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Exploring the pros and cons of seeking weight loss surgery abroad

Benefits and drawbacks of weight loss surgery abroad

Choosing to undergo weight loss surgery is a significant decision that requires careful consideration of various factors. One option gaining popularity is traveling abroad for weight loss surgery. In this blog post, we’ll explore the potential benefits and drawbacks of seeking weight loss surgery in another country.


Pros of going abroad for weight loss surgery

Cost savings

One of the primary reasons individuals consider overseas surgery is the potential for cost savings. In many countries, the cost of medical procedures, including weight loss surgery, can be significantly lower than in the United Kingdom or other developed nations. However, although clinics overseas may be more budget-friendly most often they do not have the medical safety standards that we do in UK.


Privacy and confidentiality

Traveling abroad can offer a level of privacy that may be appealing to individuals who prefer to keep their weight loss journey confidential. Being in a different location can provide a sense of anonymity.


Combined travel experience

For those who enjoy travel, combining weight loss surgery with a trip to a different country can turn the medical journey into a positive and enriching experience. Patients can explore new cultures and environments during their recovery period.


Cons of going abroad for weight loss surgery

Quality and safety concerns

While many international facilities uphold high standards, there is a risk of encountering lower-quality healthcare in some cases. It’s crucial to thoroughly research and choose reputable hospitals and surgeons to ensure safety and efficacy.


Follow-up care challenges

After the surgery, adequate follow-up care is essential. If complications arise, being in close proximity to the surgeon and medical team is crucial. Managing postoperative care and complications from a distance can be challenging.


Cultural and language differences

Communication is key in healthcare. Language barriers and cultural differences may pose challenges in understanding preoperative instructions, postoperative care, and follow-up appointments.


Legal and regulatory differences

Standards for medical practice, accreditation of facilities, and patient rights may vary between countries. It’s essential to research and understand the legal and regulatory framework governing medical tourism in your chosen destination.


Travel risks

Traveling shortly after surgery can pose risks, especially if it involves a long flight. Increased susceptibility to blood clots and other complications may arise during travel, impacting the recovery process.


The risks of travelling abroad for weight loss surgery

The medical tourism industry is almost entirely unregulated and this has potential risks to those who travel outside of the UK.  While all surgery carries a level of risk, in the UK we have the Care Quality commission (CQC) and the General Medical Council (GMC) to help protect patients and regulate the industry.

The CQC, monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety for patients. The GMC works to protect patient safety, by working with doctors and patients to achieve high standards of care. All our surgeons are registered with the GMC and Streamline Surgical is registered with the CQC, as patient safety is at the centre of what we do.


Will I get aftercare if I have weight loss surgery abroad?

As well as the issue of varying standards overseas, another factor to consider is aftercare. Sadly, it is common that overseas weight loss surgery packages have no aftercare at all. Aftercare is in fact the most important part of your journey to help you achieve your goals, in a safe and health way.  Research has shown that weight loss surgery patients who attend regular follow-up visits with their bariatric specialist team have better outcomes.


Streamline’s aftercare plan

Our aftercare plans offer*

  • Up to 2 years aftercare dependant on your plan
  • Regular blood screening
  • Regular dietetic appointments
  • 1-2-1 appointments with your surgeon
  • Access to the ExiLife exercise app
  • Elan Vitamin & Minerals Supplements

*Please note, the support and benefits you receive will be dependant on your plan.


Dietetic support

At Streamline, your dedicated specialist dietitian will support you with regular appointments all the way from your initial consultation prior to surgery right the way through to the end of your aftercare period. All published scientific guidelines regarding aftercare following bariatric surgery emphasise the importance of dietetic input, and for good reason – evidence suggests that people who engage with regular dietetic input get better outcomes, in terms of weight loss, improvements in health conditions and a lower incidence of nutritional deficiencies.


Exercise physiologist

You will also have a dedicated exercise physiologist who will support you with regular appointments from your initial consultation prior to the operation and through your aftercare journey. During these appointments you can discuss any mobility concerns you may have, the physiologist will also help you with your activity levels and discuss other aspects of your wellbeing. With the weight loss you are likely to exhibit from surgery, it is important that you maintain activity post-operative and our physiologist will assist you with a slow and steady approach. 


Psychological support

We also offer Specialist psychological support which can be an important part of ensuring you get the outcome from surgery that you hope for. This may be particularly important if you find that long-standing habits around food, your mood or your behaviour still hold you back from doing the things in life that matter to you, be the kind of person you want to be, or get in the way of making the recommended changes to your eating and activity levels. You may also find that surgery creates a new set of challenges to deal with.

Choosing to undergo weight loss surgery abroad involves weighing the potential benefits against the associated risks and challenges. It’s essential to thoroughly research and plan, considering factors such as the reputation of the medical facility, the qualifications of the surgical team, and the availability of postoperative care. Consultation with healthcare professionals and seeking advice from individuals who have undergone similar experiences can provide valuable insights. Ultimately, making an informed decision based on individual needs, preferences, and circumstances is crucial for a successful weight loss journey.

If you prefer the idea of having weight loss surgery in the UK rather than travelling abroad, please call 0333 016 3030 or fill in the online enquiry form below.

Enquire now

Call us to chat on: 0333 016 3030 (local rate) or fill in our contact form below.

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