‘Get rid of the fat, I don’t want it anymore’

In 2018 Turkey attracted nearly 1 million people for health tourism, according to the government.

Video and photo by Ingrid Godager and Thea Agnethe Erikson

The British 24-year-old Clayton Digweed is in Istanbul to get a Brazilian butt lift (BBL) at Comfort Zone Cosmetic Surgery: “So I’m having a BBL, with lipo on the stomach and on the thighs. It’s something that I’ve always wanted done. Ever since I was a kid I have always been chubby, and then I got skinny as I got older, then I became chubby again. I thought ‘hm, get rid of the fat, I don’t want it anymore’”. Fahrettin Koca, Turkey’s health minister, said that health tourism generates 1,5 billion dollars. Within 2030 they aim to increase this revenue by five times, which means 7,5 billion dollars. The procedure Clayton is having costs 3000 euros and is one of the most popular surgeries in Turkey. According to the International Society of Aestethic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) the largest increase in surgical procedures in 2018 was liposuction, with an increase of over 9% compared to 2017.

The first 5 weeks after surgery Clayton has to lie on his stomach, and is not able to sit down properly. It will take around 3 months before the swelling goes down, and the final result will show after 6 months. Despite the pain and the long recovery time, Clayton explains how he would do it again: “Even though this was my first ever, I don’t think its going to be my last because I wasn’t in that much in pain, contrary to what people had warned me about.”