Photos Showcase Plastic Surgeries Thousands Of Medical Tourists Undergo In Turkey

Before/After Photos Showcase Plastic Surgeries Thousands Of Medical Tourists Undergo In Turkey

Thousands of people flock to Turkey each year to undergo cheaper cosmetic procedures. Referred to as “medical tourists,” they often include LGBTQIA+ (abbreviated LGBTQ+) identifying people who travel from Western countries to seek gender-affirming procedures among other treatments that would otherwise be harder to get in their country of origin. Nevertheless, medical tourism can also sometimes lead to dangerous experiences, as well as highlight disparities between locals and privileged travelers.

Reality TV celeb Tia Latham traveled to Istanbul alongside her best friend, Charley Grabczak, who self-identifies as a “gay socialite and a vegan activist,” to undergo multiple plastic surgeries, which are cheaper than those typically offered in the UK, where they are from.

Tia had a “360 Liposuction with butt augmentation,” priced at £3,600, and a £3,300 rhinoplasty. Meanwhile, Charley had a £1,700 surgery to modify his forehead, a £3,300 rhinoplasty, and a £2,700 neck liposuction. He also paid £4,500 for a full mouth of 28 dental crowns with laser gum surgery.

Medical tourists flock to Turkey for affordable procedures, including reality TV star Tia Latham and her friend Charley Grabczak

According to the NHS, the cost of a nose reshaping (rhinoplasty) in the UK ranges from £4,000 to £7,000. The NHS also states that liposuction ranges in price from about £3,000 to £8,500, depending on where you go and the body areas being treated.

Before/After Photos Showcase Plastic Surgeries Thousands Of Medical Tourists Undergo In Turkey

Tia, who has previously stated that, as an woman, she’s had a transgender experience, her plastic surgeries have been “absolutely gender reaffirming.”

“The lack of access to gender-affirming surgery represents a significant unmet healthcare need within [the] transgender community frequently resulting in depression and self-destructive behavior,” a study published by the National Library of Medicine found.

While the UK’s public healthcare system (NHS) covers chest reconstructive surgery and genital reconstruction surgery for trans people, a person in need of such treatment can wait up to seven years just to undergo an initial NHS assessment, as reported by the BBC.

Charley had a £1,700 surgery to modify his forehead, a £3,300 rhinoplasty, and a £2,700 neck liposuction

According to Evisa-to-Turkey, new statistics have revealed a significant shift in the number of individuals traveling to Turkey for health-related tourism. In 2012, there were 240,000 medical tourists, but this number skyrocketed to 1,258,000 in 2022.

Before/After Photos Showcase Plastic Surgeries Thousands Of Medical Tourists Undergo In Turkey

Nevertheless, such tourism has also brought concerns about inequality.

“I can easily say that the access and the enjoyment of the rights to trans-specific healthcare are not the same for Turkish citizens and foreigners,” Janset Kalan, general coordinator at Turkish LGBTQ solidarity organization Pink Life, said.

She told Daily Trend Blog in an email: “The prices for so-called elective surgeries, such as face feminization, hair transplant, medical fillers, breast augmentation, mastectomy, etc., seem to be cheaper for the Westerners because of the devaluation of Turkish currency.”

Tia had a “360 Liposuction with butt augmentation,” priced at £3,600, as well as a £3,300 rhinoplasty

Janset further highlighted that transgender individuals in Turkey typically struggled to secure employment due to widespread discrimination, with many resorting to work for survival, ultimately facing limited access to gender-affirming surgeries.

Before/After Photos Showcase Plastic Surgeries Thousands Of Medical Tourists Undergo In Turkey

“These surgeries are affordable only to a certain number of us who are able to live above the upper-middle class,” she said.

“Turkish state or government policies in regard to healthcare services are not at all LGBTQ+ inclusive,” she added.

Moreover, medical tourism has also been scrutinized within politics due to a number of individuals facing complications from cosmetic procedures abroad, placing a burden on the NHS at times.

Earlier this month, the Daily Mail reported that a 28-year-old woman died after undergoing a botched gastric band surgery in Turkey.

The tragedy prompted calls to address the risks of health tourism and ban related advertisements, with a reported increase in the number of individuals facing complications from medical tourism.

“We are going back for more,” Tia told Daily Trend Blog

John McNally, a Scottish National Party member of parliament, reportedly said, “Many gruesome deaths have occurred following cosmetic surgery in Turkey, including my own constituent, 28-year-old Shannon, whose family witnessed the most agonizing, horrific death as Shannon lay on a table for some nine hours convulsing.”

But to Tia and Charley, such worries shouldn’t alter the right for people to travel for aesthetic enhancements.

“All surgeries cosmetic or not are risky and complex and it’s your personal choice to have a procedure such as a BBL or Rhinoplasty abroad,” Charley wrote in an email.

He continued: “Cosmetic surgery can have a profound positive impact on someone’s mental health and confidence, especially those suffering from body dysmorphia within the LGBTQ+ community.”

Politicians highlighted deaths from cosmetic surgery in Turkey, while Tia and Charley defended the right to travel abroad as medical tourists

Before/After Photos Showcase Plastic Surgeries Thousands Of Medical Tourists Undergo In Turkey

In November 2023, the UK government said it would meet with officials in Turkey to discuss regulations around medical and cosmetic tourism following several deaths. 

Moreover, in 2018, the UK banned Brazilian butt lifts (BBL) in a four-year moratorium, which was lifted in 2022 following the release of new safety guidelines. 

A BBL aims to enhance the shape and size of the buttocks by removing fat from other areas of the body and injecting it into the buttocks.

Before/After Photos Showcase Plastic Surgeries Thousands Of Medical Tourists Undergo In Turkey

As a result of the ban, Tia said the price for the procedure available in the UK has become “some of the highest prices in the world.” She has since undergone the procedure at a more affordable rate in Turkey from a plastic surgeon called Dr Hakan Demirel.

Tia continued: “Procedures are extremely important in regard to gender-affirming care as it not only helps individuals with gender dysphoria but also increases self-confidence which ultimately makes assimilating into society easier.”

Gender dysphonia is a term that describes a sense of unease that a person may have because of a mismatch between their biological gender identity, NHS states.

A 28-year-old woman recently died after undergoing a botched gastric band surgery in Turkey

Charley added: “Some gay people find it difficult to find the finances and confidence to go ahead with cosmetic procedures, but it ultimately comes down to high beauty standards within the LGBTQ+ community and society as a whole. 

Before/After Photos Showcase Plastic Surgeries Thousands Of Medical Tourists Undergo In Turkey

“I am lucky enough to be able to facilitate these procedures but not everyone in my community is in a position to do so.”

Nevertheless, both Tia and Charley warned that traveling abroad for medical purposes should follow “due diligence.”

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