NewsSurge in medical tourism in Turkey: a boon or bane?

Surge in medical tourism in Turkey: a boon or bane?

Real pilgrimages of balding men from all over the world are drawn to Turkey. In the picture: patients after a hair transplant at one of the clinics in Istanbul.
Real pilgrimages of balding men from all over the world are drawn to Turkey. In the picture: patients after a hair transplant at one of the clinics in Istanbul.
Images source: © East News | Domine Jerome/ABACA

1:01 AM EST, February 21, 2024

In 2023, as per reports, the Turkish Ministry of Health predicted a surge of two million medical tourists (participating in procedures like plastic surgery and dental care), aiming to reach a revenue of $20 billion from this sector - according to Forbes. It was disclosed that more than 2,000 procedures are performed daily in the country.

Popularity of medical procedures in Turkey on the rise

The rise in medical tourism popularity in Turkey largely stems from affordable cost structures. "DW" recounts the story of an American model who could get a nose job for $5,000 in Turkey, which would have cost her $30,000 in the United States. She mentioned, "Such a level of medical care could only be dreamt of in the US."

Deutsche Welle stated that according to the International Society of Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), most outsiders in 2022 originated from Germany, followed by the United Kingdom and Switzerland. Procedures like Botox and hyaluronic acid applications for wrinkles are big hits. The most often performed surgeries in Turkey encompass liposuction, nose reshaping, as well as breast augmentation, and hair transplants.

Leg-lengthening surgeries are also gaining momentum. Yunus Öc, an orthopedic surgeon from Istanbul, shared that he has executed 200 leg-lengthening surgeries in the past two years. However, he warns that such a procedure is significantly more invasive and risky than, for instance, a nose job.

The portal also outlines complications following aesthetic medicine procedures in Turkey. In 2022, the Robert Koch Institute unveiled 27 cases of poisoning after Botox was injected into the stomach wall, intended to induce prolonged satiety. One buttock-lifting case, sadly, resulted in a fatality.

Dr. Susanne Punsmann, a specialist at the Consumer Center in North Rhine-Westphalia, conversing with "DW", states that these incidents do not suggest that procedures in Turkey are subpar. On the contrary, like everywhere else, Turkey has excellent and inadequate facilities. It's advised to check the credentials of the doctor and clinic where the procedure is to be conducted, as they should comply with European standards, bearing certificates like the ISO mark.

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