Going abroad for weight loss surgery

Going aboard for weight loss surgery appeals to many people for a variety of reasons, the main one being that of cost. There are clinics and hospitals in many parts of the world that offer obesity surgery at a cheaper rate than the UK. Many of them will offer special deals and when combined with a stay in an exotic location, are very difficult to refuse.

It can mean being treated right away, in a desirable location, and, when combined with the opportunity to have a short break, sounds too to be true.

Unfortunately this has turned out to be the case for a great many patients. There are good, reputable clinics and surgeons in other countries who will treat you fairly and competently to ensure that you get the results that you want.

However, there are some who are only interested in the profits and will encourage people to undergo surgery – even if it is unnecessary or unsuitable. There are international guidelines for assessing patient suitability for surgery but not every surgeon or clinic follows these guidelines. Some will advise surgery even though the risks outweigh the benefits.

In other cases, people have had surgery for being overweight: the criteria states that this is for those patients who are classified as ‘obese’, but again, not every clinic abides by this. Weight loss surgery abroad may enable people to have surgery that my be restricted by guidelines in the UK, which may be unsafe.

Another factor is that patients undergoing this potentially risky form of surgery require a solid aftercare service. Complications are rare but they do happen, either during surgery or some time afterwards. Some patients have reported being given little or no aftercare, following weight loss surgery abroad.

What can happen there is that the patient returns to the UK and then develops complications which the NHS then has to deal with. And the problem is increasing.

Many surgeons here in the UK have had to repair failed or ‘botched’ obesity procedures that were originally performed in another country. And, sadly, the patient can be left with long term health problems as a result of these.

If you are thinking of going abroad for your weight loss surgery then consider this option very carefully. Obtain advice or speak to someone who has undergone surgery overseas. Do your research and ensure that you get what suits you and not the clinic’s finances.

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