Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: A television 'extreme makeover' made my body explode

  1. #1
    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default A television 'extreme makeover' made my body explode

    Nicola Stratton endured a total of 30 hours on a Los Angeles operating table

    There was a time when Nicola Stratton could not bear to undress in front of her husband, Kirk.
    In her eyes – although not in his, it should be said – Nicola was a flat-chested giant with the feminine allure of a fridge-freezer.
    So when she sashayed into the bright lights of a television studio looking like a demure cousin of Jessica Rabbit, the viewers were suitably astounded.
    Nicola, an air hostess from Bolton, Lancashire, had endured a total of 30 hours on a Los Angeles operating table, all paid for by Brand New You, an ‘extreme makeover’ show on channel Five.
    At a cost of £110,000, the surgeons reshaped her nose, her brow, her ears and, most triumphantly of all, her breasts, transforming a healthy but modest B-cup into a substantial DD.
    There was no shortage of critics, and for a while Nicola’s radical surgery was a talking point. Yet the results appeared to speak for themselves – a boost not just to her appearance but her confidence.
    It was proof to sceptics and devotees alike that plastic surgery works.
    Nicola’s delight knew no bounds. ‘It is like eating a bar of chocolate,’ she was moved to say. ‘Take just one bite, and you want to go on eating.’
    Now, though, she has lost her appetite. Elegant and curvy, she is still a woman to turn heads.
    But the new-found confidence has vanished and one important aspect of her proud new appearance has, literally, shrunk.
    A few weeks ago, Nicola was disturbed to find that one of the expensive implants had burst, leaving her left breast like a shrivelled balloon.
    Now, worse still, the programme makers are refusing to pay towards corrective surgery.
    Nicola, 35, claims that the American surgeon who carried out her breast augmentation in 2004 has already offered to put it right under a ten-year warranty.

    Additional fees for her hospital stay, though, mean it will cost £5,000, which she cannot afford. What was promised as a life-changing experience has left her not just disfigured, but anxious that her other implant might burst, too.
    ‘When I saw my left boob had deflated I was devastated, but I thought at least I’m covered by this warranty and I could have it fixed,’ she says.
    ‘Although I have emailed, rung and written to RDF Television many times, they say it is up to me to foot the bill.
    ‘Having differently sized breasts is an absolute nightmare. Quite apart from the sheer inconvenience of having to pad my bra, I feel like a freak – as if I’ve lost my femininity. I’m desperate to get this surgery done, but I don’t know how I will afford it. It’s money I just don’t have.’

    Desperate to Change: Nicola said she felt like an ugly duckling and is thrilled with her new look

    Nicola’s surgery was a radical undertaking. It involved a brow lift, an eye lift, rhinoplasty (a nose job), having her ears pinned back, liposuction on her chin, jaw, stomach, back and hips, saline breast implants, laser eye surgery and £22,000 of dental work.
    At the time, friends and relatives, including her mother, questioned whether a 30-year-old woman should be subjecting herself to such extensive and unnecessary medical procedures. But she went ahead, obsessed by the idea that, whatever her husband thought, she was plain and unattractive.
    ‘At 5ft 10in I always felt too tall,’ she explains. ‘My boobs, 36B, were too small and my hips were too pear-shaped. So when I saw a newspaper advert for a TV makeover show, I jumped at the chance.
    ‘Before I had plastic surgery I was so self-conscious about my body that, on our wedding night, Kirk and I made love with the lights off. I didn’t even like him seeing me naked. I had a flat chest, flabby tummy, bad teeth and glasses. My ears stuck out and my nose was too big.
    ‘At the time it seemed as if all my friends were petite with big breasts, whereas I was incredibly tall with these smaller breasts, which made me feel out of proportion.’

