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Visit Cornwall backs cosmetic tourism ops

Nov 16, 2009

A national campaign to promote Cornwall as a so-called plastic surgery tourism destination is being supported by the county's tourist board.

In the adverts by the Duchy Hospital in national newspapers and magazines, Visit Cornwall says it can link private patients with local accommodation.

The hospital in Truro said it saw many patients from out of the county and expected numbers to increase.

Visit Cornwall said it was keen to help promote growing markets.

The Duchy Hospital carries out about 150 cosmetic procedures a year, with about 20 of those patients currently coming from outside the county for treatment.

Teresa Timms, from Visit Cornwall, said the tourism board was keen to encourage new markets outside summer months because they proved "a great way to fill rooms during the rest of the year when [accommodation providers] struggle"

She said: "It's a great idea from a tourism perspective because we are always looking for ways to build business during the autumn, winter and spring, when often accommodation is at lower occupancy levels.

"It's great to see the industry is very flexible to new markets such as this one."

Consultant plastic surgeon James McDiarmid claimed that patients who came to Cornwall were paying less then they would in London and that it was a safer alternative to having surgery abroad as foreign health tourists.

Wound infection

He said: "It's better for patients to undertake surgery closer to their home.

"It's very difficult if you've gone abroad and come back with a wound infection. You have to jump back on a plane again to see the original specialist.

"As long as you're on the same island with the same legal system that can hold that clinic or doctor accountable, then you're in a far better position."

The Duchy Hospital admitted that no surgery was without risk, but said its rates of infection and problems were very low.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons said its safety guidelines recommended patients thought about location before any procedure and they should not travel long distances unless they were sure of the arrangements.

Consultant plastic surgeon and previous president of the association Douglas McGeorge said: "As with all these things, make sure you feel comfortable with facilities, feel comfortable with the surgeon and feel comfortable with the follow-up arrangements.

"If you have got a niggle, it's all long way to go to sort it out."

Visit Cornwall backs cosmetic tourism ops
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