Alexis Wilson turned 25 last year and her birthday wish was to be slim. She tried a series of diets and exercise plans but could not achieve her goal. Instead, her weight kept increasing and that’s when she decided medical intervention is probably the only solution. Many of her friends suggested bariatric surgery and then she contacted her insurance company only to know that weight loss surgery is not covered. Since bariatric surgery without coverage can cost more than $20,000 in her home country, she decided to have surgery abroad.
Alexis is part of an increasing trend where the popularity of getting obesity surgery abroad is rising. Weight loss or obesity surgery is one of the most sought-after specialties among people traveling abroad for medical services. In some countries, weight-loss surgical procedures can cost up to 80% less than in the United States. Thus, it is not surprising why the number of people traveling abroad for bariatric surgery is constantly rising.
However, it is important that you take precautions before getting a surgical procedure. When you are planning to get obesity surgery abroad, you have to be more careful with your decision. So, before you travel abroad for a gastric sleeve or gastric bypass, you should consider these precautions.
There are standards set in healthcare facilities in every country. You must check that the facility you have chosen for your bariatric surgery meets these standards. Check which international accrediting organization has certified the facility. To get such certifications, the clinics must meet certain standards. Thus, it is very important that you choose a facility that is accredited by top organizations such as the International Society for Quality in Health Care, DNV GL- International Healthcare Accreditation or the Joint Commission International.
Ask your doctor about his/her experience in performing the bariatric surgical procedure that you are planning to go through. Learn how many such obesity surgeries he/she has performed and what the success rates are.
Ask your doctor what lifestyle and dietary changes you have to implement. Bariatric surgery not just brings an anatomical change; it impacts how you will live the rest of your life. There will be a change in how your body will process and absorb food, which means there must be major changes in your diet and lifestyle.
For example, if you go through gastric bypass, there will be changes in how your body absorbs and processes food. It will be crucial to understand when you can eat, what you can eat and how much you can eat. Otherwise, there might be vitamin deficiencies or digestive disorders. So, proper education before the surgery and follow up care after the procedure for the long term are vital aspects of a successful outcome.
Before the surgery, weight loss patients need several months of education and preparation by dieticians and other healthcare providers. As mentioned in the previous point, dietary supervision and regular appointments continue after the surgery to monitor complications and nutritional deficiencies. It is not feasible to spend months abroad for education and follow up care before and after the surgery. So, you must arrange before and aftercare close to home.
Bariatric surgery can be a lifesaver for people struggling with obesity or weight issues. However, there might be doubts and questions in your mind when you are planning a surgery abroad. Do not hesitate to ask your doctor some important questions like
Determine how to communicate with your doctor or medical team if you plan the surgery in a country that does not speak your native language. You must be very careful from the beginning that there is no miscommunication or misunderstanding. Overcoming the language obstacle is the key, so you must get all the documentation related to the procedure, doctor credentials, clinic facilities and cost details in writing.
It is important to make the necessary preparations to optimize a successful outcome for your obesity surgery abroad. At PlacidWay, we believe in direct interaction between the patients and providers. Patients can use our direct chat facility to communicate with the provider directly and get answers to all the queries. Moreover, we have a pool of educational resources like clinic profile, doctor profile, treatment package details, before and after pictures and more. All these useful recourses can help you plan a successful obesity surgery abroad.
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