s vital that you do your research when it comes to any type of cosmetic surgery or aesthetic procedures. As well as checking if your surgeon is qualified and registered, it’s also a good idea to do some research into their experience and specialism.
“It makes sense to choose a practitioner who regularly carries out this type of surgery and it’s important to make sure you feel comfortable with your surgeon and make sure they’re suitably qualified.”
Dr Banwell also implored anyone who is considering surgery to make sure they’re doing it “for the right reasons”.
He said: “Unrealistic expectations of beauty ideals (especially due to Instagram and heavily filtered images) are fuelling pressure for young adults to have surgery.
“I would always advise patients not to do it in order to keep up with beauty ideals they’ve gleaned from Instagram or in order to simply look better on their Instagram feed and also to be wary of social media recommendations.
“If you do find your surgeon through social media you need to take the time to look at their background. Remember that before/after images can be doctored or filtered.”