DUBLIN, Ireland – Cosmetic surgery tourism is on the rise with Irish patients jetting to far-flung destinations for tummy tucks, nose jobs, breast implants and hair transplants.
The Czech Republic, Poland, Belgium and Britain are the plastic surgery hotspots for Irish medical tourists, according to new research by private healthcare search engine WhatClinic.com.
Instead of soaking up the sun, many Irish people are now using their holidays to go under the knife in foreign clinics largely due to cheaper rates, with Turkey becoming a hotspot for hair transplants, while the Czech Republic is the top destination for tummy tucks.
The number of Irish enquiries to foreign clinics through Whatclinic.com for cosmetic surgery has increased by 54% over the past year from 1,450 queries in 2013 compared to 942 queries in 2012.
There has been a 135% increase in searches for breast implants in Poland, the second most popular destination for the procedure outside of Britain.
The Czech Republic has seen an increase of 158% in Irish patients enquiring about tummy tucks over the past year and it is also the number-one foreign destination for Irish patients undergoing rhinoplasty or nose operations.
The destination most popular with Irish men for hair transplants is Turkey where it costs €1,745 compared to almost double the cost at €3,065 in Ireland, according to WhatClinic.com.
There has been a 233% jump in enquires into the procedure, famously undergone by Wayne Rooney and Louis Walsh.
Caelen King, CEO of WhatClinic.com, said our new cosmopolitan population has helped to open up Irish people to foreign medical systems.
He urged medical tourists to do their homework thoroughly before booking into a clinic in another country.
“The consumer needs to take the time and effort to educate themselves. The truth is when you go abroad things can be more difficult than they are at home and you need to have done your research and you need to be comfortable with what you are doing.
“If you are going to get a facelift done you want to make sure you are comfortable with the individual surgeon and the follow-up care that’s going to happen, even if you are getting it done in Dublin but more so if you are getting it done overseas.”
Plastic surgery and medical aesthetics like fillers and botox are rocketing in popularity as society becomes more obsessed with staying youthful, Mr King said.
“There is no question that medical aesthetics like dermal fillers and injectables and dental cosmetics have grown dramatically and are continuing to grow dramatically. 15 years ago it barely existed.”