The surgeon who performed a £2,500 weight loss operation on a young woman who later died has insisted he did nothing wrong.
Dr Serkan Bayil carried out a gastric band operation on Morgan Ribeiro, 20, on January 5 after she paid for the budget-price procedure and flew out to Turkey in order to avoid a years-long wait for the same surgery on the NHS.
However, she took ill on her flight home and was taken to hospital in Serbia, where doctors told her family her small intestine had been perforated; she suffered a heart attack and was placed in a coma, dying four days later.
Dr Bayil has insisted that she suffered an embolism on her flight, a claim rejected by Ms Ribeiro’s mother Erin Gibson.
The surgeon, who has reportedly been practicing for more than two decades, claimed he had performed the procedure successfully on two other patients from England and that they had recovered well.
Dr Serkan Bayil is said to have completed more than 8,000 surgical procedures, according to an online profile promoting
Images shared on other websites show him posing in a white coat. He has denied making any errors in Morgan Ribeiro’s surgery
Morgan Ribeiro flew to Turkey to undergo a gastric sleeve operation after suffering years of bullying about her weight. Her boyfriend James Brewster (right, with Ms Ribeiro) claims hospital staff did not mention the dangers associated with going under the knife. The hospital has not responded to the claims
The hospital where Dr Serkan Bayil is reported to have carried out the surgery on Morgan Ribeiro earlier this month
‘She died due to an embolism on the flight, not due to complications from the surgery,’ Dr Bayil said of Ms Ribeiro’s death to the Mirror.
He added: ‘I am sad, so, so sad, she was so young I wish that this had never happened, it is the first time in my career.’
But based on what she was told by Serbian docs, Ms Ribeiro’s grieving mother, Erin Gibson, believes the doctor failed to spot an incision in her small intestine that may have allowed food to slip into her bloodstream, causing septic shock.
She said: ‘This isn’t just ‘she had an embolism’, she was cut in the small intestine, and I believe he didn’t pick it up. We were told this by the Serbian surgeons.’
A profile of Dr Bayil online linked to Global Medical Care, a Swiss medical travel company, claims he has carried out more than 8,000 medical procedures.
Multiple online profiles state he graduated from Çukurova University Faculty of Medicine in Turkey in 1996, completing a general surgery specialisation there between 2003 and 2010.
He regularly posts videos of patients sharing their pride at being operated upon by the surgeon to Instagram; one video was captioned: ‘We carry out all our operations in a completely sterile and hospital environment.’
Ms Ribeiro paid £2,500 from a trust fund set up by her parents to go under the knife after being bullied for years about her weight.
A final TikTok video posted before she flew abroad was hauntingly captioned: ‘My last post before WLS (weight loss surgery)…see you on the other side.’
Her father, Richard Ribeiro, said she had carried out research online before deciding to pay a company in Switzerland and flying to Turkey.
But he revealed that her final heartbreaking message to him was a WhatsApp voice note just before she boarded a Wizz Air flight back to Gatwick, after telling him she felt ‘OK and that she was starting the healing process’.
He said: ‘We want to make sure something like this doesn’t ever happen again. That no more children are taken away from their families because of these ridiculous surgeries, where they do not operate properly and do not follow proper procedures.’
Earlier this week, Ms Ribeiro’s mother Erin Gibson told MailOnline she had become estranged from her ‘head-strong’ daughter in the months before the operation earlier this month.
She said: ‘She was interested in the bargain price. The clinic only highlights the successes, not the failures. If I had had known I would have shown her risks.
‘I only found out she was having the operation on the day she flew out and by then it was too late.’
Mrs Gibson says she would have shown her daughter the risks if she had known what she was going to do
Serbian surgeons removed over 10cm of Morgan’s small intestine in a bid to contain the infection Morgan suffered a heart attack on January 9 and died four days later
In a last post on TikTok prior to her operation, Morgan told her friends she’d ‘see them on the other side’
Serbian prosecutors, together with the British authorities, have launched investigations into Morgan’s death after she took ill on her flight home, going into septic shock.
The Wizz Air flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Belgrade, where surgeons removed over 10cm of her small intestine in a bid to save her.
Her older sister, Kayleigh, 26, had begged her not to go through with the operation while boyfriend Jamie Brewster claimed the hospital had not made the risks associated with the surgery clear before she went under the knife.
MailOnline has contacted the hospital for comment.
Ms Gibson added: ‘The Serbian doctors and authorities have been great. They told me this is the third time a plane carrying a British cosmetic surgery patient has had to make an emergency landing in Belgrade because of medical complications.
‘The Serbian prosecutor’s office and the British authorities have launched investigations into Morgan’s death. I hope it doesn’t happen to another girl, to another woman’s daughter.’
A government spokesman said: ‘We are supporting the family of a British woman who died in Belgrade and are in contact with the local authorities.
‘We urge anyone considering a medical procedure abroad to review our travel advice and the relevant guidance from the NHS and other professional bodies.’
Mr Brewster told the Independent that she did not want to wait years to have the surgery on the NHS.
But she is one of a growing number of people to die after travelling abroad to undergo surgical procedures for much less than they would cost in the UK; private British gastric band surgery is thought to cost in the region of £10,000.
Last year the Government said it is aware of more than 25 British nationals who have died in Turkey since January 2019 after surgeries.
Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) advice warns people to be careful if they are considering ‘medical tourism’ trips.
It reads: ‘Do your own research – private companies have a financial interest in arranging your medical treatment abroad and the information they provide should not be your only source of information.’
But Turkey has responded furiously to claims that it is carrying out unsafe medical procedures on Brits.
Last year, the Turkish embassy in London said in a riposte to the FCDO advice: ‘Healthcare services in Turkey are provided by authorised institutions and surgeons in accordance with international standards.
‘These institutions are regularly audited by the Turkish authorities to ensure that they meet the highest standards of quality and safety.’