Zahra Abed had been suffering from the consequences of a poorly performed surgery for 8 years. And only in September of 2021, thanks to Bookimed, she became happy again.
Today, Zahra admires her reflection in the mirror and smiles when someone takes her photo. Looking at this beautiful young woman, you would never have thought that a few months ago she suffered so much because of the way she looked. The reason for her insecurities was the unsuccessful septoplasty and rhinoplasty surgery performed eight years ago. In September of 2021, after contacting the Bookimed platform, Zahra managed to solve the problem by going to Turkey and getting a new surgery.
Failure in Iraq
Zahra had suffered from problems with her nose for a long time. Since her childhood, she had a severe deflection of the nasal septum, and she breathed mainly through her mouth, which was very uncomfortable. The doctors advised her to do surgery, and Zahra began looking for a clinic to solve this issue. ‘I was born in Iraq but have been living in England for 20 years. Eight years ago, I decided to get surgery as a part of my nose was blocked and I couldn’t use it properly for breathing. But when I found out the prices for such surgeries in England, I was frustrated. I had to pay at least £7,000, or €8,300. This sum was overwhelming for me, and I decided to fly to my native country, Iraq. Local doctors do such operations free of charge.’
But free doesn't always mean good. However, it turned out to be this way for Zahra. Unfortunately, the breathing problem wasn’t solved after the surgery. In addition, the woman’s face was also slightly distorted:‘They changed the shape of my nose, although I didn’t ask them to. The nose became asymmetrical. It seemed like it was slightly leaning to the left. One nostril turned out to be larger than the other one.’ After the surgery, Zahra could not look at herself in the mirror without tears.
Zahra’s acquaintances and friends just poured oil on flames when they showed their surprise while looking at her: ‘You were so beautiful; what did you do with your nose?’, ‘Why did you do this surgery at all?’. These comments hurt Zahra. Like any woman, she wanted to look attractive. As a result, she developed a prolonged depression. She even had to visit a specialist who prescribed her antidepressants. ‘I had an inferiority complex,’ Zahra says, ‘I didn't want to look at myself in the mirror. I felt unhappy and lost. I often laid at night and cried. Finally, I began to think about a new surgery to correct the consequences of the first one. But I had doubts: ‘What if it fails again?’’
Relatives didn’t understand Zahra, and her husband wanted to reassure her, saying things like, ‘Why take a risk? For sure, it will only get worse!’.
‘My husband was against the second surgery because he knew a lot of scary stories related to rhinoplasty. One of his friends had this type of surgery, and he just got worse. When he decided to fix everything, he had another surgery which only led to another health decline. Now, after the fourth medical intrusion, he is in a desperate situation: he has lost the big part of his nose tissues, looks terrible, and cannot breathe normally. When you know the odds, you understand how important it is to find a good surgeon.’
Even though Zahra’s husband and relatives didn’t support her, the woman ordered herself to stop suffering and began to search for options. She decided that she would go abroad: to Iran or Turkey. But how to choose a reputable clinic and an experienced specialist? How to navigate the endless flow of information? Zahra was perplexed until she came across the Bookimed international patient support center website. The company’s MD-adviser, Hayder Aligab, called her back almost instantly after her request and answered all questions.‘Hayder was very patient; he answered a thousand of my questions. He suggested different Turkish clinics and different surgeons. He informed me about the prices. Finally, he recommended the surgeon who would cope with my situation and explained why this doctor would be the best fit. I felt more confident. I was able to decide. ‘By the way, compared with Britain, prices in Turkey were more than affordable. Septoplasty and rhinoplasty surgery cost €2,500’.
