Weighing Up The Pros and Cons Of Health Tourism
You can save thousands with a gastric band op overseas, but are you aware of exactly what’s included as part of the package? What are the risks?
Gastric band treatment can be a successful way to keep weight off when you’ve previously struggled with dieting or exercise. As a serious surgery, it should never be seen as a quick fix to weight management issues. However, it has incredibly successful results and can help to reduce the risks of related issues such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Weight loss surgery including gastric bands, bypasses or the gastric sleeve are all available on the NHS but you will need to meet strict criteria in order to be considered. Factors include having a BMI over 40, or between 35-40 with an associated health condition such as diabetes which would likely improve if you reduced your weight.
For those who don’t meet the NHS criteria but are still keen to commit to the surgery, private costs range from £4,000-£8,000 for the gastric band surgery, £8,000-£15,000 for the bypass or £8,000-£10,000 for the sleeve. If these seem expensive, then there’s always the option to go overseas for your gastric band treatment.
Weighing Up The Savings Against The Risks
Weight loss surgery treatments are available across the globe with clinics cropping up across all parts of Europe, India, Thailand or South Africa. There are considerable savings to be made with regards to the gastric band cost but you should also factor in additional figures including the price of flights and accommodation as well as insurance. You also need to weigh up the risks involved in seeking treatment overseas to determine whether it’s worth leaving your home country. Language differences may be your first concern as it’s essential that you can understand exactly what your medical team overseas are saying and that your own requests and queries are understood too. So, you might find out if an interpreter is available as part of your treatment package.
You should also find out the precise qualifications of the surgeon who will be fitting your gastric band, and whether these qualifications as well as the licence of the clinic are recognised as part of the country’s official health authorities. Aftercare is always a concern as part of any type of health tourism. It’s important to know how many nights you’ll be expected to stay in the country post-treatment, either at the clinic or back into your booked accommodation. In the event that something goes wrong with your surgery, will your insurance cover these issues?
You may have simple questions about how you will get to and from the clinic either before or following treatment – are they able to offer transport or will you be required to book taxis? It would usually be advisable to take a travel companion with you to ensure that you’re cared for after being discharged from the medical facility but of course, you’ll need to factor the cost of their flights and accommodation into your plans too.
Weight loss surgery can certainly be life changing, but make sure that it has a positive impact on yours by thoroughly researching the pros and cons of getting a gastric band abroad before committing to this decision.