uIrike Hamann* was unlucky. The 64-year-old woman’s story really started the way she always wanted.
Hannover travel to Antalya in southern Turkey in 2021 to reduce their belly. In the following months, she lost more than 30 kilograms. Then the skin hangs, Hamann plans another trip to Antalya, this time for a facelift. She would later regret the operation.
Hamann is one of many who travel to Turkey for beauty treatments. Last year alone, so-called health tourism, which also includes beauty treatments, brought the country a total of 2.1 billion US dollars (currently equivalent to 2.1 billion euros). According to the Turkish Statistical Service Tüik, about 640,000 people traveled as “health tourists” in the year 2021 of the pandemic. In the first half of 2022, there were already almost 600 thousand.
Only about 2000 daily hair transplant carried out in clinics in Turkey, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported, citing Turkish health tourism association Tüsatder. 70 percent of patients come from Europe, 30 percent from the Arab world for treatment in Turkey.
4,000 euros for a facelift – flight included
Hamann finds his doctor through an agency. Then she “examined” it and didn’t just go by before and after photos on Instagram. This type of advertising practice is prohibited in Germany, but not in Turkey. She decided to operate in Turkey because the prices in Germany did not fit her budget. The facelift in Turkey cost her 4,000 euros, including the flight.
“Procedures in Turkey are on average 30-50 percent cheaper than in Germany,” says beautician Bernd Loos. He is critical of traveling to another country for surgery. “The doctor had never seen the patient. When they get there and the doctor sees that the body is not handling something, they probably won’t cancel the operations again.”
But Loos has no doubts about the training and skill of the surgeons. It is certainly possible to make a mistake when choosing a surgeon in Germany, “but the chances are lower.”
In the first interview with the German Press Agency in 2022 In February, the Hanoverian Hamann is still enthusiastic. The excess skin under the chin has disappeared, the cheeks are smooth. Due to a minor correction, she is flying to Turkey in April. But instead of a corrected cheek lift, she wakes up with a frozen brow.
After returning to Germany, a thread suddenly came out of her cheek. Over the next few months, it became increasingly clear that the operation was not working, Hamann says today. The skin gave in: “Now I look like before the operation.” An acquaintance to whom she recommended the doctor was also “absolutely broken.” The photos show large scars down the middle of her legs from a woman who had a thigh lift.
American Sarah Muna Kasule wants to prevent such experiences. Founder of Service Providers The savior of surgery and Surgical Match and their six employees advise and guide tourists traveling to Turkey for cosmetic or health surgery.
“The problem is that most people want to settle,” says Kasule, who lives in Istanbul. In her opinion, the beauty tourism in the country is flourishing not because of the price, but because of the quality.
Turkish doctors are also experienced and often well qualified with a wide range of treatments – you just need to find the right one. “However, it is difficult for patients to research which Turkish doctors are qualified and members of the right medical associations in Turkey, Europe or the US.”
Kasule’s offer includes everything from translation assistance, advice on finding a doctor, to inflatable chairs – especially for buttock augmentation patients.Brazilian butt lift“, not allowed to sit on hard furniture for six to eight weeks. She says her top priority is patient safety.
Time and again there are reports of tourists looking for a plastic surgery die in Turkey. Britain’s Foreign Office says in its travel advice that at least 20 people have died from “medical tourism visits” since 2019.
A “mommy makeover” can be dangerous
Kasule knows these cases from direct contact with…