Is It Safe to Get Plastic Surgery in Turkey?
In recent years, Turkey has become a notable hub for medical tourism, with plastic surgery leading the pack. Tourists from all corners of the globe are increasingly exploring Turkey for their cosmetic transformations.
But the main question remains: Is it safe to get plastic surgery in Turkey? Let’s delve into this in detail.
How Safe Is It to Get Plastic Surgery in Turkey?
Safety has been a paramount concern for patients considering surgery in Turkey. The answer, based on numerous factors, is yes — Turkey is a safe destination for plastic surgery. However, just as with any medical procedure, anywhere in the world, certain guidelines should be followed.
Medical Tourism in Turkey: A Growing Phenomenon
Medical tourism in Turkey has experienced significant growth over the past few years, transforming the nation into a key global player in the sector. With its strategic geographical location, combining elements of both the East and the West, high-quality healthcare services at affordable rates, and state-of-the-art facilities, Turkey presents an attractive destination for international patients. Here’s an overview of the scale and significance of medical tourism in the country:
1. Growth and Revenue:
According to various reports and studies, Turkey ranks among the top 10 destinations worldwide for medical tourism.
The country receives over 700,000 medical tourists annually, generating a revenue that exceeds a billion US dollars.
2. Popular Treatments and Procedures:
While Turkey offers a broad range of medical services to tourists, it’s particularly renowned for its dental care, cosmetic surgeries, hair transplants, cardiology, and orthopedics.
Additionally, the country has seen a surge in patients seeking oncology, neurosurgery, and fertility treatments.
3. Leading Destinations within Turkey:
Cities such as Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya, and Izmir are the primary hubs for medical tourism. Istanbul alone hosts several internationally accredited hospitals.
4. Quality and Standards:
Turkish hospitals in the medical tourism sector often possess international accreditations, such as from the Joint Commission International (JCI).
The healthcare professionals, including many doctors and surgeons, have trained or practiced abroad, ensuring they’re familiar with the latest techniques and standards in the medical field.
5. Government Initiatives:
Recognizing the potential of medical tourism, the Turkish government has introduced several incentives and initiatives to boost this sector. This includes promoting Turkish medical tourism at international fairs, easing visa regulations for medical tourists, and establishing the “Health Tourism Coordination Council” to oversee and develop strategies for the industry.
6. Competitive Prices:
One of the primary reasons for the surge in Turkey’s medical tourism is the cost advantage. Medical services in Turkey can be 50-70% cheaper than in Europe, the US, or the UK, without compromising on quality.
7. Added Attractions:
Beyond the medical services, patients are also drawn to Turkey’s rich cultural heritage, scenic beauty, and therapeutic natural resources like thermal springs. This provides an opportunity for patients to combine their medical trips with leisure and relaxation.
The medical tourism industry in Turkey is robust and continues to flourish, driven by the combination of quality healthcare services, competitive prices, government initiatives, and the country’s natural and historical attractions. As Turkey continues to invest in its healthcare infrastructure and maintains its focus on high standards, it’s poised to become an even bigger powerhouse in global medical tourism in the years to come.
Why Choose Turkey for Your Plastic Surgery?
- World-class Medical Standards: Many Turkish hospitals are internationally accredited by top healthcare organizations, ensuring they meet global standards.
- Experienced Surgeons: Turkish plastic surgeons often train globally, acquiring the highest quality of education and experience, on par with their Western counterparts.
- Modern Technology: Turkish healthcare facilities invest heavily in the latest medical technologies, ensuring patients receive state-of-the-art care.
Why is Surgery Cheaper in Turkey?
The cost of plastic surgery in Turkey is significantly lower than in many Western countries. Factors influencing this include:
- Lower operational costs in the country.
- Economical pricing without compromising quality.
- Favorable exchange rates for many foreign visitors.
How to Reduce the Risks of Surgery Abroad?
Undergoing surgery abroad, often referred to as “medical tourism,” has gained popularity due to potential cost savings, access to specialized treatments, and the opportunity to combine medical care with travel. However, there are inherent risks associated with getting surgical procedures in a foreign country. By taking some careful steps, these risks can be minimized:
Research the Hospital or Clinic:
- Accreditations: Check if the hospital or clinic is accredited by internationally recognized organizations like the Joint Commission International (JCI) or the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua).
- Facilities: Ensure the institution has up-to-date equipment, modern facilities, and adheres to international standards of care.
Verify the Surgeon’s Credentials:
Ensure the surgeon has the necessary qualifications and training. Many surgeons practicing in top-tier hospitals abroad have received training or certifications from western countries.
