Since many years patients travel abroad to have bariatric surgery (gastric band, sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass). This can be an attractive option as initial costs can appear to be cheaper than in your country – there are many experienced bariatric surgeons in Europe.
However, having major surgery abroad isn’t as easy as it seems at first sight. Before traveling abroad, you need to do your own investigations. The reason for this is safety. Safety doesn’t just mean a safe operation only, it also means safe follow-up and access to help in case of an emergency in your own country.
Follow-up with a dietitian and a psychologist in your own country is essential, if you are not followed-up problems will occur sooner or later. Your operation is just the beginning of a long process to lose weight and for all patients it means a life long change of lifestyle.
Before considering surgery abroad you must inform yourself exhaustively and seek answers to questions like:
- What kind of services are included in the price?
- Are postoperative complications covered in the price?
- Can I contact a surgeon in my own country if there is an emergency?
- Will I be charged for postoperative gastric band fills (in case of gastric band surgery), blood tests, X rays, other, who can do them?
- What costs are covered by my medical and travel insurance?
- Is there a well experienced dietitian, psychologist in my country who I can see for follow-up after the operation?
- Is there a radiologist or surgeon in my country who accepts patients having had their surgery abroad?
- What kind of documents, e.g. surgery report, X-rays, etc… do I get when leaving a foreign hospital for follow-up in my own country?
- Who will prescribe my medication, if needed, in my own country?
- When can I travel home safely after my surgery?
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This site is exclusively devoted to obesity surgery. Dr. Jean-Pierre Anfroy is the author, he receives no support for its financing and refuses any form of advertising. Last update: 29/03/18