Editor’s Note: A family member of the deceased says the cause of Demi’s death is inaccurately reported in British media. “That story is all lies[,] she didn’t have a heart attack. [W]e don’t know how or why she died,” Demi’s sister wrote on social media about a prominent January 10 local news report.*
A British mother of three died Monday, January 8, in Istanbul, Turkey, days after undergoing an allegedly successful cosmetic surgery procedure, currently believed to have been a Brazilian butt lift, or “gluteal fat grafting” surgery.
British media reports that Demi Agoglia, 26, died of a heart attack while traveling to the hospital in a taxi cab, after experiencing chest or heart pain. She had had surgery the prior Thursday.
Demi is “believed to have suffered multiple heart attacks due to a fat embolism, despite doctors saying her surgery went well last Thursday,” according to local and other media reports.
Neither the surgeon or clinic involved in this incident are currently known, nor is it yet known whether any misconduct or substandard care occurred.
But warnings of elevated levels of death and disfigurement following cosmetic surgery in Turkey have been issued by both the British government and the British professional society of plastic surgeons.
“We are aware of over 25 British nationals who have died in Turkey [in the 55-month period] since January 2019 following medical procedures.”FCDO, “Foreign travel advice, Turkey,” August 2023
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons warned in November 2023 that in the year prior, hospitalizations required by patients who had undergone plastic surgery abroad were up 94 percent year-over-year.
The largest number of those patients, 78 percent, had gone to Turkey for cosmetic work, Society leadership said.
Turkey ranks 5th internationally for the total number of cosmetic surgical procedures performed, but comes in 12th place internationally for the total number of plastic surgeons it has in practice, according to data from the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS).
Where U.S. plastic surgeons performed an average of 220 cosmetic surgeries each in 2022, in Turkey, that number was 362 procedures per surgeon on average, ASPS data suggests.**
Nearly ⅓ of those patients, 28.7 percent, were medical tourists, which Demi Agoglia would classify as.
Demi had previously traveled from Greater Manchester to Istanbul, Turkey, for cosmetic dental work.
She returned to Istanbul for what is currently believed to be a Brazilian butt lift, before perishing on Monday, a few days after the procedure was performed. Some reports suggest she was due to fly home on Monday, the day she died.
Most reputable board-certified plastic surgeons strongly advise against medical tourism, not because other countries don’t have great surgeons, but because the medical and safety landscape of a county is completely unknown to a foreign visitor.
London-based plastic surgeon Dr. Tijion Esho, for instance, wonders whether Demi Agoglia would be alive today if after feeling heart pain, she had traveled to the hospital in an ambulance, rather than a taxicab, as she and a partner reportedly did.
“And what we see is most of these complications happening post the procedure itself. This unlucky lady, you know, was due to go on a flight home and actually when she was going back to the center with her symptoms, she was in a taxi rather than an ambulance, where someone complaining of severe chest pains and [is] unwell post that procedure, should have been in an ambulance taking her back to a center of care.”Dr. Tijion Esho, London-based plastic surgeon
Family member Chloe Agoglia has organized a fundraiser for Demi’s three surviving children, in her honor.
Thus far, 140 donors have given £3,370, surpassing an original £3,000 goal.
“08/01/24 we sadly lost our Demi. She was one of [a] kind! Everyone who knew Demi knew how much her boys meant to her, any money raised will go to her 3 boys, Coben, Wilson & Miller.”Family member Chloe Agoglia
Our heartfelt condolences go out to Demi’s loved ones, children, and family.
* The Times reached out to the family via GoFundMe.
** Note that the world’s largest professional plastic surgery societies—The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), The Aesthetic Society, and the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery—all report greatly-varying statistical figures, but that since these figures are all drawn from the same report, they are believed to paint a relatively accurate comparison.