Facetune or facelift?
If you think these images are too good to be true, you may be right.
The alleged results of a series of facial plastic surgery procedures done in Istanbul, Turkey, have left viewers divided about their authenticity.
Aesthetic experts independently told the Times they believe the images are digitally altered.
The Turkish clinic, however, maintains that despite public and expert disbelief, the results of its top surgeon’s handiwork are authentic and unedited.
Viewers requesting further proof of the patient’s transformative and stunning-if-true journey were informed by the clinic that the ‘after’ images they shared had been provided by the patient, who resides in America.
Turkey boasts some of the world’s best—and worst—plastic surgeons.
But in the plastic surgery tourism capital of the world, where too many headlines tell of botched surgeries and dying patients, navigating fact from fiction is incredibly difficult.
The images shared on social media by a Turkish plastic surgery clinic are of a 68-year-old woman who resides in the United States.
The 68-year-old, they say, underwent five different plastic surgery procedures at their clinic.
All procedures were reportedly done “at the same time,” two years ago.
The procedures included a rhinoplasty surgery or nose job, an endoscopic deep-plane facelift with incisions hidden behind the ears and hairline, a neck lift, upper and lower blepharoplasty, and lip fillers.
“Special cosmetic products for skin beautifying,” which the clinic says it personally produces, allegedly account for the clarity of the woman’s skin in the post-op photos.
Facial plastic surgery results as transformative as this patient’s cost between $10,000 and $18,000 USD, a clinic spokesperson said.
Image origin story changes
A clinic staffer told the Times via direct message that the patient was photographed at the clinic in a follow-up visit done two years after undergoing the five surgical procedures.
“In first pictures we are taking pictures on operation day second one when patient came for control.”DrMayAesthetic to Surgical Times, September 17, 2023
But in its Instagram and TikTok posts, the Turkish practice responded to doubtful viewers who wanted to see more evidence by saying that [the few pictures they have] were sent to them by the patient herself.
One viewer on TikTok goes so far as to say she will “book flights” if shown what the patient’s scaring looks like.
“She is from USA she se d [send] that pictures to us.”@DrMayAesthetic, TikTok
92% of viewers disbelieve
Despite the clinic’s insistence that its results are accurately depicted by the photographs, numerous viewers haven’t been so quick to accept that fact at face value.
“This has to be 2 diff people,” reads the top or most liked comment on Instagram.
“Of all the things that never happened, this never happened the most,” reads the next highest-rated comment which almost 1,300 viewers suggest they agree with.
Shared on Metro UK, 92 percent of readers say they do not think that the same woman is shown in both images.
@drmayaesthetic Our lovely patient Miss Dilek after 2 years of rhinoplasty face lift and blepheroplasty surgeries.. I wait your comments 😇 😇 #بغداد #دبي #rhinoplastyexpert #rinoplastika #عناية #عناية #rinoplastiaestetica #plasticsurgery #ринопластикамосква #جمال #plasticsurgeon #cheeklift #ринопластика #تجميليه #لبنان #اللاذقية #ethnicnosesurgery #nosesurgery #دمشق #burunestetigi #burunestetiği #عيون_القطة #Ринопластика #aesthetic #الانف #rinoplastia #nosejobs #nosejob #rhinoplastie #rhinoplasty ♬ Techno sound for video – MOCHIXTONE
Images digitally altered, experts claim
Surgical Times reached out to aesthetic experts, including several on the ground in Turkey.
Australian aesthetic injector of 22 years, Jacqueline Balancio, RN, says the results are not real, and that shadows in the photographs are evidence of digital manipulation.
“It’s all lies,” Balancio had publicly commented on the original images shared on Instagram. “His whole page is lies.”
“I’m a cosmetic nurse, I can see the difference. It’s obvious it’s fake. Look at all the shadows in the ‘after’ pics. The shadow doesn’t match the nose,” she told the Times.
“And in every single after pic the entire face is perfect. Means it’s a filter. The surgery even beautifies their eyes and eyebrows. It’s a ‘miracle,’ she says.
On the ground in Turkey, another aesthetic expert independently shared similar beliefs.
Speaking on conditions of anonymity for fear of retaliation, that expert told the Times, “This doctor is a fraud who photoshops his photos,” and the whole social media ordeal is “comedic.”
(While the Times vetted this long-time industry expert as best as it felt possible, readers should be aware that they represent another cosmetic clinic in Turkey. A third industry expert with a history of work in the country who we reached out to declined to comment.)
Both aesthetic professionals also independently shared their beliefs that this current viral case isn’t the only one that’s been manipulated.
Multiple viewers posted comments on TikTok stating that they, too, believe Photoshop is involved.
@corabreilein Replying to @S A H A R A #greenscreen are doctors strategic with shady “before and after”plastic surgery photos? My opinion. (Not directeed at this plastic surgeon, all of this is my opinion for entertainment purposes only). #plasticsurgery #turkeyplasticsurgery #istanbulplasticsurgery #istanbulrhinoplasty #rhinoplastyturkey #rhinoplastyistanbul #turkeyplasticsurgery #istanbul #istanbulturkey #turkishrhinoplasty #rhinoplastybeforeandafter #rhinoplasty #rhinoplastyresults #plasticsurgery #hairtransplantturkey #seoulplasticsurgery #plasticsurgeryclinic #plasticsurgeryturkey #nosejob #ponytaillift #facelift #blepharoplasty #upperblepharoplasty #minifacelift #drkao #jackmac #barstoolsports ♬ original sound – Cora Breilein
After hours of rapid responses to several messages sent over the course of the early morning, the clinic stopped answering when the Times relayed the expert allegations it had heard regarding digital image manipulation.
The Times remains entirely open to further information in support of the images being authentic and unedited and will update this story if and when received.