Woman died after 'complications' during £2,000 gastric sleeve surgery in Turkey, inquest hears

Leanne Michelle Leary Credit: MEN Media

A woman died after 'complications' during a £2,000 weight loss operation in Turkey, an inquest has heard.

Leanne Michelle Leary, from Hollinwood, Greater Manchester, had undiagnosed deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which led to her having a heart attack on the operating table, the hearing was told.

The 38-year-old was resuscitated and rushed to intensive care, but suffered a second fatal cardiac arrest the following afternoon on 2 July 2023.

Rochdale Coroners' Court heard Ms Leary, a mother-of-three, had fallen on the stairs at work then complained of leg pains after going to Istanbul to watch Manchester City in the Champions League final the month before her death.

On her return to the UK she underwent tests for DVT, but they were inconclusive, the inquest heard.

The compliance manager told her friends she had a ‘small blood clot’ which didn’t require treatment.

Leanne Michelle Leary didn't tell her family she was having the surgery until the day of the operation. Credit: MEN Media

The inquest heard Ms Leary, who had asthma and pneumonia, originally booked the gastric sleeve surgery in April to take place in October, but brought it forward to July while she was off work sick.

She did not inform her parents of her plans to undergo the £2,000 operation for fear they would try to talk her out of it, nor did she discuss it with her GP.

Ms Leary’s final text messages to her dad, Paul Dermody, as she was about to go into surgery on the morning of 1 July, were read out in court.Ms Leary, who had a BMI of 47, wrote: "I didn’t want people to try put me off. I need this for me and my health."

Mr Dermody told the court: "I said I fully support what you are doing, but I want to know where you are every step of the way before and after surgery."Ms Leary’s mum, Kathleen Scott, said: "I would have 100 per cent talked her out of it. You have to think of the kids.

"But she felt like there was nothing to worry about because she so desperately needed and wanted this operation."

Rochdale Coroners Court. Credit: MEN Media

When, by the next morning, Ms Leary had not responded to a number of texts her family began to worry.

A friend contacted the hospital outside Istanbul and was told she had suffered a heart attack during surgery.

Her parents caught the first flight to Istanbul, where they were met by an interpreter. But on their arrival at the hospital they were given the news that Ms Leary had died.

A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as a pulmonary embolism due to deep vein thrombosis.

Pathologist Dr Sami Titi said it was likely the DVT was present before Ms Leary left the UK.

Mr Dermody said he had concerns about the speed with which the operation had been arranged and the risks of people travelling abroad to undergo surgery.

He also said it appeared the hospital had not taken any next of kin details in case of an emergency.Coroner Catherine McKenna recorded a conclusion that Ms Leary had died of 'recognised complications of an elective surgical procedure combined with underlying medical conditions'.Ms McKenna said: "This case underlines the importance of transparency when it comes to surgical procedures. It is imperative to anyone considering a procedure that, irrespective of how straightforward it may seem, all surgery carries risk.

"It’s so important to discuss any surgery with one’s GP and that that surgeons carrying out the procedure are aware of one’s medical history."

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