Even if it is done laparoscopically, weight loss surgery, also known as obesity surgery or bariatric surgery, is a significant operation that involves significant amounts of aftercare. This makes obesity medical tourism rather more serious than medical tourism for dental work or a quick ‘nip and tuck’ at the cosmetic surgeon, so you need to choose your destination carefully and ensure that you have good quality support here in the UK.
You need to consider the practicalities of dealing with a long flight, both as an overweight person flying out and following abdominal surgery flying back. You also need to consider how easy it will be to return for further treatment, such as gastric band removal or adjustment.
Popular destinations close to home
With short flights and easy access so important, it is no surprise that European destinations closest to home are some of the most popular. These include Belgium and Germany, which are known worldwide as centres of excellence in the field, yet offer prices that are around half of what you would pay in the UK. For example, a ‘lap band’ operation in Belgium can cost as little as £3,800, while in Britain you could pay over £8,000. Medical tourism hotspots, such as Hungary and the Czech Republic also offer great deals, while Baltic states, such as Latvia and Lithuania, are also popular as they combine high quality clinics with easy access and exceptionally low prices.
Popular European holiday spots
Many people avoid flying straight after their obesity surgery by choosing a relaxing holiday destination to recover for a week or two before returning home. This not only makes the return trip far more comfortable, but also means you will be close to the clinic in the days following your procedure should there be any complications. Spain and Portugal, as well as the holiday islands of Cyprus and Malta, are popular for obesity medical tourists adopting this strategy. Obesity treatment prices in Spain compare favourably with other European destinations, while Malta and Cyprus have the advantage of English speaking locals.
Going further, saving more
While obesity surgery in Europe will generally be cheaper than the UK, with clinics in Baltic states less than half the price of their British counterparts, these savings are nothing compared to what you can save by travelling to India, Thailand or Singapore, where prices can be a fraction of those at home. For example, gastric bypass surgery in the UK can cost over £13,500, while the same procedure in India can cost as little as £4,000. You can compare prices for obesity surgery abroad, online.
Of course, choosing an Asian destination for obesity surgery will involve a long and potentially arduous flight, but if you combine your treatment with a luxury break at a beach resort somewhere like Goa or Phuket to help you recover, the significant gains could be worth the extra pain. Despite the long flights, the best Asian treatment centres attract clients from across the globe, including Americans and Europeans, making them some of the most popular obesity surgery destinations in the world.