Love them or hate them, there’s no denying that soap operas are a time honoured institution in the world of UK telly.
From EastEnders to Emmerdale, Coronation Street to Hollyoaks, the soaps are a nightly tradition loved by millions all across the country and beyond.
But while the stories playing out on screen bring comfort and joy to so many of us, they have also propelled the stars that bring the stories to life into the spotlight, leading several of our favourite stars to strive to look and feel their absolute best both on and off camera.
In this quest for perfection, several soap stars have gone under the knife over the years but not everyone has been happy with the results.
Here we take a closer look at the stars that have expressed their regrets over their surgeries.
One recent star that has opened up about her regrets, is Coronation Street’s Stephanie Davis who plays feisty businesswoman Courtney Vance on the cobbles.
Stephanie, who also previously starred in Hollyoaks admitted that she feels like the breast enlargement surgery she had last year was “a mistake.”
Taking to Instagram to open up about her feelings, Stephanie told her followers: “I want my natural self back,” as she felt her breast implants were “far too big” for her frame.
Unhappy with how she looked, Steph admitted: "I want them removed as soon as possible.
"They make me look bigger than what I am and don't match my frame and are far too big.”
"I wish I could tell my old self how beautiful I was naturally instead of getting external things to try to fix the inside.”
In the post, which was shared earlier this week, Stephanie also revealed how she hoped her experience could benefit others, as she urged her fans to think carefully before undergoing any surgery, and not to “do things you’ll later regret.”
As well as regretting her breast op, Stephanie also revealed that she also regretted having altered her face with fillers and Botox, before describing her decision to have lip fillers as her “biggest mistake.”
She now plans to have her breast implants removed while also having the Botox on her face removed.
Coronation Street star Susie Blake, who played Bev Unwin in the soap, has also been vocal about how she regretted going under the knife after leaving the soap.
The 73 year old star, underwent a procedure to have the fatty tissue removed from underneath her eyes because she thought she “looked like an old drunk.”
However, following the procedure she was unhappy with the results and confessed she had “regretted it ever since” before confirming she wouldn’t do it again.
Speaking to the Mirror in 2020, she told the publication: “Now I'm playing Miss Marple and the more bags the merrier, but at the time I was going through that 50-year-old phase where you think, 'I don't want to be this old'."
One of the most prominent soap stars to go under the knife during her career, is of course EastEnders icon Danniella Westbrook, who famously spent over £500,000 in an attempt to correct the damage caused by her former addiction to cocaine.
As a result of her addiction, the star’s nasal septum had rotted away, while her cheeks began to crumble requiring extensive reconstruction.
Undergoing multiple procedures to restore her face, Danniella even had a piece of her own rib inserted to try and help with the reconstruction.
As well as functional procedures, the star also underwent more cosmetic alterations to try and improve her overall look, which included travelling to Turkey for her fifth facial reconstruction and a surgical thread lift.
The procedure involved the insertion of multiple threads into her face, while liposuction was used to remove fat from her body before inserting into her cheeks and lips to try and give her a more symmetrical face.
In addition, she also had fat grafting on her chin and her jawline etched.
Despite her high hopes for the procedure however, Danniella went on to admit that she now regretted going abroad for the surgery, as it had “ruined” her body.
Speaking to The Sun, Danniella said: “I was very fearful. My mum and my son Kai were on the phone constantly – I wrote up a will before I left and my son is the executor of that.”
During the same interview, the soap icon also admitted the surgery hadn’t even been successful, as “too much” fatty tissue had been removed from her stomach, something which made her lose her existing ab definition.
"I have never been in pain like it. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was hysterically crying every single day," she later admitted.
Emmerdale star Adele Silva, who first shot to fame as Kelly Windsor in the soap between 1993 and 2011 has also shared her surgery journey with fans, including how she now regrets having undergone a breast enlargement at the age of 22.
Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine, Adele said: “The initial reason was I had breast asymmetry, one slightly bigger than the other, so that was rectified, but then [I had] an implant as well.
“I think in the early 2000s it was a very obvious look, so I went from a small B to a D, so it was quite obvious with then quite round implants.
“It was more a kind of confidence thing in myself and I think at that age you’re quite naive in thinking, you don’t think about how it is going to take a toll on your body when you have children and things like that.”
After becoming a mum to her daughter Sienna in 2015, Adele was able to have her implants replaced to something smaller and more comfortable for the star.
Explaining her rationale at the time, Adele told Lorraine: “They went from a D and during pregnancy they went up to a G.
