Israeli man's cheaper ear surgery in Turkey doesn't end well

D. went to have surgery done on his ears in Turkey because it cost NIS 1,800 instead of NIS 20,000.

 Surgery tools (illustrative) (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Surgery tools (illustrative)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)

21-year-old D. from a moshav in the Shefala area wanted to undergo surgery to attach his ears closer to his head. He didn't realize how expensive it would be.

D. said that this surgery costs about NIS 20,000, which he couldn't afford. In view of the high cost, D. looked on the internet for other options. 

He heard through TikTok and Instagram about a hospital in Turkey which performs the surgery at a significantly lower cost, about $1,800.

D. bought a ticket, booked a hotel and flew to Turkey to have the surgery.

Afterward, while still in Turkey, he started to feel sick. Two days after the operation he also began to suffer from bleeding from the ears, but felt that he wasn't receiving the help he needed. 

 Closeup of a human ear (credit: Under-Vic/Wikimedia) Closeup of a human ear (credit: Under-Vic/Wikimedia)

He returned to Israel and was hospitalized at the Kaplan Medical Center of the Clalit health fund. He was diagnosed with an ear infection, which manifests with bleeding, pus and even a deformity in one of the ears. He received antibiotic treatment and was hospitalized for observation.

The handling of the case was particularly complex

Dr. Michal Benkler, plastic surgery specialist at Kaplan said that D. was in significant pain when he went to the hospital. Pus and blood were seen where the sutures were, and one of the ears even twitched. 

Since luckily he went to Kaplan as soon as he returned to Israel, a more serious deterioration in his condition and additional complications were prevented.

Benkler added that treatment was complex. The patient knew all the details but there wasn't a summary of the procedure. It's unknown exactly what happened and which stitches were used, so it's difficult to decide on treatment. 

It was decided to treat him with two types of antibiotics and hospitalize him for follow-up. When his condition improved, he was discharged and doctors continued to follow up to find out if the deformity was due to the inflammation or resulted from another complication, which will require more surgery to repair the damage.

Benkler added that recently doctors have seen many more patients arriving at Kaplan after complications from cosmetic surgeries performed abroad. It's evident that many doctors and hospitals use Tiktok, FB and Instagram to convince people that the price is worth it and that there's no risk, but it's important to remember that even a simple operation can get complicated.

Patients need others' support during surgery and throughout the entire recovery process. When someone has surgery abroad, we have no way of knowing who the surgeons are and if they've been trained. 

So there's a significant advantage to having the surgery done by a specialist recognized by the Israeli Society of Plastic & Aesthetic Surgery. It's safer and patients receive better, more accurate treatment.