Bariatric Surgery Tourism: Weight Loss Solutions Abroad

  • 18 Jul, 2023
  • 336
  • Medical tourism

Exploring Bariatric Surgery Tourism: Weight Loss Solutions Abroad

Obesity and being overweight both have fatal health effects that are known to cause a variety of other health problems. Obesity is defined as an excess of body fat buildup and is recognized when a person's BMI exceeds 30. An obesity-related secondary illness claims the lives of 3.4 million adults worldwide every year.  The prevalence of obesity has grown globally since 1976.

In order to help persons with extreme obesity shed weight, bariatric surgery entails making alterations to the digestive system. For persons who are extremely fat, dieting and regular exercise typically don't provide beneficial outcomes. As a result, patients must have surgery in order to lose weight and resume their usual lives. Middle-class patients can now receive weight loss surgery for a fraction of the cost they would otherwise have to pay back home thanks to medical tourism. Companies that facilitate medical tourism create economical treatment and accommodation packages for numerous locations. Bariatric surgery cost is much higher in Western countries compared to countries like Mexico, Costa Rica, India, etc.

Some of the common bariatric surgery types are listed below for better understanding.

Gastric bypass surgery: Gastric bypass surgery changes how your stomach and small intestine process food. In this procedure, a little pouch is formed at the top of the stomach and connected directly to the small intestine, bypassing a large portion of the stomach and upper small intestine. After surgery, you will have a smaller stomach. You will feel fuller with less food. There will be some areas of your stomach and small intestine that no longer absorb food. Because of this, your body won't get all the calories from the food you eat and help you lose weight. Open surgery and laparoscopic surgery are the two ways to do a gastric bypass.

Sleeve gastrectomy: Sleeve gastrectomy or vertical sleeve gastrectomy, is a laparoscopically performed surgical weight-loss procedure. A cylindrical, or "sleeve"-shaped," stomach the size of a banana is left after around 75 to 85% of the stomach is excised along the larger curvature.

Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch: Your small intestine's length and stomach's size are altered with this kind of bariatric surgery. Your ability to ingest, digest, and absorb food is constrained.

Adjustable gastric banding: A deep-under-the-skin access port is linked to the band. You will feel fuller more quickly as a result of the band's ability to keep food in your upper pouch for a longer period. The food moves on to your lower stomach, where normal digestion takes place. The way food is digested remains unchanged.

Intragastric balloon: Intragastric balloon or weight loss balloon," is a quick, endoscopic operation that jump-starts weight loss by putting a comfortable, supple-yet-durable balloon into your stomach. The weight loss balloon makes you feel full by taking up space in your stomach, which helps you stop craving food.

Bariatric weight loss surgery is usually considered a last resort option for people who have tried other weight loss methods, such as diet and exercise, without success.

Types of Bariatric surgery can be gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, adjustable gastric banding, etc. These procedures can help reduce the size of the stomach, limit the amount of food that can be eaten, and/or reduce the absorption of calories and nutrients from food.

Bariatric Surgery Requirements- To qualify for weight-loss surgery, you must fulfill the following criteria:

-        possess a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or greater, or a BMI between 30 and 35 combined with an obesity-related illness, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or severe sleep apnea.

-        450 pounds or less, the maximum weight that hospital imaging equipment can support. A nutritionist can assist you if you need to lose weight to fulfill these criteria.

Although there aren't many treatment options, medical tourism sees obesity surgery as a great way to thrive, providing the medical tourism business with a big boost. At least 2% of all bariatric surgeries performed globally are conducted on medical tourists, according to NIH data. The top service provider destinations are Mexico, India, Lebanon, Costa Rica, Thailand, Belgium, and Romania. The use of medical tourism for specialized weight loss surgeries is expanding.

Because high-quality medical facilities are available at reasonable prices abroad, people from wealthy countries routinely travel there for medical care. As bariatric surgery expenses vary from country to country around the world, many countries have recently grown in prominence as destinations for medical tourists. A gastric sleeve, for instance, costs about $6000 in India as opposed to $20,000 in the US.

The following are the benefits of having weight loss surgery abroad:

1. Weight loss procedures abroad are more affordable and provide good value with Cutting-edge facilities.

2. Opportunity to combine your medical visit with a relaxing holiday in a foreign nation.

3. Reduced wait times.

4. Knowledge with a better rate of success

6. Reduced recovery times

However, it is advised to take these safety measures before traveling for a procedure like a gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy.

1. Investigate the physician and facility: Check the credentials of your doctor and the setting to determine the likelihood of a successful surgery. Inquire about your doctor's background. What is their success rate and how many operations have they performed? Get the particular services, materials, and care that are covered by the costs in writing. When you arrive or receive the bill, you don't want to be taken by surprise.

2. Make arrangements for before- and after-care: Surgery for weight loss doesn't begin and end in the operating room. The way you live the rest of your life is altered, not simply your anatomy. Support is necessary for this kind of shift both before and after surgery.

3- Prepare for linguistic challenges and potential difficulties: Decide how you will communicate with your doctor and the rest of the care team if you receive treatment in a country where you do not speak the language well. To ensure that there are no misunderstandings regarding your treatment, it is imperative that you communicate with your team properly.

Remember that traveling following surgery carries its own dangers, such as deep vein thrombosis (blood clots) and pulmonary embolism (blockage of a lung artery). To lessen the likelihood of these issues during your flight: Wear compression stockings, stand up every two hours, stay hydrated, and move your legs when sitting.

It is undeniably very difficult to lose weight. Maintaining it off is considerably more difficult. People who battle with extreme obesity and its potential side effects, like diabetes and hypertension, may find that bariatric surgery can save their lives. However, it involves several lifestyle adjustments that go beyond surgery and call for ongoing care and instruction. The process of having surgery performed overseas has also gotten considerably simpler and more accessible as medical tourism has grown in popularity. Make the required preparations to ensure a successful conclusion if you choose to engage in bariatric tourism, whether you are traveling domestically or abroad.

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