A Turkish plastic surgeon has promised better looks to foreign customers, who already come in droves to Turkey for hair transplants.
In an interview with Anadolu Agency at his clinic in Istanbul, Guncel Ozturk urged potential customers from abroad, including the Gulf to get their plastic surgery done in Turkey and “become more beautiful”.
Plastic surgery is one of the top reasons for medical tourism worldwide. Turkey has made strides in developing its medical tourism sector by implementing policies that facilitate tourists.
Ozturk said Turkey is among top 10 destinations for such operations in the world.
It is estimated that the number of tourists coming for medical tourism to Turkey was more than 700,000 last year. According to Ministry of Tourism and Culture data, there was an increase of 550,000 people from abroad who sought treatment at Turkish hospitals.
Turkey is even more advanced than Europe in plastic surgery and medical tourism, the surgeon said, adding the country has also invested in hotels and transportation to boost this sector.
The country also has specialists in rhinoplasty (nose jobs), abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and skin tightening, especially around the eye area.
Rhinoplasty is most popular among foreigners, he said.
He added that all cosmetic surgery and hair transplantation operations take place at Ministry of Health-approved hospitals and clinics in Turkey.
Already Turkish specialists are known world over for advanced hair transplantation techniques, including Direct Hair Implantation (DHI), Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), Gold and IceGraft.
Hair implantation techniques and terms are attractive and hospital terms in Turkey are very convenient, the surgeon said.
Tourists from the Gulf are mainly interested in hair transplants, he said. Many hair transplant customers come from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, U.A.E., Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon, he said.
Customers for hair transplants also come from Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Denmark and the U.K., he added.
He added the reason for this is the high quality of operations provided at competitive rates. In Europe, a hair transplantation can cost up to 10,000 euros ($10,971) while in the U.S. it exceeds $30,000, according to estimates.
People coming to this part of the world to seek better treatment is nothing new. Throughout history, Anatolia area has been known as a center of healing. Even Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing, is believed to be from this region.
During the time of the Romans, Hippocrates, known as the father of medicine, is also believed to have lived in Izmir, west of Turkey, before Christ.
*Ramez Elbany contributed to this report from Ankara.