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HomeHeadlineIstanbul Health Scandal Uncovered: Syrian Lab Technicians Performing Cosmetic Surgery Face Investigation

Istanbul Health Scandal Uncovered: Syrian Lab Technicians Performing Cosmetic Surgery Face Investigation

In a shocking turn of events, Istanbul has been hit by a major health scandal involving unlicensed Syrian lab technicians performing cosmetic surgeries on unsuspecting victims. Abdulrahim Aqrah, originally from Syria and now a Turkish citizen, falsely portrayed himself as one of Turkey’s top plastic surgeons. Numerous women, despite his lack of a work permit, were subjected to late-night cosmetic surgeries performed by Aqrah. Some patients experienced severe complications, with one even suffering lung failure. The Gaziosmanpaşa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has launched a thorough investigation into the matter.

According to reports by Dinçer Gökçe on Halk TV, the scandal revolves around two key establishments: the Apeks Esthetic Health Consultancy Company in Şişli and the Private West Medical Center in Sultangazi. The consultancy firm, operating under the guise of health tourism, directed international patients to the Private West Medical Center. Initial consultations with potential cosmetic surgery candidates were often conducted by Murat Kaynak, a partner in the consultancy company. At the age of 32, healthcare worker Murat Kaynak falsely presented himself as the medical center’s chief physician. The next stage involved Deniz Nedimoğlu, a Syrian national who worked as a lab technician in his home country. Nedimoğlu was marketed as “one of Turkey’s premier doctors” after obtaining Turkish citizenship, concealing his previous identity as Abdulrahim Aqrah.

Investigative records indicate that the fraudulent “doctor” Deniz Nedimoğlu conducted the operations.

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Late-Night Surgeries and Alarming Complications

Once agreements were reached with patients, details such as payment amounts and surgery dates were determined. Surgeries were typically scheduled for late-night hours. Deniz Nedimoğlu, in conjunction with general surgeon Dr. Kenan İpek, would carry out the operations.

Patients Transferred Due to Deteriorating Health

The legal process was set in motion when several patients experienced severe health complications following surgeries at the medical center. Those with worsening conditions were transferred to nearby hospitals via ambulance. In their state of distress, these patients chose to file complaints with the Prosecutor’s Office.

Anesthesia-Less Stitches Raise Alarm

The investigation, led by the Prosecutor’s Office, unveiled shocking video footage and harrowing victim testimonies. Video recordings submitted as evidence underscored the extreme risk involved in the surgeries. Notably, none of the individuals present during surgery were seen wearing appropriate surgical attire. Deniz Nedimoğlu, who lacked the credentials to practice as a doctor in Turkey, was clearly observed performing the surgeries. Shockingly, the person assisting Nedimoğlu lacked even the qualifications of a surgical nurse. The videos revealed that an anesthesia technician was substituted for an anesthesiologist during procedures, and it was evident that stitches were administered without anesthesia.

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Complications Stemming from Anesthesia

Several patients shared their nightmarish experiences:

  • Nadia Farzadifar (49) disclosed that she underwent 13 surgeries in one year, losing her lungs due to repeated anesthesia administration. She expressed her desire to complain, but instead, additional surgeries were performed, leading to body deformities and a loss of health.
  • Asuman Öztutar (50) recounted receiving eyelid and breast surgeries without any pre-surgery tests. She was examined by individuals posing as doctors, unaware of their fraudulent status.
  • Mastaneh Naseri (39) reported complications following surgeries, with stitches opening and discharge from both breasts. She expressed her concerns to doctors in England, who condemned the excessive number of surgeries she had undergone, likening her situation to falling into the hands of butchers.
  • Zohreh Mirsanei (42) detailed a 10-hour surgery session and a subsequent drop in blood levels, characterizing her ordeal as a major health scandal in Turkey.

Foreign Victims and Ongoing Health Battles

Foreign victims were not spared from the nightmare:

  • Carmella Apice (34), hailing from Italy, suffered infections and abdominal stitch ruptures following a series of combined aesthetic surgeries. She required transfer to a private hospital.
  • Narges Mork (42) faced severe complications after six surgeries performed during a single session. Her blood levels plummeted, and she was eventually transferred back to her home country of Norway.

Claims of Impersonation and Unqualified Practice

Dr. Abdulmecit Bulut, owner of the Private West Medical Center, disassociated his facility from the illegal activities, asserting that Deniz Nedimoğlu lacked the qualifications to practice medicine or perform surgery in Turkey. Bulut claimed that Nedimoğlu had only worked as a “servant” at the center and that his involvement in administering dressings had prompted his dismissal. Murat Kaynak, however, denied presenting himself as the chief physician and maintained that he had not accepted cash payments. Deniz Nedimoğlu declined to respond to requests for an interview.

The Medical Tourism and Surgery Scheme

Medical tourism has seen a surge in recent years in Turkey. Cosmetic surgery candidates are often recruited by intermediary firms, with prices ranging from $10,000 to $30,000 depending on the procedures. These firms collaborate with various hospitals and medical centers for surgeries. In return, hospitals receive payments of 10,000 Turkish Lira for short surgeries and 20,000-30,000 Turkish Lira per patient for combined aesthetic procedures. Notably, many of these surgeries are performed during nighttime hours.

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