Original ArticleInternational Smuggling of Illicit Drugs by Body Concealment at a Tertiary Hospital in IstanbulKaplan, Onur MD; Sogut, Ozgur MD Author Information From the Department of Emergency Medicine, Haseki Training and Research Hospital, University of Health Sciences, Istanbul, Turkey. Manuscript received August 11, 2022; accepted September 2, 2022. The authors report no conflict of interests. Reprints: Onur Kaplan, MD, University of Health Sciences, Department of Emergency Medicine, Haseki Research and Training Hospital, Millet St, 34096, Fatih/Istanbul, Turkey. E-mail: [email protected]. O.K. and O.S. designed the research study and composed the original draft, collected the data and did the data validation, analyzed the data, and wrote the manuscript. All authors contributed to editorial changes in the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. This study was approved by the institutional review board of Haseki Research and Training Hospital in Istanbul, Turkey (no. 2017-442). Onurt Kaplan 0000-0001-7016-4842 Ozgur Sogut 0000-0003-3365-3713 The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: October 3, 2022 - Volume - Issue - 10.1097/PAF.0000000000000800 doi: 10.1097/PAF.0000000000000800 Buy PAP Metrics Abstract Smuggling of illicit substances by internal concealment has recently become a preferred method of international drug trade. The drug carriers are known as body packers. This study aimed to assess the demographic features and outcomes of body packers admitted to a referral center in Istanbul. Data were retrospectively evaluated from January 2017 to December 2019 from suspected body packers who were referred to the emergency department of a tertiary-care university by Istanbul Airport narcotics police due to suspected concealment of illicit drugs. Eighty-one cases were identified and included in this study. Of these, 71 subjects were confirmed to be body packers by radiological methods. The 15 women and 56 men had a mean age of 35 years. The most common nationality of the body packers was Nigerian, followed by Turkish and South African. Cocaine was the most commonly smuggled packet, followed by hashish, and heroin. All body packers were conservatively managed using laxatives or watchful waiting. No cases required surgical retrieval of packets. Abdominal radiography and computed tomography are useful tools for the evaluation of suspected body packers. The use of improved packaging material by smugglers and complications due to surgery and endoscopy make the conservative approach preferred. Copyright © 2022 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.