Ask about their experience with the specific procedure you’re considering and the number of such surgeries they’ve performed.
Check Reviews and Testimonials:
Look for reviews from previous patients. Websites, forums, and medical tourism platforms can provide insights into patient experiences.
Remember to approach overly positive or negative reviews with a degree of skepticism and look for consistent patterns in feedback.
Understand the Costs:
Ensure you have a clear understanding of all costs involved, including post-surgical care, accommodation, and any potential follow-up treatments.
Remember, while cost savings is a significant factor for many, it should not be at the expense of quality and safety.
Plan for Post-operative Care:
Post-surgical care is crucial for recovery. Ensure you understand the recovery timeline and have arrangements for staying nearby during the initial recovery phase.
Discuss follow-up care once you return to your home country. Ensure your local healthcare provider knows about your surgery abroad and is prepared to assist in post-operative care.
Consider Travel Implications:
Post-surgery, traveling, especially flying, can pose risks due to potential complications like blood clots. Discuss the best time to travel post-surgery with your surgeon.
Consider travel insurance that covers medical procedures abroad and potential complications.
Language and Communication:
Ensure that the medical team speaks your language or provides a translator. Effective communication is vital to understand pre-surgery instructions and post-operative care.
Legal and Ethical Considerations:
Understand your rights as a patient in the foreign country. In case of complications or malpractice, know the legal recourse available.
Some countries might have practices or standards different from your home country. Ensure that you’re comfortable with these differences.
Prepare for Cultural Differences:
Be aware of cultural norms, practices, and expectations. This understanding will help in smoother interactions and a more comfortable stay.
Although one always hopes for the best outcomes, it’s essential to have a plan in place if complications arise. Know the nearest emergency facilities and have a local contact or advocate who can assist if needed.
Types of Plastic Surgery You Can Get in Turkey
Turkey, particularly cities like Istanbul and Antalya, has become a major hub for medical tourism, with plastic surgery being among the most sought-after specialties.
The combination of top-notch medical facilities, highly skilled surgeons, and competitive prices makes Turkey a preferred destination for a variety of cosmetic procedures. Below, we dive into some of the most popular types of plastic surgeries available in Turkey:
One of the most common cosmetic surgeries globally, rhinoplasty involves reshaping or resizing the nose to achieve a desired aesthetic or functional outcome.
Turkish surgeons are renowned for their expertise in this intricate procedure, often combining traditional methods with the latest techniques.
- Breast Augmentation: Involves using implants or fat transfer to increase breast size.
- Breast Reduction: Reduces breast size to alleviate discomfort or achieve a desired aesthetic.
- Breast Lift: Raises sagging breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue.
- Face Lift (Rhytidectomy): Removes wrinkles and provides a more youthful appearance by tightening the skin.
- Blepharoplasty: A surgery for eyelids, it can be performed on the upper lids, lower lids, or both.
- Otoplasty: A procedure to reshape the ears.
A procedure to remove excess body fat from specific areas, providing a more contoured shape. Common areas include the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, and arms.
Turkey offers various liposuction techniques, including VASER lipo and laser-assisted liposuction.
This surgery removes excess fat and skin from the abdominal region, often post-pregnancy or significant weight loss, to give a firmer and smoother appearance.
With advanced techniques like Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), Turkey has become a global leader in hair transplantation, drawing patients from around the world.
Body Contouring Surgeries:
Genital Aesthetic Surgeries:
This includes procedures like labiaplasty, vaginoplasty, and penile enlargement surgeries.
While the focus here is on aesthetic procedures, it’s important to note that many plastic surgeons in Turkey also specialize in reconstructive surgeries, addressing congenital disabilities, trauma-related injuries, and post-cancer reconstructions.
Turkey’s reputation in the field of plastic surgery continues to grow, backed by state-of-the-art facilities and surgeons trained in some of the world’s best institutions. Whether you’re seeking subtle changes or transformative results, Turkey offers a comprehensive range of procedures to cater to diverse aesthetic goals.
Prof. Dr. Ethem Güneren
Prof. Dr. Ethem Güneren graduated from Istanbul University’s Faculty of Medicine in 1987. In 2003, he became one of the first Turkish surgeons to become a member of the European Board of Plastic Surgeons (EBOPRAS). More recently, in 2017, Dr. Güneren also joined the American Association of Plastic Surgeons. With more than 25 years of experienced, he is one of the most widely recognized and certified surgeons in the country.