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Grandmother Devastated After Cosmetic Surgery Abroad

May 14, 2014


Marcia Thomas travels to Belgium for surgery to remove excess underarm skin following weight loss.

Channel 5 recently reported the story of 53 year old grandmother Marcia Thomas. After a dramatic weight loss, Marcia made the decision to have cosmetic surgery. The 7 stone weight loss, achieved through adopting a healthy diet and exercise, left her with very loose, limp flesh on her upper arms, which proved impossible to banish.

Marcia began to research cosmetic surgery clinics and found that surgery abroad was cheaper than here in the UK. These lower prices swayed Marcia, who chose to undergo surgery in Belgium.


Once in Belgium, her surgeon expressed confidence in being able to achieve the desired results – knowledge which, to Marcia’s ears, was very reassuring. In no time, she was under anaesthetic and the surgery had begun.


When Marcia awoke from her surgery, she was astonished and horrified with the results – her arms had scarring proving she had undergone surgery, but there was no change in the actual size of her arms. Her surgeon placated her concerns, reassuring her that this was normal, and to wait a few weeks for the swelling to die down. And, like many patients we’ve encountered who have had cosmetic surgery abroad, Marcia believed him and returned home.

It was then that reality sunk in. Marcia’s arms were never going to change shape. It was a lie.

As is the case with too many cases of foreign surgery I’ve encountered, people seldom realise that the standards and practices outlined in the UK are not necessarily the same in other countries.

Marcia got in touch with the surgeon once reality had set in, who offered her no recourse or any additional opinions on the surgery. The surgeon knows if you have travelled from another country, it’s easier to avoid you and for them disappear if the outcome is not what you expected – they are aware that you are very unlikely to return to seek redress.

Have surgery in the UK

I cannot stress how imperative it is to remain in the UK when opting for cosmetic surgery. The UK has more laws and protection on who can legally practise invasive cosmetic surgery compared to other countries. The price is cheaper for a reason – and when you are putting your life and health into the hands of a complete stranger, you need to feel absolutely sure you are going to be treated with the best care.

It’s better to save up until you can afford surgery in the UK, instead of heading abroad and putting yourself through even greater risk – both physically and psychologically.

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