Can I use medical tourism for weight loss surgery?

medical tourism

What is Medical Tourism?

Medical tourism refers to people seeking medical care in another country. People from developing countries used to travel to developed countries for medical treatment because the facilities were of higher quality.

However, as the medical sector develops around the world, the situation has changed. People from developed nations are increasingly traveling to other countries for medical care, owing to lower costs.

Medical Tourism for Weight Loss Surgery

Medical tourism in a foreign nation has become a popular choice for people who desire to lose weight.

In recent years, many countries have emerged as medical tourism destinations since exceptional medical services are available at reasonable prices. For instance, weight loss surgery in the United States costs approximately $23,000, while bariatric surgery in Pakistan costs around $4000.

Weight loss surgery refers to Bariatric surgery that is performed on people who have been unable to reduce weight using traditional methods and your BMI is above 35 on BMI Calculator such as dieting, exercise, and other non-surgical methods.

The following are some of the common bariatric (weight loss or obesity) surgery procedures in Pakistan:

Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass

In Pakistan, this is becoming a popular weight-loss procedure. It can help you lose weight for a long time if you combine it with other lifestyle adjustments.

Roux Y gastric bypass is another name for gastric bypass. In a laparoscopic gastric bypass procedure, the bariatric surgeon stitches the stomach across the top, separating it from the rest of the stomach. The pouch that results can only carry around an ounce of food. The surgeon then cuts a portion of the small intestine and sews it into the pouch.

Food is redirected through this junction, avoiding the majority of the stomach and the first segment of the small intestine. Food enters the second portion of the small intestine directly, restricting the ability of the individual to absorb calories.

 

Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy

During laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery, the bariatric surgeon uses a laparoscope to remove about 80% of the stomach, resulting in a tube-shaped stomach (sleeve).

This technique is typically performed on exceptionally obese or high-risk individuals with the goal of undergoing additional bariatric surgery later. With gastric sleeve surgery, most patients can expect to lose 30 to 50 percent of their excess body weight in 6 to 12 months.

Laparoscopic Mini Gastric Bypass

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Operation, as well as the National Institutes of Health, both promote laparoscopic mini gastric bypass as a safe and effective weight loss surgery in Pakistan.

The absorption of food in the stomach is reduced after a laparoscopic gastric bypass. The majority of the stomach, including the stomach, duodenum, and upper intestine, is removed from touch with food, which reduces food absorption.

This surgical operation is carried out laparoscopically, using five to six incisions in the belly. A tiny tube with a camera is put into those incisions, as well as the surgical tools required. The surgeon will use staples to divide the upper region of the stomach from the lower portion, forming a pouch. This pouch-like structure will now aid in food restriction. Following that, a section of the small intestine known as the jejunum will be joined to the stomach, which will aid the body in lowering the number of calories and nutrients it must absorb.

 

Cost Comparison – Weight Loss Surgery across the World

The cost of bariatric surgery varies widely from country to country. In Pakistan, a gastric sleeve costs only $3000, compared to $19,000 in the United States.

                       Weight Loss Surgery Price (US$) across the world

Country Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy Laparoscopic Mini Gastric Bypass
Cost in USA $23000 $19000 Available at very few centers
Cost in UK $16000 $11000 $15000
Cost in Canada $15,380 $15,000 15,000
Cost in Australia $13,000 $11,500 $12,000
Cost in Pakistan $4000 $3000 $3500

 

The above table highlights that for Canadians and Americans, Pakistan is a cheaper option. Australians and UK citizens can also look into weight loss surgery in Pakistan, where prices are almost 50% lower.

Factors That Drive Medical Tourism

The variables that drive Medical Tourism in Central and North America, as well as Asia, are as follows:

  • Private hospitals have untapped capacity.
  • Doctors and surgeons with international training.
  • The benefits of both treatment and tourism.

Advantages of Getting Weight Loss Surgery Abroad

  • Cost-efficient
  • high-quality healthcare services
  • Doctors who are highly qualified
  • Years of practical experience
  • Expertise in their respective disciplines at a high level
  • Medical advantages that are not available in your own country

The Most Important Benefits of Traveling for Weight Loss:

Proficiency – It’s vital to remember that for relatively new options like laparoscopic gastric bypass, you should seek out a professional surgeon who specializes in these procedures. A good doctor will be able to better explain the procedure and what to expect. Specialists can also monitor and manage a patient’s individual needs (for example, recommending the best weight reduction treatment) while minimizing problems.

Facilities that are state-of-the-art – Qualified doctors who specialize in specific medical treatments, such as weight loss procedures, are more likely to work in facilities with new and high-quality technology, as well as employees with years of expertise and quality training.

Value for the money – Most individuals believe that travel expenses will just add to the overall costs and hence that the trip is not worthwhile. Some patients are unaware that seeking a highly competent specialist who is not in their area is actually less expensive than seeking many doctors or subjecting themselves to fad diets and treatments with no long-term impact.

Shorter recovery period – One of the numerous advantages of a surgical procedure like bariatric surgery is the quick recovery period. Patients who do not have complete control over their time may be able to arrange a fast vacation to Pakistan.

Relax and enjoy in a different country – Patients can accomplish a lot and look forward to exciting activities with a planned trip. Pakistan strives to entertain its patients not only with the greatest treatment but also with fun when it creates such an appealing tourism destination.

Conclusion 

Medical tourism for bariatric surgery is a good choice for people who want to undergo weight loss surgery but are unable to do so due to financial constraints. This option’s cost-effectiveness has boosted its popularity in recent years, and this trend is likely to continue in the future.

It has proven cost effectiveness as well as remission of numerous disorders such as Diabetes Mellitus, Dyslipidemia, Sleep Apnea, Infertility, Hypertension, and Joint Pain. By utilizing medical tourism, Pakistan is able to provide laparoscopic bariatric and weight loss surgery to debilitated obesity patients.

Furthermore, the efficiency of the surgical results has functioned as a stimulant, resulting in an increase in the number of medical tourists each year. 

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