Obesity Surgery Abroad
Obesity surgery is designed to reduce the risk of illness and death in obese or overweight patients, whether it be fitting a gastric band or bypass surgery. Obesity surgery is a treatment more well known in the US and comes to mind when many patients consider surgery but, for patients in the UK, a European country can also provide excellent healthcare closer to home.
As well as surgical procedures many providers can offer non-surgical treatment, such as country-specific medicines or special diets.
Types of Obesity Surgery
The gastric band is the most common and well known weight loss procedure. A gastric band is designed to fit at the top of the stomach to make it smaller so a patient’s stomach will fill with food much quicker, giving the stomach a ‘hour glass’ shape. The food is then slowly digested and makes patients feel fuller for longer without strict dieting (though some clinics may recommend a change in diet to support the operation). The band can be adjusted in size as treatment progresses so that patients gradually lose weight. 99% of patients see an improvement after a gastric band is fitted.
Gastric Bypass Surgery
This procedure is far more extensive than the gastric band as most patients can expect to lose 75% - 80% or their excess weight in the first two years. There are several types of gastric bypass surgery with the most common being Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass (RGB) and Biliopancreatic Diversion Gastric Bypass (BPD). In RGB the stomach is stapled or banded to create a small pouch where a ‘Y-shaped’ section of the small intestines is attached. The patient will then feel a rapid onset of stomach fullness or an indifference to food shortly after eating whilst still absorbing all the nutrients they require.
BPD surgery is a more complicated version of the RGB procedure. In this case small portions of the stomach are removed and the pouch is connected to the final section of the stomach – as more of the intestines are bypassed, BPD dramatically decreases the calorie intake but also cause a reduction in nutrients absorbed into the body.
Gastric Balloon Surgery
The gastric balloon is the easiest way to adapt to a healthy lifestyle. A balloon is inserted into the stomach, inflated and then filled with saline. The balloon is only kept in for 6 months so patients can learn how to adapt to a healthy eating lifestyle as the balloon, like most obesity surgery, makes patients feel fuller quicker. For the first week patients are put on a liquid diet before being recommended calorie controlled diets.
Spain’s reputation for obesity surgery is one of the best in Europe. Spain’s weight loss treatments are world-class, exploiting some of the most up to date technology offering specialised clinics, prestigious doctors and the utmost level of patient care and consideration. Spain’s links to the UK with regards to treatment also give patients the chance to have a consultation in the UK and fly over to Spain just have their treatment done, rather than conferring over e-mail and phone.
Mexico is a popular destination for US patients but may also be an option for UK patients wishing to find the cheapest surgery they can as Mexico is well known for its money saving procedures. Mexico offers all kinds of weight loss surgery as well as employing well-qualified surgeons in most clinics or surgeons who have studied and acquired their degree in America.
Belgium specialises in providing a holiday environment as well as treatment. Some clinics feature golf courses and hospitals that complement the natural beauty of Belgium so patients aren’t just arriving for their surgery. Clinics also provide English-speaking specialists and US board certified surgeons. Obesity surgery in Belgium costs around £4000 and contacts to centres within the UK ensure a smooth healing and treatment process.