Tributes Paid | 

Young nurse dies after trip to Turkey for weight-loss surgery

The cause of the woman’s death is not yet known

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it is aware of the case and stands ready to provide consular assistance. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Amy Molloy

An Irish woman who travelled to Turkey for a medical procedure has died.

It is understood the young mother, who was from the east of the country, went for bariatric (weight-loss) surgery.

She died earlier this week, and the cause of her death is not yet known.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it is aware of the case and stands ready to provide consular assistance.

The woman, who worked as a nurse, had been living abroad for a number of years.

Tributes have been paid following her death.

She has been described as “such a lady”, who had a “beautiful smile” and a “joyful laugh”.

Others remembered her as a loving, kind and nurturing mother.

While the circumstances of the case are unclear, concerns have been growing about the rise in the number of Irish people returning with complications after travelling to Turkey for cosmetic, dental and weight-loss procedures.

The surge in people travelling abroad for these has prompted the DFA to issue warnings.

“Individuals should seek to inform themselves of both the risks and benefits of any procedures, and are advised to discuss their plans carefully with their own doctor, dentist or hospital specialist before committing to any procedure abroad,” it said in a statement.

“The DFA is aware that some citizens have experienced complications in the course of their treatment in Turkey, and a number have died following medical procedures.

“Irish citizens considering medical treatment in Turkey are advised to carry out independent research regarding the credentials of any potential service provider and to ensure that the facility is accredited with the Turkish authorities.”

At least nine Irish people who went abroad for medical and cosmetic procedures in the last three years have died.

The DFA had been notified of three others between January and October this year.

In May, a man died while undergoing a dental procedure in Turkey.

A woman in her 50s who travelled to Turkey in July for a cosmetic procedure also died.

In 2022, four people died, including two women who went to Turkey for bariatric procedures.

One of the women was in her 30s, had a young daughter and lived in Dublin. The other was a mother of two from Co Waterford.

A father from Louth who travelled to Turkey for a dental procedure in April last year also died.

The exact causes of their deaths have not been reported.

The majority of those who died underwent bariatric (weight-loss) and dental procedures.

In 2021, two deaths were reported to the DFA. It was not notified of any deaths between 2017 and 2020.

It said that the true number of deaths may be higher than reported.

High costs, long waiting lists and the lack of availability of certain procedures in Ireland is leading people to travel abroad.

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