    Nicola claims her job as a flight attendant contributed towards her negative self-image.
    ‘It is a glamorous life and I felt like an ugly duckling among swans,’ she says. ‘Flying also took its toll on my face and my figure.
    ‘Eating irregularly meant that in my late 20s I put on weight on my hips.
    I remember looking in the mirror when I was just 29 and thinking how much older travelling had made me look.’
    She insists that her upbringing is not to blame for her lack of confidence. ‘My parents were loving parents – they always told me I was beautiful and I was always the apple of my dad’s eye,’ she says. ‘In fact I didn’t dare tell my dad I was having so much done because I knew he’d be upset.
    ‘When I finally admitted how much of me had changed I think he was a bit sad, although he came round, saying that it didn’t matter and that I was still his
    little girl.’
    The operations took place in Los Angeles, which has a global reputation for high-class cosmetic surgery. ‘I was petrified when I discovered it would all be done in just a six-week period,’ says Nicola, ‘but also excited. Although some of the procedures were terribly painful, I’ve had no regrets until now.’

    And she recalls: ‘The hospital was a world away from any hospital in the UK. It was a beautiful, big building with deep-carpeted consultation rooms and enormous lifts. It was more like a plush office block than a hospital.
    ‘There weren’t wards full of patients. I counted only around 12 people there, and of course each person had a wealth of staff to attend to their every whim.’
    Nicola also found a very different attitude towards cosmetic surgery.
    ‘It wasn’t something to be hidden, as it is so often in Britain,’ she says. ‘People wandered around in their bandages. They were happy to show that they’d undergone some cosmetic procedure, even in the street. It was quite acceptable to show the healing scars from a facelift.’
    Nicola emerged from the operations and the subsequent hour-long programme with a feeling of elation.
    ‘It seemed as if, overnight, I had become a celebrity. I suppose $250,000 was a lot of money to spend on one person in one go. Friends thought I looked amazing, I dropped from a dress size 14 to a 12 and my confidence soared. I loved my new figure.’

    Six weeks after the surgery, she and Kirk, a steel worker, renewed their wedding vows. Within a few weeks, however, their relationship was over.
    Kirk, 33, had never been convinced by the surgery, saying he liked her as she was. And for Nicola, the change in her appearance brought an altered state of mind.
    ‘Having the surgery changed me,’ she admits. ‘I became so much more confident. Before, Kirk used to say I looked fine and that he fancied me as I was. In fact, I think he liked my smaller breasts. However, I don’t think he ever really appreciated how much I didn’t like my looks.
    ‘Even when I applied for all the surgery, he never imagined I’d actually be chosen. Or, when I was, that I would go through with it.’
    Nicola confesses that at first she was concerned only about having her breasts enlarged.
    ‘But when the consultants looked at me,’ she recalls, ‘they saw lots of other things that could be improved, such as pinning back my ears and removing fat from my face. They were the sort of changes to your appearance you would never even think about unless you were a professional surgeon.
    ‘Neither Kirk nor I could have imagined how much having all that surgery would change our lives. We’d been together for ten years and married for just 15 months when I went on the programme. And although the surgery obviously changed me, afterwards I changed even more.
    ‘Within months I’d developed the confidence to go blonde. I also changed my diet. I started eating healthily and exercising. And I began wearing high heels. I’d always worn flatties before because I felt too tall, but after my surgery I didn’t want to hide any longer.
    ‘My new look attracted lots of attention from men. I would walk into a bar and, for the first time, people were looking at me.’

    But Nicola denies that this new interest from men led to the break-up of her relationship with Kirk. ‘The truth is, having the surgery didn’t split us up,’ she says. ‘We had been growing apart before it, but it gave me the confidence to walk away.
    ‘Had I not had the operations, I might have struggled on a lot longer in an unhappy marriage. Who knows, we might even still be married today.’
    There were no regrets, in other words, until January when Nicola was taking a shower.
    ‘As I dried myself I noticed my left breast felt more wobbly and softer than usual,’ she says. ‘When I looked in the mirror I realised to my horror that it was noticeably smaller, like a popped balloon.
    ‘I knew straightaway that my implant, which was made with saline, had burst. I was terrified for my health, worried that something poisonous might have seeped into my system.’
    She sent frantic emails to her Los Angeles surgeon who reassured her that the saline would pass harmlessly through her body.
    ‘Doctors don’t know why this implant has not worked,’ she says. ‘It isn’t anything to do with flying apparently, but I have now been told there was always a four per cent chance of failure.’
    Recently, Nicola has developed worrying lumps in her left breast – another cause for anxiety, and one that will remain until an operation is possible.
    ‘I tell myself that these lumps are just a harmless side-effect of the saline seeping out and the implant casing growing harder,’ she says. ‘But I am still very worried and desperate to get it sorted out.’
    She has now been warned that her other breast is at risk of deflating, too, and her surgeon has recommended that both her implants should be replaced with silicone, which is more robust.
    Every year about 10,000 British women choose to have breast augmentations. Saline, or salt water, implants have become the most popular because of concerns about the older silicone and oil implants. Failed implants have been blamed for severe health complications.

