Jump directly to the content
BUTCHERED ABROAD

After three kids I hated my ‘mum tum’ – but my budget tummy tuck at a Tunisian clinic left me fighting for my life

A MUM-OF-THREE has revealed how she almost died after she had cut-price surgery in Tunisia to remove her ‘mummy tummy’. 

Abigail Fernandez, 32, of Newquay, Cornwall, was left botched, after her wound from a £2,500 tummy tuck operation became infected- leaving her with a tennis ball-sized hole in her stomach. 

 Abigail hated her stomach after three children, but developed an infection following surgery abroad
5
Abigail hated her stomach after three children, but developed an infection following surgery abroadCredit: Hotspot Media

Now, she’s urging other women to think about the real costs of cosmetic surgery abroad. 

Abigail, a student at Falmouth University, says: “I wish I’d never had the surgery.

“I risked my life to get the dream body. 

“Always research your surgeon and the clinic extensively. I thought I had, but I wish I’d dug a bit deeper.”

 Abigail's 'butchered' tummy now
5
Abigail's 'butchered' tummy nowCredit: Hotspot Media

After giving birth to her three children, Penelope, one, Declan, seven, and Max, 10, Abigail hated the saggy stomach she’d been left with.

She says: “All three were delivered by caesarean section so I was left with scars, stretch marks and sagging skin. 

“I love my children dearly and would never change them for the world, but I longed to be as confident with my body as I was before I was a mum. 

“No matter how many hours I went to the gym, nothing helped. 

“It made me incredibly self-conscious of my figure.”

Determined to get help, in November 2018 Abigail visited her GP who said she’d have to go private if she wanted surgery.

 She is warning other people not to lured in by cheap deals
5
She is warning other people not to lured in by cheap dealsCredit: Hotspot Media

Abigail discovered that a tummy tuck and breast lift would cost £10,000 in the UK, so she decided to look abroad.  

She says: “I saw an advert for cheap surgery in Tunisia – the reviews were really positive and it only cost £2,500 for the tummy tuck. 

“I contacted the clinic and they sent me lots of information. They said I’d recover in a five-star hotel afterwards. 

“In the end, it was too expensive to get the breast lift as well so I just opted for a tummy tuck. 

“With the flights, I spent around £2,800.”

In January this year, Abigail flew to Tunisia, but the hotel wasn’t the five-star luxury she’d been promised.

My body felt like it was on fire and I begged nurses for painkillers.

Abigail Fernandez

Abigail says: “When I arrived in the room, the bedsheets looked worn, the floor was dirty and the tiles were cracked. 

“I started to doubt my decision, but when I arrived at the clinic the next day, I was relieved to see it was spotless.”

Abigail underwent the four-hour operation and when she woke up, she felt fine.

But the next morning, she was in agony. 

She says: “My body felt like it was on fire and I begged nurses for painkillers. 

“They told me I was being discharged that day, I was horrified. 

“I could barely move.

“I pleaded with them so staff let me stay another night, but I was still in a lot of pain the next day.”

Despite this, Abigail was discharged from the clinic and taken to her hotel where she stayed another two nights.

 Abigail before her tummy tuck - when she would still wear a bikini
5
Abigail before her tummy tuck - when she would still wear a bikiniCredit: Hotspot Media

On the return flight, her vision was blurry, her head was spinning and her stomach had swollen to the size of a basketball.

Back at home, Abigail woke the following morning with her bandages soaked in blood. 

She visited her GP who said her wound was infected, cleaned it with antiseptic wash and put on a fresh dressing. 

But over the next few days, the wound gaped to the size of a tennis ball and green liquid oozed out. 

Abigail says: “It was disgusting. 

“I emailed pictures to the clinic, but they insisted it was fine. I couldn’t believe it.

“My complaints were completely ignored. 

“Two weeks after my operation, I was in so much pain that I had to call for an ambulance.”

Abigail was rushed to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro. 

By this point her stomach was so swollen, she struggled to breathe.

 Abigail was left with an oozing hole in her stomach
5
Abigail was left with an oozing hole in her stomach

She says: “At the hospital, doctors revealed the swelling was due to a hematoma – a clot of blood that had formed outside of my blood vessels.

“Doctors burst it and revealed that if I’d have left it longer, I’d have died.

“I was horrified.”

Abigail was kept in hospital for four weeks and the infection was cut out to stop it from spreading. 

Now she’s been left with a nine-inch scar across her stomach. 

She says: “I’ve been butchered, it’s even worse than before. I cry when I see myself naked now.

“I’m saving up for revision surgery in the UK to repair the damage which will cost around £3,000.

“I’m so self-conscious that I’ll never dream of wearing a bikini again. 

“Don’t go for surgery abroad, I wish I hadn’t.

“It seemed like I was getting a good deal, but I’ve paid a high price.”

Meanwhile, this 80-year-old great-grandma prepared to go under the knife for a face lift.

And you can be obsessed more than just surgery, with this mum addicted to her sex toys.

Plus Geordie Shore star Abbie Holborn opens up about all the work she’s had done.

Scots mum gets correction after botched fillers caused her lips to swell to huge trout pout every time she went on holiday