Weight Loss Surgery Abroad

Weight Loss Surgery Abroad

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Weight Loss Surgery abroad in other countries is a growing trend, as is medical travel in general. There are many options for weight loss and surgery is a drastic measure that is not suitable for everyone who wants to lose weight. Most doctors will not permit nor perform weight loss surgery unless a patient is obese, has a high body mass index (BMI) and has not succeeded at losing weight using other conventional methods such as diet and exercise.

Types of Weight Loss Surgery Abroad

The first type of weight loss surgery to gain popularity was the simple gastric bypass. This is when most of the stomach is portioned off and only a small pouch remains open to accept food. The upper intestines are then attached to the small pouch to completely bypass the majority of the stomach.

Those who go through with gastric bypass surgery often only eat a few tablespoons of food before they are full. There is also a variation to this diet that uses an adjustable band, called a Lap-Band, that partitions off a small section of the stomach and then can be moved to open more up as the diet goes along.

Why Do People Leave the US for These Procedures?

Both of these weight loss surgeries are offered in the United States, but some seek this surgery abroad to save money. Going overseas or across the border can help with costs, even when you factor in the travel expenses that you can incur.

Be aware that your safety is the number one concern. Those eligible for the surgery should have a BMI of at least 33 and should be at least 80 or more pounds overweight. If an overseas doctor will forgo those restrictions, it might not be the safest place for weight loss surgery abroad.

It’s Not Just About Price

If cost is your main concern when choosing to go for weight loss surgery abroad, do not jump at the first offer you see. What you have to think about is where this surgery is going to take place. As you know, some countries are more developed than others.

Assume that there could be complications. If that happens, are you sure the right follow-up or emergency care is going to be available? Also, how much will it cost you to go to your destination, how long will you have to stay, and when will it be medically okay for you to travel home?

How to Prepare for Weight Loss Surgery Abroad

Whether you choose to have your weight loss surgery abroad or at home, there are some things you must do first. Any doctor you see should suggest counseling. This is to help you deal with the emotional attachments people often have to food, and also what happens as the body gets smaller. Many think this is going to make them happy, but it often brings about unhappiness as well. It is important to be in good mental health with a full understanding of what can happen for this type of surgery to be a total and fulfilling success.

Is It Worth It?

The short answer: It can be.  Weight loss surgery abroad can provide you with the opportunity to undergo a safe and well-performed procedure at a fraction of the price that you would pay at home.  The key is to make sure you’re choosing the right place to do it.  That’s not necessarily easy, but it is very important to do your homework so you can know you’re choosing well.

Consider Both Savings and Safety

Medical tourism is a massive industry for a reason.  Moreover, despite what jokes you’ll see on television, many of the destinations offer safe, affordable procedures.  For instance, you could save 70 percent by going to Mexico for bariatric surgery instead of having it done here.  The average price for that surgery is about $7,400 in Mexico but is around $25,000 in the United States.  Still, are all facilities and doctors in Mexico the same? Not at all. It’s up to you to know where and who is behind the procedure you’ll undergo.  Less expensive doesn’t mean inferior surgery.  It can be savings, plain and simple, when you opt for the right place.  Remember to factor in the cost of your transportation and accommodations as you calculate your total price.

Research the Certifications and Regulations in Your Destination Country

There are extremely highly skilled bariatric surgeons in countries around the world. Look for affordable options in countries that are well-regulated.  Organizations such as The Joint Commission International monitor doctors participating in medical tourism and can provide you with helpful insight.  These doctors must pass a thorough inspection every three years to receive accreditation from that organization.  It is these types of additional resources that can guide you toward safe and affordable weight loss surgery abroad.