Advice to “Cosmetic Surgery Tourists”
Following recent concerns expressed in relation to cosmetic surgery procedures overseas or in Ireland, the Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health and Children, Dr Tony Holohan, has advised anyone planning to undergo cosmetic surgery whether in Ireland or abroad, to bear in mind some important guidelines before they undertake any procedure.
- You should initially discuss the issue with your General Practitioner (GP) to ensure that you are a suitable candidate for the procedure in question. Your GP will have knowledge of specialist doctors in your area and will help you to choose the one most appropriate one for you. Furthermore, your GP will be able to help you to interpret any claims that are made in advertisements. You should not choose a service on the basis of price alone.
- If you have a medical condition, allergy or are taking any medications your GP will have important information which should be passed to the surgeon.
- You should confirm that the procedure is carried out by an appropriately registered medical practitioner. In Ireland, this can be checked by asking for the medical council number of your surgeon and examining the online register of medical practitioners (www.medicalcouncil.ie).
- Many countries have similar professional regulatory authorities to the Medical Council and if you are considering cosmetic surgery outside of Ireland it is highly recommended that you check with the regulatory authority for medical practitioners in the country to which you intend to travel to confirm that the medical practitioner who will be performing the procedure is registered in that country.
- Prior to any procedure, you should identify what follow-up care and medical support you will need after the surgery has been completed, by whom and how it will be provided
- In Ireland, in accordance with the Medical Practitioners Act (2007), the Medical Council is charged with responsibility for the registration of medical practitioners and the regulation of their activities including cosmetic surgeons. The function of the Medical Council is to protect the public through specifying standards and applying appropriate controls in relation to medical professional practice.
Further information and advice can be obtained from the International Association of Medical Regulatory Authorities ( IAMRA) at www.iamra.com or the EU Health Professionals Crossing Borders ( HPCB) at www.hpcb.eu.