A MUM whose son tragically died after a botched weight loss surgery in Turkey was left stunned by the so-called surgeon's explanation.

Joe Thornley, 25, passed away after undergoing gruelling gastric sleeve surgery in the hopes of slimming down from his 22st frame.


But the builder ended up paying a high price for his budget op in Istanbul at the Medicana Bahcelievler clinic.

His devastated mum Julie, 58, has now warned Brits to avoid heading abroad for a quick fix at the hands of bungling medics.

Although the clinic "looked like a nice hospital with good reviews," she suspects Joe was not sufficiently monitored post-op.

The 25-year-old had booked in for the £3,000 surgery, where a large portion of the stomach is removed, but only told his family the day before.

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The two-hour procedure can cost up to £10,000 in the UK and has a strict approval procedure and lengthy waiting list.

Julie told BirminghamLive: "He told me the day before. I told him I couldn’t stop him but that he didn’t need it.

"It was meant to be go in on the Monday and be back at home on the Friday."

Following the seemingly successful surgery, her son complained that he was "in a lot of pain" in his last conversation with his parents.

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When Joe didn't respond for the next two days, the 58-year-old and her husband Michael, 57, presumed he was recovering.

It was only when police turned up at Julie’s work in South Normanton, Derbys, that she was told the awful news that her son had died.

Julie then received a horror phone call from the "so-called surgeon", informing her Joe had suffered a heart attack during the procedure.

The stunned mum tried to navigate her grief while coming to terms with the fact there were unforeseen complications.

But a post-mortem examination later revealed her son had in fact passed away after suffering catastrophic internal bleeding at the site of the operation.

A death certificate in Turkey had even ruled Joe had died from "natural causes".

Julie fumed: "The so-called surgeon rang me and said he had a cardiac arrest and he couldn’t save him. I believed him.

"But when we had his body back the post-mortem found he had bled at the site of the operation. He died of internal bleeding.

"It was the aftercare or they didn’t realise he was bleeding."

She has now warned Brits the cheap procedures are "not worth it", advising people to completely avoid clinics abroad.

The so-called surgeon rang me and said he had a cardiac arrest and he couldn’t save him. I believed him.

The 58-year-old added: "I would tell anyone to be very, very careful where you go. Or don’t go at all.

"He was a 25-year-old with his whole life ahead of him.

"Now I can’t stop thinking of all the other young people who want a butt lift or want something doing to their face.

"I hope ­anyone considering this reads our story and doesn’t take it lightly."

Thousands of desperate patients head to Turkey for low-priced procedures each year, concerned UK medics said.

According to the Foreign Office, 20 Brits have died during medical tourism trips to the country since 2019.

Specialist surgeon Nick Carter said "every hospital" in the UK has had to conduct emergency surgery on people returning with botched results from Turkey.

He explained: "I have had disasters of people who have had emergency operations a day or two after their procedures in Turkey and they have come back with issues.

"I have someone with mesh sticking out of their abdominal wall. One case presented where surgeons had left some dead tissue inside them and they needed emergency surgery."

A sleeve gastrectomy is one of the three most common types of weight loss surgery.

Medics removed some of the stomach so that the patient can no longer eat as much as before and they feel full sooner.

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This is different to a gastric band, which is used to reduce the stomach's size, meaning you will feel full after eating a reduced amount of food.

The Medicana Bahcelievler’s website outlines some risks of the procedure including bleeding, damage to other organs and anesthesia complications.

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