    Saline implants are claimed to leave a smaller scar because they are inserted empty and then filled with the solution. Silicone implants are filled before surgery is performed.
    However, it is saline implants that are more likely to cause cosmetic problems such as rippling, wrinkling and to be more noticeable to the eye or to the touch.
    When saline implants leak, they often deflate quickly but they are easy to remove and replace.
    Silicone implants do not deflate but a leak may be harder to detect. The dangers of this are a matter of fierce contention, although most surgeons claim there is no evidence that a leak will harm a patient.
    It is only eight months since Nicola met a new partner, 42-year-old Andy, a scaffolder. He knew all about the surgery, but now she has had to tell him it has gone badly wrong.
    ‘I couldn’t help but worry how I would explain to Andy that my boob had deflated,’ she says.
    ‘I was in tears telling him about it, but thankfully all he is worried about is helping me.
    ‘When I first realised my bosom had deflated, all those old self-conscious fears came flooding back. My relationship with Andy was relatively new and I found myself terrified that he wouldn’t fancy me any more and that my popped breast would put him off sexually.
    ‘It has been hard letting him see me like this. But he’s just worried that because I still have the implants inside me I could develop some kind of infection. Still, however understanding he is, I haven’t wanted him to feel the lumps.
    ‘When I do manage to get the money together, I have decided not to go back to the States to have the boob job. Next time I will stick to a surgeon in the UK just in case anything goes wrong again.’
    A spokesman for RDF, which produced a single series of eight Brand New You shows for channel Five and also makes Wife Swap, Faking It and Secret Millionaire, says: ‘We have been in direct correspondence with Nicola regarding this matter and feel that we have responded to all of her questions in full, therefore concluding the matter.
    ‘Nicola entered into a direct contract with the surgeon, following a series of consultations, psychological assessments and interviews, the terms of which we are not privy to and therefore cannot comment on.’
    Nicola replies ruefully: ‘It’s a cautionary tale. People going in for surgery on these TV programmes need to check the small print very carefully. For years I felt lucky that I’d had more than £100,000 worth of surgery for free, with a ten-year warranty against anything going wrong. Now I know it was too good to be true.’
    But it seems that, even now, Nicola is neither wholly dissatisfied nor reformed. As she puts it: ‘Whatever risks implants have, I couldn’t face going back to how I was.’

    A television show gave this air hostess an 'extreme makeover' - then her body began to explode | Mail Online

  2. #2
    Elite Member Cali's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    citizen of the world


    Sorry but I don't have much sympathy. Its pretty common knowledge that implants require replacing and such down the road. If she couldn't afford it, she shouldn't have them put in.

    Yeah, its a crappy situation and they burst early. But still.

  3. #3
    Elite Member Algernon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Midwest USA


    they saw lots of other things that could be improved, such as pinning back my ears and removing fat from my face. They were the sort of changes to your appearance you would never even think about unless you were a professional surgeon.

    Yeah, a professional surgeon who sees dollar signs in every inch of your flesh. What a dimwit.

    In the top pic, why is her dress clinging to her like it's wet? The breast implant has soaked her dress?
    Value the future on a timescale longer than your own. -Richard Dawkins

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Megan Fox - extreme makeover
    By delusion in forum Latest Gossip
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: October 8th, 2008, 08:05 AM
  2. Replies: 10
    Last Post: October 7th, 2008, 05:17 PM
  3. New season of Extreme Makeover
    By Moongirl in forum Television and Movies
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: December 13th, 2006, 06:43 PM
  4. Extreme Makeover Before and After Pics
    By dakodas in forum Plastic Surgery
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: August 26th, 2006, 05:31 AM
  5. Extreme Makeover = Extreme Exploitation
    By buttmunch in forum Television and Movies
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: April 4th, 2006, 12:18 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts