We go on hol for sun, sea, sand and SURGERY
More than 100,000 Brits opt for cut-price nip/tuck trip every year
FROM JENNIFER TIPPETT IN IZMIR, TURKEY 9th April 2014, 11:00 pm
SEA views, all-you-can-eat buffets and blue skies make for a perfect trip
But how about getting a new nose or boob job – maybe even throwing in a
tummy tuck at the same time?
And the surgery can cost a fraction of what it would in the UK. With
multiple-op packages, such as the “Mummy Makeover” boasting free flights,
accommodation, food and aftercare, many Brits on a budget are opting to go
under the knife abroad.
Nip/tuck tourism is on the rise, despite warnings from The British
Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (Bapras) of
Sun Woman went to Turkey to meet three holidaymakers who combined their
hols with surgical makeovers.
RIMA, Sandy and Lorna have one thing in common — they all combined a trip to
Turkey with cosmetic ops.
The trio joined the ranks of more than 100,000 Brits a year who are now
organising surgery too when they book their package holidays overseas.
All three signed on the line with RevitalizeinTurkey, a medical tourism
package holiday specialist based in Izmir, boarding the same EasyJet flight
to the city.
A whopping 80 per cent of the firm’s patients are Brits, with rhinoplasty —
nose jobs — and breast augmentation among the most popular procedures.
Led by Turkish surgery entrepreneur Turan Tuncelli and his brother Harun, it
was founded ten years ago and treats about 300 British patients every year.
And business is booming.
Lorna Sutherland, 42, a technical assistant from Aberdeen, spent a week
with her partner holidaying in a comfortable, serviced apartment while she
rested after a mini facelift.
She said: “For my mini facelift, I was quoted £10,000 in the UK — in Turkey it
“The experience was wonderful — nothing was a problem for Turan and the team.
“The staff at the apartment arranged taxis every day and the complimentary
breakfast was lovely.”
Sandy Mercer, 55, an office worker from Harlow, Essex, said: “From
start to finish, the entire experience was so relaxing. I really felt like I
had been on holiday.
“I simply couldn’t afford to have the operation in the UK and so I decided,
after much thought, to have my facelift and necklift with
“The procedure would have cost £6,000 just for the facelift in London but it
has only cost me £3,300 for both in Turkey.”
Bu cost wasn’t the only reason Sandy decided to go abroad.
She said: “I did all my research and I couldn’t fault the process.
“At my consultation in London, the surgeon told me I would look refreshed —
but he didn’t give me false hope.
“I have a good lifestyle. I don’t smoke and only drink a little so the
procedure was just to make me look less tired. I’m over the moon with the
Sandy, who would later leave Turkey after ten days away feeling refreshed and
invigorated, said: “The combination of healthy food whenever I fancied it,
the lemon groves and sitting in the gardens in the warm weather all helped
with the healing process. And I was so well looked after — it really lifted
The firm’s glossy brochure offers four accommodation options: a deluxe villa,
a serviced apartment or one of two boutique-style hotels.
Depending on the procedure, patients and their families who join them can
enjoy facilities such as swimming pools and a health centre, while being
cared for 24/7.
Rima Tyler, 70, from Ingleton in North Yorkshire, had just come round
from her bingo wing and breast reduction surgery when I spoke to her.
She planned to stay in Turkey to have a facelift op.
Rima said: “I am here for three weeks in total with 14 days between my body
surgeries and facial surgery.
“Before I came out here I went to the office in Manchester for my consultation
with Dr Cenk Tokat and my mind was put at rest. I also remember telling my
husband Gerald that the price was great — I couldn’t believe it.
“The total was just under £9,000, inclusive of flights and accommodation. I
couldn’t even get my facelift for that in the UK.”
Although it sounds like a lot of surgery in one go, Rima insisted that her
expectations were realistic.
She said: “I am happy being 70. I love dancing and use face creams like any
“I don’t want to look 20, 40 or even 50 — I just don’t want this turkey neck
Jackie Bonham, the UK patient coordinator for RevitalizeinTurkey, aims to make
sure that the language barrier does not become a problem for clients.
She said: “I work closely with any prospective patients who are researching
surgery abroad, as well as arranging the consultation days we have in both
London and Manchester.
“We find that these days are really useful and give prospective patients an
opportunity to have a consultation without having to pay for flights abroad.
It’s very important that people don’t rush into the decision to have
“Dr Tokat being there to answer any questions and discuss any worries is key
to our success rate.”
Turan and Harun are proud that 60 per cent of their patients are via
Turan said: “We know that as a company we have a duty of care to make sure
every single person who has cosmetic surgery with us is happy with the
“We can offer surgery at low prices simply because the wages are lower in
Turkey than they are in the UK.”
With deals like these — plus the sunshine — it is easy to see why so many
Brits are boarding a plane to fix their body hang-ups.
Turan said: “The combination of a relaxing holiday and surgery really works.
And we welcome friends and family to come along to support them and enjoy a
holiday in Turkey, too.
“We stay in touch with all our patients for a year afterwards because that
tends to be the appropriate time for full healing in most cases.
“If anyone is unhappy they can come back to us at no extra charge — they just
need to fund the flights.”