Police in Turkey have seized two doctors after a patient fell ill and died after getting stomach botox.
Victim Aylar Korhanova from Turkmenistan, Central Asia, had stomach botox, also called gastric botox, at a private hospital in Tuzla, Istanbul, on 25th February.
She went back to hospital on 4th March after experiencing discomfort in her stomach.
After her condition worsened, she was admitted to the ICU, where she passed away on 23rd March aged 46.
After her relatives filed a complaint against the doctors who performed the procedure and the hospital management, an investigation was opened.
It found that several patients who had undergone the same procedure at the hospital experienced symptoms such as double vision, high blood pressure, and nausea.
It also found that other patients who had undergone the procedure at different clinics showed similar symptoms.
Police seized doctors C. C. E. and S. S. and hospital owner C. T. on 3rd March.
The doctors were subsequently freed, while the hospital owner was released subject to conditions.
Police also seized drugs from the hospital for examination.
And now, following Aylar’s death, police have rearrested C. C. E. and have seized doctor M. U. for causing death by negligence.
Turkey’s health minister, Dr Fahrettin Koca, said in a statement: “It has been reported that there were patients who sought treatment at different hospitals due to side effects after receiving stomach botox for the treatment of obesity.
“As a result, extraordinary urgent inspections were carried out by the relevant units of the Istanbul Health Directorate and the Izmir Health Directorate at the centres where this treatment was applied.
“During these inspections, it was determined that interventions were made to these patients at the Private GSM Gisbir Healthcare Centre Hospital operating in Istanbul and the Private West Anatolian Medical Centre operating in Izmir, and the products used in the treatment were confiscated and taken for examination.
“According to the evaluation made by the Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency, the imported batch of the relevant product was approved, but its use in stomach botox procedures was considered off-label.
“The activities of the relevant units of both healthcare institutions have been suspended, and an investigation has been launched against those responsible.
“The issue is being closely monitored by our Ministry. Necessary treatments have been applied to the affected patients and their follow-ups are being carried out.”
Injecting botulinum toxin into the stomach is a procedure for weight loss.
It temporarily relaxes the muscles and slows stomach emptying.
It can help the patient feel full longer after eating, making it easier to eat less and lose weight.