I went to Belgium for a £3,000 tummy tuck that went wrong

I went to Belgium for a £3,000 tummy tuck that went wrong

British mother who flew to Belgium for a cheap tummy tuck after having 8 children reveals she was forced to spend a year away from home due to life-threatening complications

  • Valencia Cy, 42, from Ashford, Surrey suffered an ill-fated surgery in Belgium
  • READ MORE: Woman is left with a ‘bottom’ on her stomach after surgery to removed 2st tumour in her uterus – and now feels like ‘Frankenstein’s monster’

A British family were forced to spend a year in Belgium after a mother suffered complications following £3,000 tummy tuck surgery.

Valencia Cy, 42, from Ashford, Surrey, had travelled with her husband and two of her children to Europe for the procedure, but she had issues post-op, she claims – leading to blood loss.

The mother-of-eight, then went for emergency surgery where doctors tried to treat the wound.

But they decided it was best if she was left to heal naturally, she said – meaning she had to spend a year in Belgium for treatment.

Her husband and two of her children stayed over there to be with her and Valencia, a cosmetics business owner, is now fully recovered.

Cosmetics business owner Valencia Cy, 42, flew to Belgium with her husband and two of her children for the £3,000 procedure which would have set her back up to £10,000 in the UK

The surgery went well at first – and Valencia was just one step closer to her dream body – until complications arose, according to The Sun 

She said: ‘I wanted the surgery as I had eight kids. I was feeling quite anxious about my body and the way I looked.

‘I appeared on TV in 2021 and when I watched myself back I had a breakdown as I was really unhappy with how I looked.

‘I approached a Belgian hospital and the process was really quick.

‘I saw a doctor for consultation who referred me to the hospital where they examined me and took me in for surgery.

‘The surgery went well and everything was ok and I was taken to the recovery area.’

In the course of a year, the entrepreneur lost her job, and was separated from six of her eight children, all while stranded abroad in a foreign country

There was so much blood in her bandages that a nurse alerted her seniors immediately. It turned out that severe blood loss was the result of an incision that hadn’t been closed properly

The mother-of-eight had a third operation to repair the incision, back in April 2022

While waiting in recovery from the August 2021 surgery, a nurse then realised Valencia’s bangades were covered in blood – and immediately called for help.

She was then rushed in for a second surgery and slipped into a coma, she claims.

She said: ‘From that moment and after the surgery I didn’t know what happened. I woke up at 11pm and they told me I was in a coma.’

After spending a few days in the hospital, Valencia was released and spent the next few months in rented accommodation.

In April 2022, Valencia had a third operation to repair the incision that was left by doctors.

Valencia said: ‘I had to settle in Belgium so medical staff could look after me and check up on me.


Known medically as an abdominoplasty, tummy tucks improve the appearance of the stomach.

Surgeons remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen, and tighten connective tissues.

The end result is a more toned look. Many women, and men, have the operation to boost their body image. 

A tummy tuck is also the go-to option for women who have given birth and have a prolonged ‘mummy tummy’. 

The surgery repairs the rectus diastasis – two abdominal muscles than can separate during pregnancy.  

Figures show nearly 130,000 tummy tucks were performed in the US last year. There are nearly 3,000 performed privately in the UK each year.

The Mayo Clinic states: ‘Like any other type of major surgery, a tummy tuck poses a risk of bleeding, infection and an adverse reaction to anesthesia.’ 

It can also cause fluid to build-up beneath the skin, known as a seroma. They can become infected. 

‘I lost my mind. I wasn’t in a good way. I lost a lot of weight because I couldn’t eat.’

Valencia says she spent a year in Belgium alongside her husband Jino, 43, and their two children aged five and seven as she recovered.

The family rented a two-bedroom apartment for three months and then moved in with friends.

She said: ‘A nurse would come every day. It was hard for my children. They didn’t understand what was going on.’

Valencia returned to the UK in August 2022 after a year away from her six older children, aged 13, 14 16, 18, 19, and 21, who she shares with her ex-partner.

She said she will regret the operation for the rest of her life.

Valencia said: ‘I lost my business because I was away for so long. I couldn’t see my kids for a year.

‘They didn’t understand what happened to me. I just told them that I moved to Belgium for a bit for a new job.

‘I will regret this for the rest of my life and I would advise anyone not to rush into decisions like this.

‘I should have stayed in England and done the surgery [there].’

Talking about his wife’s surgery, Jino said: ‘I didn’t want her to do the original surgery. I thought she was fantastic as she was.

‘I told her that if she wanted to go through with it I would support her.

‘After she had the operation, I was scared and confused – it was difficult.’

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