I went to Turkey for BBL – I really thought I was going to die

Dani Gratton was just 21 when she decided to fly, alone, to Turkey for the cosmetic surgery she so desperately craved.

The trans OnlyFans and Playboy model was convinced a combined BBL, tummy tuck and jaw lipo would give her the body she desperately craved.

But she told MailOnline she had no idea of the horrors she’d witness.

Her ‘nightmarish’ experience left her fearing for her life. Seeing bodies cut open in front of her and the screams of patients begging for death will haunt her forever. 

Dani, now 23, said she acknowledges that she was ‘gambling with her life’ by paying just £5,000, in cash, for the trio of ops in Istanbul. 

Image too gruesome for MailOnline to publish show Dani holding a drainage bag filled with blood connected to her newly constructed posterior after being left alone in her five-star hotel room post-surgery. 

Dani Gratton, pictured here at just 21, embarked on risky solo-trip to Turkey for a massive 8-hour combined BBL and tummy tuck

The ordeal didn’t end there, with the adult star recalling how upon returning to the UK some of her stitches burst. She even feared her bellybutton would fall off due to the extent of the resulting infection. 

Dani had always wanted cosmetic surgery. Yet, after receiving body-shaming abuse following an appearance on an MTV show, her want was upgraded to an urgent need.

‘There were already things I knew I wanted to fix about my body,’ she said. 

‘But on a scale of thousands of people saying awful comments about me, it made me feel I really needed to rush.

Dani now, 23, and fully recovered, runs an OnlyFans account and has been featured in Playboy

‘I thought “I need to find myself somewhere now and book it ASAP”.’

With BBLs at the time largely not offered in the UK, her only option was to go abroad.

She initially considered Miami but the £13,000 cost for the BBL alone put her off.

Dani eventually found a clinic in Turkey offering all three procedures for what seemed like a bargain, with the sum including a hotel stay, meals and VIP transport.

With one quick Instagram message, she got in touch with a clinic in Istanbul who asked her to send pictures of her body as well as provide details like her weight and if she was a smoker. 

Dani was approved for surgery almost instantly and was booked in for the massive operation just five days after originally contacting the clinic.

Arriving in Turkey the night before her operation, Dani, originally from, Uxbridge, north London, was greeted with a ‘flashy’ VIP limo and whisked away to her five-star accommodation.

It was only there, while speaking to her parents, that the gravity of what she was about to go through finally sank in. 

‘I called my parents, and I was crying my eyes out I was so scared,’ she said. 

‘Reality really hit at that point.

‘My dad was on phone “Just come home, book a flight and come home”.’

But, with the comments of those body-shaming trolls running through her head, she remained determined to see it through.

Another reality-check came on the day of the procedure itself, when Dani was handed a ‘literal book’ of forms to sign.

Each page listed a potential side effect or complication she needed to legally accept the risk of, and there was a key phrase that appeared in many of them.  

‘Every single complication said, “can result in death,”, “can result in death” and I had to sign them off,’ she said.

Then came the main event, and Dani was wheeled away for her eight-hour ordeal.

Lying on a gurney, she saw a sight that she said she will remember for the rest of her life — half a dozen rooms each filled with a woman being cut open for some kind of enhancement or augmentation. 

‘There were no curtains or blinds or anything,’ she said. 

‘I saw people mid-operation being out on the table and being cut open.

‘They were pulling this woman’s breasts open to push the breast implants inside.

‘It felt dodgy…and I just focused in on myself and hoped I survived this. 

‘I genuinely thought I was going to die.’

She was anaesthetised and awoke in waiting room, freezing for being naked so long in the operating theatre, with two other women she had met earlier when being picked up by the clinic. 

Dani, pictured shortly before her surgery, said she would never forget the ‘nightmarish’ scenes she experienced that 

While one was out cold, the other was wide awake and in so much pain she was screaming, and even begging for death.

Dani recalled: ‘She cried out “I’m in pain, I wish to die, I wish to die”.

She wouldn’t see her again.

So terrifying was the experience that Dani initially suspected it had all been a nightmare but the nurse caring for her confirmed it was real. 

With the surgery done, Dani stayed a few nights in hospital but said she felt rushed to leave by the clinic.

‘I really wanted to spend more time in hospital, but they told me that would cost me extra,’ she said. 

Returning to her hotel alone and in her own words ‘left to her own devices’ she remembers being scared of what might happen with all of the cables attached to her body, in particular a drainage bag lodged between the butt cheeks of her new BBL. 

‘It was horrendous,’ she said.

‘I didn’t want to be left alone with this thing in my body.’

While the clinic did send nurses to check in on her, these were only on call from 9am to 5pm, otherwise she was on her own.

She recalled how she dropped her painkillers one evening and, being physically unable to pick them up, was forced to spend a night in restless agony until help arrived in the morning. 

Dani was now five days into her recovery, but her hotel stay, included as part of her package, was at an end

‘I wasn’t ready to go home,’ she said.

She described the experience as being in a revolving door, with her recovery being set to the clinic’s timetable, not her own. 

‘It’s so crazy how snappy everything is,’ she said. 

‘You don’t have a minute to catch your breath it goes so quickly.’

The flight went off without an issue, and she returned home to the care of her parents.

But her problems didn’t end there.

Like many others returning from Turkey she experienced post-operative issues that needed medical attention.

A stitch, located in her right hip burst leaving fluid leaking out from and even to this day she has a small dip in that area compared to her left side. 

Her belly button also started to turn green and ‘gunky’ and at one point she feared it might even fall off.

Thankfully she is now fully recovered, belly button and all, with no ongoing health issues. 

The ordeal hasn’t put her off cosmetic surgery having a breast augmentation done in the UK, an experience she noted as being markedly different.  

‘I’ve had breast augmentation in the UK, and it was completely different, I was in my own separate room and the windows were covered and I felt at ease,’ she said.

Dani said she would never forget her experience and urged anyone thinking of following her in her footsteps to not do what she did and travel alone. 

She also urged people to  keep in mind that the pictures they see on social media of cosmetic surgery success only show the final product, not the ordeal and risk to get it.

‘It’s so easy to see those pics on social media of women that post after having the surgery and you think “Oh my god I want to look like that”…without knowing about the process,’ she said. 


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