People Are Going to Turkey for Cheap Cosmetic Surgeries and Winding up with Frightening Symptoms

By: Alec Donaldson | Published: Feb 10, 2024

Turkey has become a hot spot for Brits who are seeking cheap cosmetic surgery in recent years. 

Yet, terrifying stories of procedures gone wrong, including horrendous scar tissue, deep wounds, and even death have left many wondering whether or not the price reduction is worth the risk. 

Cosmetic Surgery Now Available for Everyone

Once upon a time, cosmetic surgery was solely reserved for the 1% who could afford the expensive surgeries. 

Sign advertising Botox filler injections on sale as part of a holiday promotion at a medical spa in Livermore, California

Source: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

However, over the past two decades, budget procedures in places such as Turkey have led to many Brits and Americans flocking to the European nation to alter their physical appearance.

A Trip to Turkey for a Makeover

Those who venture to Turkey often return home with tucked tummies, perfect noses, and larger breasts. 

An aerial photograph of the Turkish city of Istanbul.

Source: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Yet, the unfortunate reality is that others return with life-altering injuries, while some don’t return home at all

Typical Procedures at a Discount

While anyone seeking cosmetic surgery in the UK generally has to go through the NHS, which has extensive waiting lists, you can be booked in for the same surgery in Turkey in less than a month.

A group of surgeons perform a procedure on a patient

Source: Freepik

Couple this with the fact that the clinics in the Middle-Eastern nations typically charge 30 to 70 percent less for the same surgery in the UK, and it is easy to see why so many Westerners are traveling to Turkey for procedures.

Price Difference in Procedures

A gastric sleeve surgery, a commonly sought-after procedure in the UK, will set one back around £10,000 at a private hospital.

A doctor’s assistant is pictured using a medical tool during a procedure

Source: Freepik

Meanwhile, the procedure, which involves inserting a band around the patient’s stomach, can be as cheap as £2,500 in Turkey.

Half Price Nose Job in Turkey

Another popular cosmetic procedure in the UK is a nose job. These can cost as much as £7,000 at private hospitals across Britain.

A woman attends a surgical appointment with her doctor to alter the shape of her nose

Source: Freepik

Yet, at their Turkish counterparts, the price drops dramatically to around £3,000, which includes getting there. 


Cheaper Prices Come with Risks

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), from 2015 to 2019, the number of people leaving the UK for cosmetic surgeries abroad doubled to almost 250,000 annually.

A surgery is visibly upset after a portion of the procedure he carried out went wrong

Source: Freepik

While many return home happy with their decision, others experience long-term pain as a result of the botched procedure.


Stories of Prodcures Gone Wrong

Speaking with the DailyMail, one British woman, Sarah, spoke of the terrifying ordeal she experienced are going through a liposuction procedure in Turkey.  

An undressed woman is marked with a pencil before her liposuction surgery

Source: Freepik

She agreed to pay £5,200 for the procedure, which comes in at significantly less than the £20,000 charged by private hospitals in her home nation.


Things Didn’t Go as Planned

After her surgery was complete, Sarah revealed she received little to no attention from the nurses in the facility. 

A female nurse is pictured speaking with a patient who’s arrived for an appointment

Source: Freepik

“I didn’t sleep a wink, didn’t see any nurse. I just laid there in blood and fluids,” she told MailOnline. “When the nurses did come in, they didn’t understand me. I kept thinking what the hell had I done.”


Discharged 48 Hours Later

Sarah, from Yorkshire in England, was discharged less than 48 hours after her procedure.

A female patient is visibly unhappy with her recent procedure

Source: Freepik

Yet, the medical staff were not concerned about their former patient nor did they organize any kind of transportation for her to leave. “No transfer or anything; we had to walk back to the hotel with our surgical drains in a carry bag,” she said.


Suffering in the UK

After finally returning home to the UK, Sarah had been recovering at home when stitches on her thighs burst open, revealing deep, two-inch wounds.

An ambulance is pictured driving down a road with its emergency lights on

Source: Freepik

Sarah was immediately rushed to the hospital, where she was given a blood transfusion as NHS doctors were worried about her decreasing blood pressure. “Nurses were coming every day; they have been amazing. I thank our NHS; they saved my life,” said Sarah. 


The Pandemic Is to Blame

According to The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), a portion of the blame should be placed on the COVID-19 lockdowns.

A woman signs into a group meeting with her co-workers online

Source: Freepik

During this era, people were stuck staring at themselves on screens all day, which they claim has increased the public’s obsession with their appearance. Unfortunately, this has also increased the injuries associated with dangerous procedures overseas.