‘Hayder became a part of our family’
At the end of September, Zahra went to Istanbul for the first time. She went alone on this trip. Zahra said that it was not her husband or relatives who supported her most all this time, but Hayder Aligab: ‘Hayder was always in touch with me, called almost every hour, both before the trip, and in Turkey, and even when I returned home. I felt like he became a part of our family. I constantly asked him a lot of questions, and not only about the operation. I remember I had a problem at the London airport when I flew to Istanbul. Before the flight, I did a free PCR test. It turned out that the test had to be done in another laboratory. At the checkpoint, a very strict border guard told me that he could not accept this certificate. I could have done the test at the airport, but it would have taken three hours, and I had only two hours left before my flight. The situation was desperate; I panicked: ‘Will I never get to Turkey?’ And then I called Hayder. He calmed me down and gave me advice that helped. He said that there are usually many people at passport control and advised me to try another employee with a friendlier face. Among those checking the documents was a young lady with a charming smile. I went up to her and began to explain the situation. I talked and talked, and she looked and nodded. And in the end, she accepted my certificate! So I flew to Turkey only thanks to Hayder's advice.’
When Zahra arrived in Istanbul, a luxurious car with a driver had picked her up at the airport. It took her to a hotel near the clinic and a two-minute drive from the city center. Istanbul Aesthetic Clinic also made the most pleasant impression on her.
Hayder Aligab explained: ‘We tried to find the best option for Zahra Abed. The surgeon we recommended to her, Dr. Ergin Er, is one of the most experienced professionals in Turkey. He has been practicing in plastic surgery for 27 years. In a personal meeting with our patient, the doctor explained how the surgery would be held and what would happen after that.’
Despite this, Zahra didn’t sleep all night before the surgery; she was worried about how everything would go and what result she would get. What if her husband was right, and she would get worse? But Zahra convinced herself that everything would go well. And she was right.
The septoplasty and rhinoplasty surgery lasted for several hours, but Zahra didn’t notice anything as she was fast asleep. During this time, the medical crew had solved the problem with the nasal septum and corrected the shape of her nose.
‘The surgery was performed under general anesthesia. I only remember that the crew took a blood test, I changed my clothes, and that's it. Nothing else. When I woke up, I saw the faces of the doctors bending over me. I asked: ‘What happened?’ And they told me: ‘You had surgery.’ ‘What, so fast?’ I didn’t feel any pain even after the surgery. After all, I was immediately prescribed pain relievers and antibiotics to prevent possible complications. And although I still had a plaster on my nose, and there were cartridges inside, I immediately noticed a change. Despite all the cartridges, it was easier for me to breathe. And this gave me hope that this surgery was successful.’
Indeed, after the plaster was removed, Zahra was able to appreciate the skill of the Turkish surgeon. ‘I finally felt that I could breathe freely and feel all the smells. That was such an unfamiliar feeling for me. I was so happy! And when I looked at myself in the mirror, I just fell in love with my new nose. Now it was symmetrical, and even if you looked closely, you could not see that I had gone through the surgery. I was 100% satisfied with the result.’
On the third day, Zahra's face was very swollen, so she had to go down to the restaurant and ask for some ice. However, this was the only inconvenience she faced after the surgery. By the fifth day, the swelling was almost gone.
Zahra's triumphal returning home
Zahra’s return to England was triumphal. Both relatives and friends were impressed with the results of her trip to Turkey. Zahra’s husband was especially happy because he had doubts about the surgery outcome until the last moment and tried to over-persuade his wife. Zahra shared that it felt like she obtained wings!
Now she likes to look at her reflection in the mirror and loves when people take her pictures. ‘I no longer need to hide the left side of my face. Before, I always asked to shoot me only from the side, not to show the asymmetry in my face. Now I feel confident and can pose in front of the camera without any problems and be photographed from all sides: left, right, full face. I'm so happy!’
The suffering of Zahra Abed had continued for eight years: that is how much time had passed since she had her first surgery in Iraq. All these years, she suffered, worried, and took antidepressants. And her problems were solved in just a few hours after her trip to Istanbul.
‘If you don't like something about yourself, don’t be afraid to change it!’ – Zahra advises everyone. – ‘I will be glad if my experience helps someone else. Be prepared to conduct thorough research before choosing a clinic and a doctor. I would recommend everyone contact Bookimed because they will help you find the best solution to your problem and choose the best specialist. It will be much more difficult to figure all the details out on your own. I would also recommend doing this kind of surgery in Turkey. Firstly, it is cheaper than in most other countries, and secondly, you will have an unforgettable vacation there. There are many historical sights and beautiful places in Istanbul. There is a lot to see. The people there are very nice too. But most importantly, you will get a good result!’