Traveling overseas hoping to find cheaper weight loss surgery or medical tourism for gastric sleeve is a growing trend.
Known as medical tourism, many patients with obesity (BMI of 40+) travel to Mexico or as far away as Europe to undergo gastric sleeve surgery in the hopes of shedding their excess weight.
With over 23 million Americans suffering from obesity and 50% of the population predicted to reach obesity by 2030, gastric sleeve surgery has become the most common bariatric (weight loss) surgery to combat this growing problem.
Unfortunately, gastric sleeves can come with a high price tag, upwards of $27,000 in some cases.
While health insurance and financing can sometimes offset the cost of the gastric sleeve, also known as the sleeve gastrectomy or laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG), on account of the laparoscopic camera that is used to perform the procedure inside your abdominal cavity, many want to pay only a few thousand dollars.
With the excitement of saving loads of money driving them, these individuals travel abroad and undergo gastric sleeve in an international medical facility and by an international bariatric surgeon.
Gastric sleeve surgery involves the removal of 80% of your stomach. While it is considered a minimally invasive procedure that uses tiny incisions and takes only a couple of hours, it is still a surgery, and there are risks.
Given these risks, is it a good idea to travel to tropical and other locales to save money on this amazing weight loss surgery? As you’ll soon find out, maybe not.
Medical Tourism for Gastric Sleeve Is Not Reasonable
Here are four reasons you may want to reconsider going elsewhere for a gastric sleeve for your health and the quality of the procedure. You will also find advice for finding the best bariatric surgeon at home, in the United States, where you will receive the best bariatric care you require to lose weight fast and for life!
Reason 1: Gastric Sleeve Surgery Overseas Could be Botched
A lack of health insurance is usually the deciding factor that drives the overweight to faraway lands in the hopes of saving on the gastric sleeve. Around 1.4 million Americans opted for medical tourism last year, traveling to all locales to have surgery, including weight loss surgery.
Yet traveling overseas for even a minimally invasive surgery like a gastric sleeve could put you at higher than average risk.
There is a reason gastric sleeves in the United States come with such a high price tag. Assuming you take the time to find a skilled and experienced bariatric surgeon, you can most likely predict that any surgeon you choose in the U.S. will give you a successful weight loss procedure.
It helps that gastric sleeve is one of the most common weight loss surgeries. It is associated with very low risks of complications.
You can assume all of those things because here in the United States, we have checks and balances and regulations to assure patients that doctors and nurses will do the best job. If they don’t, and harm befalls you, the doctors or nurses could be held liable, and word will quickly spread about this bad service, especially with a proliferation of negative online reviews.
Now, let’s compare medical tourism for the gastric sleeve. You pay much less to fly to a tropical locale. In some countries, the medical systems are incredibly lax. For instance, the country you are traveling to may not have the checks and balances to ensure doctors have licenses and experience. A surgeon like that could make a mistake. He could cause a separate medical issue that could make obesity the least of your worries.
Reason #2: The Weight Loss Surgical Facility May be Hazardous
The overseas medical facility where they perform the gastric sleeve surgery may be unsanitary. You could become exposed to airborne or other pathogens. This poses a problem because obesity often brings a host of chronic diseases and ailments that require careful precautions and monitoring.
These conditions can become exacerbated by pathogens that may be commonplace in other countries but for which you have no immunity. A pathogen causing a gastrointestinal illness during or after surgery can pose serious concerns for your recovery from bariatric surgery.
At home, you know they will book you into a state-of-the-art medical facility (hospital or surgical center). You know that you will receive top-notch care by doctors and nurses. You can bet any prescriptions you are administered will alleviate discomfort or prevent infection, and you will eventually lose 60% or more of your excess weight with the amazing gastric sleeve.
Reason #3: What About Gastric Sleeve Surgery After Care?
Not all international surgeons are evil. Even if the international bariatric surgeon does well, you will eventually come home following the procedure. When that happens, your care from that surgeon will end. What happens, then, to your aftercare following gastric sleeve surgery?
In the United States, a reputable bariatric surgeon will give you the care AND aftercare you need. That is important for your health and the success of the gastric sleeve procedure.
The added expense you pay to have a gastric sleeve in the States is worth it for your health’s sake. It is also worth it for the quality of surgery you will receive.
All bariatric surgery patients require diligent aftercare. Gastric sleeve patients are no different.
Gastric sleeve surgery is amazing, but it is only a tool. Bariatric surgery is only truly effective when paired with preoperative and postoperative counseling, behavior modification, and nutritional support.
If you try to seek aftercare here at home after traveling abroad for surgery, you may run into trouble. Many surgeons will refuse to accept the liability of following up on aftercare from an international surgeon.
Alternatively, at home, your weight loss surgeon will put you in touch with a network of professionals, such as psychologists, nutritionists, physical fitness experts, nurses, and doctors, who will support your efforts to lose excess weight.
Reason #4: The Post-Gastric Sleeve Return Trip Could Cause Harm
It is presumed that you will want to return home soon after the surgery is completed. However, traveling immediately following bariatric surgery can be incredibly dangerous. For one, your risk increases for deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms.
The best move is to have the surgery at home. You better rest and recover in a U.S.-certified medical facility.
How to Find a Reputable Bariatric Surgeon Near You
You don’t need to travel overseas to experience the life-changing effects of the gastric sleeve. A bariatric surgeon here in the States is going to require a consultation. Schedule one and ask about affordable gastric sleeve surgery. Many surgeons will help you find financing alternatives to offset surgical costs. They allow you to defeat obesity on your terms without flying out of the country.
A reputable gastric sleeve surgeon will have excellent online reviews. He will have before and after images that depict real-life patients enjoying their best lives following the gastric sleeve procedure.
A weight loss surgeon like that can be found at Healthy Life Bariatrics in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Moeinolmolki (Dr. Moein) can help you lose up to 80% of your excess weight with sleeve gastrectomy. Contact Dr. Moein and his surgical staff at (310)-807-1735 to schedule a virtual consultation.