An increasing number of people are presenting at Irish hospitals after travelling abroad for weight-loss surgery, according to a consultant bariatric surgeon.
It comes after reports that a young mother from Dublin who travelled to Turkey for a medical procedure this week has died.
The Department of Foreign Affairs is warning about the risks of going to Turkey for cosmetic and weight-loss procedures, after a number of deaths.
The department said some Irish citizens have experienced complications after treatments in Turkey, and advised travellers to discuss their plans carefully with their own specialists before committing to any procedure overseas.
Professor Helen Heneghan from St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin said the situation is very worrying.
"We have treated an increasing number of people over the last two years in particular, patients who have travelled abroad for surgery and come back unwell," she told Newstalk radio.
"We have actually seen a three-fold increase since the onset of the pandemic in the number of emergency presentations due to bariatric surgery that was performed abroad.
"It's a worrying problem," Prof Heneghan said.
Bariatric surgery, also known as weight-loss surgery, is often used as a last resort to treat people who are obese.
Patients must have tried and failed to achieve weight loss by all other appropriate non-surgical methods and be fit for surgery.
On its website, the Department of Foreign Affairs reminds citizens who may be considering medical tourism that that all surgery contains an element of risk.
"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 and/or hospital specialist before committing to any procedure abroad," it says.
"Individuals should also familiarise themselves with any follow-up treatment or process that may be required, and be aware that they may encounter communication difficulties in a non-English speaking environment."