Cost of Weight Loss Surgery Abroad


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The primary reason why people travel abroad for weight loss surgery is often due to cost. Some of the weight loss surgeries are available abroad for a fraction of the cost of those on offer in the UK.  For example in Europe a gastric bypass can be around £6,000 and a gastric banding around £3,500.  Weight loss surgery patients are not limited to just Europe, most weight loss surgery procedures are available in all four corners of the globe, Europe, USA, South America and Asia.  Technological advances are being made all the time and the choice for patients is becoming much wider but perhaps more complex.  There are some big savings to be made by going abroad, generally speaking, the further you go the less the price of the surgery.  The price of the surgery can vary considerable from country to country and the task of deciding where to have the surgery abroad can be daunting.   It will take a large amount of time and consideration to find the right clinic or hospital abroad with so much choice and different options available but it is well worth the time.  Europe may be a good option if you do not like the idea of going much further a field.  On average tummy tucks are 45% less in France and around 25% less in Greece and around 70% less in eastern Europe for example.  Prices will be even less in countries such as Brazil and India.  If the price of surgery is very low, it is even more important to do your research to avoid less reputable companies. 

In some cases weight loss surgeries can be about half the cost in Europe of those in the UK.  For some patients the cost is the barrier that can stop them having surgery at all, so going abroad is a necessity.  Most of the surgeries are now on offer abroad in a variety of countries with many new clinics opening in recent years to cater for the new ‘medical tourism’ weight loss surgery provides.   Many patients who have had weight loss surgery abroad often have a ‘package’ offer that includes all the basic elements of the surgery; the costs of the hospital stay, the surgeons fees, travel and insurances.  Often paying for the surgery in this way is the most economical as special rates are often available.  Do look into all the options of payment carefully and check that the package covers everything that you need, in particular good aftercare.

For some patients it is not the cost that attracts them to have weight loss surgery abroad.  Some patients are finding it very difficult to have weight loss surgery on the NHS or privately because of the strict guidelines.  For some this can be a frustrating experience, not being ‘fat enough’ with a BMI under 40 for example will mean in many NHS hospitals you are not on the priority list.  Many obese patients that do not have a BMI that makes them a prime candidate for NHS treatment, yet they still struggle with maintaining a healthy weight turn to weight loss surgery abroad.  Diet and exercise or diet medications have often failed these individuals so weight loss surgery is a solution for them, yet for many it remains frustrating out of reach in the UK due to restrictions on guidelines and costs privately in the UK.  Clinics and hospitals abroad are increasing catering for this market.  NHS waiting lists can be very long, particularly in some areas of the UK with a typical weight loss surgery patient waiting an average of 18 months for some procedures.  For some this wait is too long so the lure of a quick, competitively priced weight loss surgery procedure abroad becomes a real consideration.

Weight loss surgery abroad is becoming increasingly common and is a viable and safe option if you have fully researched the procedure, clinic or hospital, cost, surgeon and aftercare.  It is important that you fully understand what you are getting for your money.  The reduced costs and stay in an exotic location are strong selling point to most potential weight loss surgery patients.  Hospitals and clinics abroad are generally of a high standard and most surgeons are experienced, however just like clinics and hospitals in the UK standards and costs vary considerably.  There are a great many reasons to consider surgery abroad, however some patients have had less than positive experiences abroad.  It is important to be open-minded yet realistic and a little cautious about weight loss surgery abroad.  For many the experience is positive and they have been treated by reputable clinics by surgeons of many years experience.  However some clinics abroad are less reputable and there have been cases of weight loss surgery patients having surgeries that are of a poor standard and not receiving the necessary aftercare post surgery. 


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