Clinic criticised for performing fat removal treatment on anorexic

A CLINIC offering a new fat removal treatment has been criticised for failing to detect that one of their clients was suffering from an eating disorder.

The woman, who is in her late 40s, underwent a fat removal procedure called SmartLipo at the Norton Clinic in Dublin on November 13 last.

The woman’s brother, who called RTÉ’s Liveline yesterday, said she had suffered from anorexia since her early teens and had been treated in hospital on a number of occasions without much success.

He said she had seen an advertisement in a Sunday newspaper on November 11 proclaiming that women could drop a dress size for Christmas using SmartLipo.

The woman, who wanted to reduce her dress size from size 10 to eight, claimed she was not weighed before undergoing the procedure. She also admitted during the programme that she had not eaten for four days.

She said her body was still swollen as a result of the treatment.

The man, who did not want to be identified, said his sister had a 20-minute consultation before having the procedure that was conducted using local anaesthetic and cost €6,000.

“The following few days I knew she was in pain but did not know why and it was last Sunday evening that she confided in me,” he said.

He claimed it would not take a medical person to know that his sister was seriously underweight.

“At best, she is around six stone and is 5ft 3ins tall,” he pointed out.

Norton Clinic director Jeremy Isherwood said they worked to very strict guidelines.

The clinic has claimed that the woman weighed eight stone and was a size 12, and was well within the body mass index (BMI) for her height.

“How can we be held responsible for that particular case? We have done everything to the book,” he said.

Asked if the clinic would now make a point of asking patients if they had an eating disorder, Mr Isherwood said they always asked patients if they had any medical history they should be aware of. “How more specific can we be?” he said.

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