AN international company that offers cosmetic surgery vacations to Brazil has reported that the Irish now make up their second largest customer base in Europe.
Michael Boeckle, owner of Cosmetic Vacations, says that many people want to spend time on the sun soaked beaches of Rio de Janeiro while recovering from their cosmetic procedures.
"Demand has been very good at our Dublin base for a small island like Ireland. We've had the second most requests in Europe from the Irish, who opt more for facial procedures than body procedures," he said.
The company, which offers affordable cosmetic and plastic surgery in Rio, specialises in organising flights, accommodation and interpreters for people who want to jet off to an exotic location, and transform their looks in the process.
"A lot of people want to visit Rio de Janeiro as a holiday destination, so many like to combine a trip away in the sun with their surgery," said Boeckle.
With cheaper costs and world class surgeons reported to be operating from the capital, Brazil is fast becoming the world's centre for cosmetic tourism.
Another big incentive for Irish clientele is the cost, which, depending on the exchange rate, could be only half of what the same procedure would cost in Ireland.
Meanwhile, Fine Gael MEP Jim Higgins has asked the European Union to look into the possibility of introducing guidelines and standards for the provision of cosmetic surgery services in Ireland.
The request from Mr Higgins comes following recent reports of gross under regulation in the cosmetic surgery industry.