Plastic surgery: a flesh-eating virus attacks Brenna McIntosh


Routine cosmetic surgery has led to an extremely rare diagnosis for an Australian woman who is now fighting for her life.

A ‘bright and bubbly’ Tasmanian is fighting for her life after undergoing routine cosmetic surgery.

On March 23, Brenna McIntosh underwent a tummy tuck — better known as a tummy tuck — after naturally losing 40kg.

Intended to simply remove excess skin from the belly, the operation initially went smoothly until eight days later when Ms McIntosh began to feel very unwell.

The 29-year-old, who lives and works in Melbourne, was initially thought to have contracted an infection in her abdomen for which she was given antibiotics in hospital.

But Ms McIntosh, who is described by friends as having a ‘beautiful smile and positive vibes’, took another turn for the worse.

After being diagnosed as septic, a plastic surgeon was brought in to assess Ms McIntosh who had become too unsteady to move.

After further surgery, the surgeon discovered that Ms McIntosh had contracted an extremely rare bacterial infection called necrotizing fasciitis or ‘flesh-eating bug’.

Ms McIntosh’s condition was so serious that doctors placed her in an induced coma, in which she remained at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne for the past week.

The condition is so rare that only one other case has been linked to abdominoplasty worldwide.

As the bacteria is slowed down by oxygen, Ms McInstosh received hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the same treatment divers receive for bends.

She also underwent daily surgeries to remove as much dead tissue and infections from her abdomen as possible.

“Brenna will have a long recovery ahead of her which will mean several months off work and loss of income,” said Ms McIntosh’s friend Lauren Vanderven.

Ms. Vanderven has created a GoFundMe page for her friend to help her cope with increasing medical costs and to support the stay of family members near the hospital.

“As the expense does not stop, we would like to fundraise to transition her to Tassie with her family when she is ready,” Ms Vanderven said.

“Brenna has made so many people smile in person and via social media, so let’s give her a reason to smile.”

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