Finding a Hospital or Clinic for Weight Loss Surgery Abroad

For many patients who are morbidly obese but have failed to gain insurance or treatment on the NHS the thought of weight loss surgery abroad for a fraction of the price is very alluring.  Some patients out of desperation and thinking that surgery abroad is their only real option fail to thoroughly research the surgeon or the clinic abroad.  Some clinics abroad will produce attractive glossy pictures of patients in exotic locations and publish prices, which are very attractive, yet can be a bit short on giving specific information about the procedures or aftercare.  Some disreputable clinics and hospitals abroad pray on the desperation some weight loss surgery patients feel to have surgery.  Just as you would if you were having surgery in the UK, always ask questions and be thorough in your research before committing to a decision about surgery, the clinic and the surgeon.  The more homework you do pre-surgery the better and it will pay off when you find the right surgeon and a reputable clinic.  The consequences of not doing enough research and just hoping for the best can be very serious. 

Some clinics abroad can be aggressive in their approach, encouraging you to go for surgeries that you may have not considered previously.  Some clinics are only interested in profit from overseas patients, if you feel you are being pushed into surgeries you are not sure about, take this as a sign that the clinic may not have your best interests at heart.  The best way to avoid any potential pitfalls is for you to be as well informed as you can be, so you know yourself what surgeries you would like and understand the procedure and aftercare needed as much as you can.  Fortunately today there is a host of information available, so you can be well informed and prepared before you sign up for surgery.  If you are unsure about any of the advice you have been getting from a clinic or surgeon always seek a second option.  Visiting support groups or online forums can be a good source of information and often patients can find others who have used the clinics abroad that they may be considering.

Do be aware of the guidelines for assessing patient suitability for weight loss surgery, there are international rules which all clinics and hospitals must follow.  Some clinics and hospitals abroad advise surgery when the risks may outweigh the benefits and allow patients to have surgery when guidelines would prevent treatment in the UK.  Many clinics are however reputable and open about their guidelines and criteria for patients having weight loss surgery.  The guidelines should be made clear to you, but if they are not do not be afraid to ask the clinic or hospital. 

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