January 18, 2022 7.30 pm This story is over 29 months old

Lincolnshire woman overcomes botched stomach surgery to earn beauty award recognition

Be advised: strong imagery inside

By Local Democracy Reporter

A salon owner from Sleaford has been nominated for a national hair and beauty award after overcoming a botched cosmetic surgery in Poland.

Emma Bestall, 34, runs Hair Chic Boutique in Sleaford, a professional beauty business that specialises in hair styling and extensions, but her world was turned upside down in October 2021 when planned cosmetic surgery took a horrible turn.

She saved up for two years to fund a tummy tuck and liposuction procedure at a clinic in Poland, costing £3,450.

Emma paid for flights, accommodation and the procedure herself from money she had been saving, but the results weren’t what she would have hoped.

Just two weeks after the operation, her stitches were leaking and the wound on her stomach was opened, which prompted a visit to A&E at Lincoln County Hospital.

Immediately after being seen to in Lincoln, Emma was transferred to Nottingham City Hospital by ambulance and kept there for almost three weeks.

She has been in and out of hospital since the surgery, and was only discharged from the outpatients centre on January 4, causing her to miss out on three months of work at Hair Chic Boutique.

Emma told The Lincolnite that it affected her mental health massively, but her pain and suffering was rewarded elsewhere, as Hair Chic Boutique was nominated in the Best Hair Extentionist category in the UK Hair and Beauty Awards.

The annual awards celebrate the industry and support businesses large and small across the country, offering exposure for local business owners as well as recognising their efforts.

She said: “After such a terrible end to 2021, this has boosted my confidence hugely. Towards the end of last year I spent a lot of time in & out of hospital due to having botched cosmetic surgery.

“I struggled hugely with my mental health in regards to letting my clients down by being unable to work, despite most of my clients staying in touch with me whilst I was poorly.

“I’m loving the huge support from the since I’ve returned and it’s amazing to pick up where I left off after nearly three months off work. I’m looking forward to what 2022 brings.”

Emma says that the clinic in Poland have made no effort to make amends for their error, ignoring her since the procedure and being spoken to “very rudely” by the surgeon afterwards.

She endured six operations to try and close the wound, including being attached to a vacuum machine and a skin graft, before eventually she started showing signs of recovery.

Emma is now looking ahead to the future, but acknowledges how tough the end of the year was for her.

“Life is still hard because its affected my whole life, my children’s and my business, which I will build back up.

“I feel privileged to be able to receive an award despite what has happened the past year. I still struggle with work as I’ve had to reduce my hours.”


Below are a series of pictures taken of the injuries sustained from Emma’s surgery. They are strong, graphic images depicting surgical procedures.

Emma flew out to Poland for a liposuction procedure. | Photo: Emma Bestall

Emma’s skin began to suffer as a result of the treatment. | Photo: Emma Bestall

| Photo: Emma Bestall

Emma spent three weeks at hospital in Nottingham. | Photo: Emma Bestall

| Photo: Emma Bestall

The wound opened after her stitches began to leak. | Photo: Emma Bestall

It has left a mark on her stomach. | Photo: Emma Bestall

| Photo: Emma Bestall