“After breast feeding and shrinking back down, they’ve just kind of lost their, you know… I just feel like now I’d like a smaller implant which I think is the weight of the implant I had initially and gravity has taken its toll and pulled them downwards.”
Coronation Street legend Beverley Callard has also candidly opened up about her surgical regrets after she suffered every patient’s worst nightmare when her hip operation went wrong!
The Liz McDonald actress underwent a small surgical procedure in 2020, but complications meant that the minor operation ended up being a full hip replacement – something which left her missing from the soap for over six months!
Recalling the scary experience, Bev told the Mirror : “It has been the worst six months of my life.
“I have been in the most excruciating pain you can imagine – like teeth grinding inside my hip.
“But worse than that was the mental torture of thinking, ‘Is this the end for me?’"
Prior to her successful recovery, Beverley had even feared she may never walk again – something we’re happy to say she gladly proved wrong!
Former Coronation street star Arianna Ajtar, who appeared in the show for a year between 2018 to 2019 has shared her regrets after opting for a breast enlargement procedure in a moment of impulsivity.
Asked by her followers about her experience she said: “I will admit they were a very spur of the moment thing – I was 21 and had been to Vegas and saw the most incredible figures and bodies ever.
“Probably not the best place to go because at 21 I’d say you are still incredibly impressionable and not your true self yet. Anyway, came home and got a boob job about five weeks later.”
She then urged her fans to think very carefully before having any kind of surgery, as she added: “I would say if it’s a insecurity, if you want to change it, change it, but if you want them done for no reason, like I did, maybe hold off a little bit.
"Or if you do get them, really think about the shape and size, because when I was 21 my body was not my true, natural self.
“As much as you think, ‘I’m not a teen, I’m not going through puberty,' your body will change a lot and I think I only really got to my true shape, size, figure in the last two years, so just think about that when you are picking the size.”
Like several of her fellow soap stars, Emmerdale actress Lucy Pargeter also underwent a breast enlargement operation early on in her career, when she had her first breast implants inserted at the age of 21.
A second procedure then followed just over a decade later, increasing the star’s bust to a DD, but the surgery unfortunately came with the unpleasant side effect of affecting her breathing – something she had to endure for the next 11 years.
Unwilling to live with the discomfort any longer, Lucy had her implants removed in 2019, something she says left her feeling much better.
She told The Sun: “They are out. I’m as flat as a pancake, I look awful but feel good.
“When I woke up in recovery, the first thing I did was panic because I could breathe – I could take in a massive breath.
“I thought they were trying to give me too much oxygen – I panicked. I forgot what it was like to have a full lung of air. I mean, it’s amazing – I can breathe.”
It isn’t just Soapland’s ladies that have had their fair share of surgery in the past, as Eastenders star John Partridge has also opened up about his experience under the knife which left him unable to talk for nine months.
The Christian Clarke actor had to undergo two procedures during the pandemic to remove cysts from his vocal chords, something he opened up about during an appearance on Sunday Brunch.
He told the show: "I’ve not done a stage show or a stage tour since 2019.
“I had two surgeries on my vocal cords through the pandemic and it wasn’t guaranteed that I’d ever be able to sing or speak really again… I just got my all-clear last week from Guy’s Hospital that I’m fully fit, fighting fit and ready to go.”
Although the procedure was a resounding success, John candidly explained how his recovery had been “debilitating” as he added: “For me singing is like my seventh sense – I wasn’t able to speak at all for nine months and for me, it was like losing my sight or losing my hearing.
“I sing when I feel good, when I feel down, I sing without even knowing when you’re driving along in the car. It was a really debilitating thing."
Hollyoaks star Chelsee Healey has also shared her regrets about having breast implants, after she decided to enlarge her bust at the age of 18.
During the procedure, implants were inserted to take the star from a 32C to a DD cup, but as her body was still growing at the time, she ended up getting more than she bargained for when her chest grew a further three cup sizes.
Speaking to Closer magazine in 2011, Chelsee said: "There's always been a part of me that wished I'd not had them done, but it was a long time ago and there's nothing I can change now.
"I was young and if it was a decision I was making now, I wouldn't have gone through with it. Not now I'm older and a bit wiser.
"I feel they're a bit too big and I've only got a little frame.”
Two years after the interview, in 2013 Chelsee underwent a second procedure to reduce her implants to a D cup, after her bust had increased to a G cup and began to cause her discomfort both physically and mentally.
Five years after the procedure and following the birth of her daughter Coco, Chelsee shared her desire to undergo a further reduction operation to reduce her chest to a B cup as she was still unhappy with the way she looked.
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