I am an American who lives in Cyprus, so this review would probably be of interest to those of you from the UK who consider a 'travel' type of surgery. I just had a tummy tuck with liposuction to the flank and saddlebag areas. 14 years ago, I had a hernia repair after the birth of my third child, and it left my stomach very blubbery (is that a word?) and disfigured, with no recognizable belly button. Over the course of those 14 years, I met with 5 different plastic surgeons (two in American and three here in Cyprus) before deciding upon Dr. Bugra.
The 6th, April, surgery went much better than I was expecting and the recovery hasn't been bad. It is Day 4, and I am heading back to see Dr. Bugra tonight, expecting my drains to be removed. Having had three (large) kids, I know what "pain" is, and I have had absolutely none. The only discomfort has been from the lipo areas, most likely due to the bruising.
I am a thin person (5'5", 125), so the only thing I wanted was a stomach that looked normal. The lipo was not my concern, though I decided to have it done since I hate sitting around recovering and have zero intentions of having surgery again. Dr. Bugra was very honest about lipo and said he only does it when he knows it will work. He explained that quite often, bad lipo leaves a person lumpy and very unhappy, so he is very careful about when and where he does it.
I chose Dr. Bugra because of his experience, reviews (on sites other than here), his honesty, and his personality. The price was fantastic. Dr. Bugra performs at the Near East University Hospital on the northern side (Turkish) of the island, which helps to explain the low(er) costs. The two plastic surgeons I had consults with on the Greek side of the island (Nicosia is a divided capital) were wildly varied in their prices: One quoted 4,500 Euros while the other quoted 9,500 Euros.
The hospital itself was very basic -- If you need pampering, this is not the place to get it ;-). Only one of my nurses spoke English, and the rest pantomimed whatever they needed me to do. Having lived abroad for some time, this does not bother me, BUT I can clearly see how it would others. Culturally, people wait to be asked before doing things, so you need to be a confident, in-charge type of person (or have a spouse/friend with you who is). I am not a needy person, I have researched every aspect of this surgery, I have read your reviews for months, and I felt very confident and mentally prepared for this procedure and felt that I knew what to expect (and I did).
Gill is the go-between for Dr. Bugra and patients, and she is fantastic. Though she lives in the UK (Dr. Bugra splits his time there and here), she is on top of things every step of the way. At the hospital, Brit Nicole is the liaison and helps get you settled and checks up on you periodically. All in all, I have been happy with everyone involved with my experience.
As I said above, I am only reviewing Dr. Bugra so he has one ;-). I am following his orders perfectly, am an active, healthy person normally and bulked up on all veggies & fruits prior to the surgery and now. The only issue I have had so far was cutting out alcohol and salt, though Dr. Bugra only told me to cut out alcohol 5 days before and 10 days after surgery. The salt is my commitment to myself: I LOVE salt, and I know it swells you up. I didn't go through all of this just so I could bloat from my salt addiction!
You are welcome to ask me any questions while I am stuck on the couch for another few days ;-). After that, I'll be back to my busy life and probably won't be on Real Self very often.
I'll note this: I have no issues w/ my corset (a common complaint I read about here). Dr. Bugra uses one that begins just under the boobs and ends below the knees, with a pee/poo area cut out. I don't know if it matters if you are thin to begin with or how much you swell (I've literally had almost no swelling, knock on wood), but the corset isn't bothering me. Dr. Bugra instructed me to wear it for 3 weeks only, at which time the muscles begin to deteriorate and need to be used. After waiting 14 years, I can do anything for 3 weeks.
Big thanks to Dr. Bugra and Gill, without whom I'd still be hating my disfigured stomach ;-).