As many as 1,000 women may have received botched boob jobs at Australia’s latest cosmetic surgery provider The Cosmetic Institute (TCI), the Supreme Court has been told.
The scandal-plagued clinics were labelled in court this week as like a “fast food franchise”, offering “one size fits all” breast augmentation where women received the same round implants in identical operations regardless of their size or breast shape.
Lawyer Sally Gleeson, who has launched the country’s first class action taking on the booming cosmetic industry, said she had already been contacted by 240 women and the number was likely to increase.
Two women, Amy Rickhuss, 24 and a 42-year old, needed lifesaving resuscitation on the operating table at two of the company’s clinics, at Parramatta and Bondi Junction, and had to be rushed to hospital.
The implants used by TCI, which only differed in how big they were, cost as little as $5,990 and patients were able to pay them off at $5 a week.
Mother-of-three Narelle Bayon, who claims she was left with uneven and painful breasts after an operation at TCI’s Parramatta clinic, yesterday urged women to only go to plastic surgeons, not cosmetic surgeons. “Having a surgery is not a decision I took lightly,” the 30-year old, who has joined the class action said. “When I was coming out of recovery there was me and three other girls and when I asked to speak to the doctor, they said he was getting ready to do another one right away.
Ms Gleeson, a partner at law firm Turner Freeman, told the court in an affidavit that the company performed more than 5,000 cosmetic procedures each year, of which the majority were breast augmentations.
“Based on this statistics and the number of women who have already contacted my firm, I believe that the total number could be at least between 500 and 1,000,” Ms Gleeson said.