More and more overweight people travel to foreign countries to do weight loss surgery since they don’t qualify for one in the US. These tips will help those people to ease their journey and live a normal life.
It is very difficult to assess the exact number of people who visit abroad to get weight loss surgery, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated that thousands of U.S citizens travel each year for medical services.
Weight loss surgery has become one of the most-sought out operations outside of America, standing toe to toe with cosmetic surgery, heart, cancer, and dental treatments.
Why People Opt For A Weight Loss Surgery Abroad?
There are many reasons why people opt for surgery abroad, but the most common ones are:
Surgeries outside of the U.S cost up to 80% less. This makes traveling for medical assistance very attractive to people who cannot afford surgery at home.
Softer Eligibility Criteria
In the U.S, it is really hard to qualify for weight loss surgery. Most people are not eligible by default.
Traveling abroad to another country where eligibility criteria is softer could mean you can opt for a surgical procedure that you cannot at home.
Before you travel to get a surgical procedure such as sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass, or just about any kind of weight loss surgery abroad, you need to take some precautions.
What To Do Before Traveling For Weight Loss Surgery?
Here’s what you need to consider whenever you’re thinking about traveling to a foreign country to do a weight loss surgery:
1. Research The Doctor And The Medical Institution
Every country has different medical standards when it comes to healthcare. These standards set by the government directly affect the quality of medical treatment offered by hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities.
Before deciding to get surgery at a particular medical institution, you must check the qualification of the doctor, and learn more about the facility.
You must also check for any international accrediting organizations’ certificates given to the facility. These organizations require medical facilities to meet certain standards to be certified.
Your selected medical facility should at least have a certificate from Joint Commission International or International Society for Quality In Health Care.
2. Learn More About Before And After Care
Bariatric surgery or other weight loss surgeries don’t end as soon as the operation is done. The operation will affect your lifestyle and you’ll require a lot of aftercare.
Procedures such as the Gastric Bypass particularly change the way your body works. You’ll need to work hard with your doctor to adopt this new lifestyle and dietary changes.
If you are unable to understand what to eat, or when to eat, or how much you need to eat, you could end up with several digestive and other health problems.
Hence, before and aftercare is an important part of a successful weight loss surgery.
To learn more about how weight loss surgery affects your life afterward, check with the Weight Loss Getaways consultation program.
3. Consider Hiring An Interpreter
It is also important for you to be able to communicate effectively with your doctor and the hospital staff.
When you are getting surgery abroad, there is always a language barrier. So make sure that you arrange for an interpreter with your doctor.
This will help eliminate any communication gaps and misunderstandings that can arise.
4. Get Yourself Medical Travel Insurance
If you want to avoid the big bang effect (getting surprised with expensive emergencies abroad), I advise you to get medical travel insurance from a reputable firm to cover all charges associated with unexpected medical conditions like getting sick or become a victim of an accident.
Although this will not usually pay for any complications arising out of your surgery, it is a handy mitigation approach to managing costly medical scenarios on your trip.
It also helps keep unnecessary stress away while you are getting psychologically ready for your weight loss surgery.
While selecting the plan of an insurance firm, make sure you factor in the following aspects:
- Expenses like “out of pocket” costs and deductibles;
- If the coverage applies to the country of your surgical treatment and chosen hospital;
- Termination period for the coverage;
- Payment terms (whether they will pay you directly upfront or reimburse you once you have made the payment);
- Maximum coverage limit that you can avail and any facilities like regular travel insurance etc.
5. Hire A Good Medical Travel Agent
If you need help regarding your weight loss surgery, like the best surgeon to consult, arrangements for the travel, the clinic abroad, and related details, I suggest you hire a professional medical travel agent.
They are specialized agents making your surgery abroad hassle-free by facilitating most of your trip essentials.
Travel agents have detailed knowledge regarding surgeons, top healthcare institutes, and the services they offer. They will guide you to avail of the best treatment at an affordable cost.
A professional travel agent is able to help you in the following ways:
- Provide comprehensive information about weight loss surgery in your chosen country/place with a focus on medical travel in general.
- Work with you to complete all documentation.
- Facilitate travel arrangements like airline tickets, lodging, insurance, and ground commute.
- Act as a bridge between you and your surgeon including telephonic conversation and face-to-face meetings.
- Provide coordination services for medical care between your local doctor and your surgeon abroad.
- Help you keep a check on your medical records.
Hopefully, these tips will help you make the right decision when it comes to traveling for weight loss surgery. If you went through all this hassle and know other tips that might help people, please share them in the comment section below.