I flew to Turkey for a cheap tummy tuck but had to fight for my life – don’t make my mistake

A WOMAN fought for her life after receiving a cheap tummy tuck in Turkey.

Lesley Hudd, 48, paid £4,000 for the operation – half the price she quoted in the UK – to remove excess skin.

Lesley Hudd, 48, paid £4,000 for a tummy tuck in Turkey

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Lesley Hudd, 48, paid £4,000 for a tummy tuck in TurkeyCredit: HotSpot Media
The NHS 111 caller came down with a flesh-eating infection after the botched operation

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The NHS 111 caller came down with a flesh-eating infection after the botched operationCredit: HotSpot Media

Within days of the operation, the NHS 111 worker’s incision became infected and she contracted necrotizing fasciitis.

The rare condition occurs when a wound becomes infected and can quickly become life-threatening, leading to sepsis and organ failure.

The condition causes bacteria to release toxins that damage tissues and cause skin death.

Lesley, from Rotherham, South Yorks, had a hand-sized hole in his abdomen that was oozing foul-smelling pus.

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Now she’s encouraging others considering cosmetic surgery abroad to pay the extra money and not risk getting botched.

Lesley says: “I wanted to get my flat stomach back and feel like a normally fit me again as soon as possible.

“But now I really wish I had stayed with the UK clinicians and paid the extra money.

“Going to Turkey was a big mistake and could have cost me my life.”

Lesley wanted to have a tummy tuck after medical surgery on her abdomen.

In December 2020, doctors discovered a large tumor in Lesley’s intestines, which they suspected was cancerous but turned out to be false.

On New Year’s Eve, she underwent emergency surgery to remove the lump.

Lesley said: “I was so relieved it was all over.

“But during the operation, the surgeons cut through my large abdominal muscles, leaving me with sagging, excess skin and no core strength.

“I’ve always been pretty fit, so that was slowly getting me down. I decided to have a tummy tuck to feel better.”

After researching the operation online, Lesley found a clinic in the UK, but after paying a deposit it was eventually cancelled.

Desperate for a flat stomach, she found a clinic in Turkey that offered the surgery at a fraction of the cost.

Lesley booked it, paying £4,300 for the operation, compared to £11,000 she had been quoted from surgeons in the UK.

She said: “I was excited to get my body and fitness back and didn’t hesitate to book it.”

In November 2021, Lesley flew to Istanbul, Turkey and had the five-hour surgery.

An incision was made through the scar from her bowel surgery and the surgeon made a large incision across her hips and down her belly button.

But when she removed her bandage in the hospital the next day, she knew immediately something was wrong.

Lesley said: “The wound on my stomach started to turn black. It was so uncomfortable and I felt violently nauseous.

“The surgeon insisted it was normal and that it was just bruising from the surgery. They refused to treat it or give me pills for nausea and painkillers.”

Early symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis can include red, warm, or swollen skin, severe pain, and flu-like symptoms, followed by vomiting and black or purple patches on the skin.

After suffering six days in the clinic, Lesley flew home.

There, she rushed straight to the emergency room at Rotherham Hospital, where doctors diagnosed her with necrotizing fasciitis and prescribed antibiotics.

Lesley says: “Nurses came to me every day for the next two weeks to help me with the infection.

“But none of the doctors could agree on what would be best for me. Some wanted me to have surgery to remove the affected dead skin while others disagreed.

“At one point they told me to let it heal on its own.”

Lesley had a hole in her stomach that was an inch deep and the size of the palm of her hand.

Two weeks later, in December 2021, Lesley was referred to a plastic surgeon at Northern General Hospital who gave her honey bandages – which are antiseptic – to cure her infection.

Lesley said: “I had to change my bandage every day. The incision was completely open and the bandages were constantly full of pus.

“It smelled like rotting meat. I felt so uncomfortable.

“I also had to sleep in a corset to increase the effectiveness of my tummy tuck, which was digging into the infected area. I barely slept.”

The infection took three months to heal. During this time, Lesley was unable to wash and she could barely stand.

Afterward, she suffered from anxiety, depression and insomnia, and it took months for her to return to her usual fit self.

Lesley, who is now fit, says: “Looking back, these doctors in Turkey knew how serious my infection was but chose not to do anything about it.

“Now I have an ugly uneven scar that I’ve always hidden.

“Necrotizing fasciitis is life-threatening. It’s scary to think that I could have died.

“I want others to know that the cheaper surgeries abroad just aren’t worth it.

“As the saying goes; You get what you pay for.”

Lesley in a bikini in summer 2021, before her tummy tuck

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Lesley in a bikini in summer 2021, before her tummy tuckCredit: HotSpot Media
Lesley's wound - just a day after her surgery - began to turn black

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Lesley’s wound – just a day after her surgery – began to turn blackCredit: HotSpot Media
Soon Lesley had a hand-sized hole in her stomach, oozing pus

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Soon Lesley had a hand-sized hole in her stomach, oozing pusCredit: HotSpot Media

https://www.the-sun.com/health/5870569/turkey-cut-price-tummy-tuck-life-threatening/ I flew to Turkey for a cheap tummy tuck but had to fight for my life – don’t make my mistake

Sarah Y. Kim

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