Irish surgeons are reporting a massive increase in patients requiring treatment for complications from botched weight-loss operations abroad.

It is only a matter of time before a patient dies from complications of weight-loss surgery in unregulated foreign clinics, the only full-time bariatric surgeon in the Health Service Executive has warned.

“It’s a huge problem. Patients are presenting everywhere in the system with devastating yet avoidable complications of their surgery,” said Prof Helen Heneghan, from St Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin.

With over 400 people on the waiting list for bariatric surgery in Ireland, desperate patients are resorting to the private sector, often abroad, for faster treatment.

But surgeons say some clinics, particularly in Turkey and eastern Europe, are unscrupulously treating all comers, whether they are suitable for treatment or not.

“Patients are not prepared properly. There’s no selection process. You or I could ring up a clinic and get a date for an operation next week, whether we’re suitable or not,” Prof Heneghan says.

She estimates eight to 10…

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