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Gastric Bypass Surgery in the UK versus Abroad: The Debate about Medical Tourism

It is not out of place to seek medical attention, namely, a gastric bypass surgery, outside your country. However, it is important to consider certain factors before embarking on medical tourism.

Gastric bypass surgery to reach your health and weight loss goals? Give us a call at Weight Loss Riga. Our professional medical team is ready to answer any questions. Join our Facebook group and engage with real patients!

The prospect of better treatment has not worn off on obese individuals. Now, many people are taking off for countries they consider “cheaper” in order to undergo the gastric bypass surgery.

In the midst of these, there is the debate on the potentiality of getting the surgery in the UK. Despite the points put forward by the opposition, there is the tendency that patients are not satisfied with the quality of healthcare service in the region. In the light of this, they prefer getting their gastric bypass surgery abroad.

Is UK’s Medical System Pushing People Abroad for Treatment?

This has been the question on the lips of many. There are indications that the healthcare system is not favorable for patients. Obese individuals that want to have immediate weight loss surgery cannot be able to wait upon the National Health Service (NHS).

All points tilt to the fact that the medical system in the UK is one of the reasons why people embark on medical tourism. Mention has been made of the delays in the NHS system. In addition, the cost of the gastric bypass surgery is another turn-off. On the other hand, patients believe that better treatments await them at the other end.

A Look at the Crowd

The number of obese people continues to grow. A look at the crowd that constitutes obesity in the UK shows that adults and adolescents are the major players in the industry. In another clime, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 1.6 billion people worldwide are overweight. While the UK gets some chunk out of this, the death tools that stem from obesity are on the gradual rise. There have been predictions from the British Heart Foundation that half of the population of the UK could be obese in the coming decades.

Overweight is a serious threat to the longevity of human life. That is the reason why obese individuals struggle to reduce their body mass as soon as possible. Weight loss surgery (such as the gastric bypass surgery) becomes an option when traditional exercises and dieting do not pay off.

However, it is important not to make considerations based on the number of obese people. There is the tendency that you are overweight. A good way to check this is to find out your body weight. Being overweight cannot be styled as fashion. If this was the case, obese individuals could have bought a bigger belt for their waists and forget about their overweight.

Rather, overweight triggers comorbidities such as diabetes. In addition, body fat kills indirectly. The greater the fat load, the greater the risk of diseases and the tendency of an early demise.

What is the Gastric Bypass Surgery All About?

The gastric bypass surgery is one of the fastest and safest forms of bariatric surgery. The procedure is the best pick for morbidly obese individuals and people who cannot wait further after coming in contact with obesity-related diseases.

By passing through the knife, a patient gets rerouting in his stomach. The surgery combines the restrictive and malabsorptive techniques. First, the intestine and duodenum cut off from some parts of the stomach. The next line of action is connecting the upper part of the split stomach to the small intestine. The aim is to skip the digestive tract. While this helps the body absorb fewer calories (which trigger obesity), the “new stomach” works in tandem with each other.

With the reduction of the stomach size, the body is only able to take fewer amounts of food. With the gastric bypass surgery, a patient can lose about 70% of his excess body mass within a year.The surgery is common on people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 and above. Excellent results come through with careful observation and strict follow-ups to the aftercare guidelines. The patient experiences impressive weight-loss benefits. However, there is the need to stick to regular exercises and healthy dieting.

Despite these upsides, the surgery has some downsides. Because of the rerouting of the stomach,a patient can suffer the “dumping syndrome”. This is a side effect to the surgery. It triggers faster digestion of food (which can result in some other disease). In addition, patients tend to experience loss of nutrient. This is because absorption of nutrients does not follow the traditional pattern. This downside can trigger other diseases such as anemia.

It is worth noting that each of the weight loss surgeries has risks. The gastric bypass surgery is not an exception. Thus, these risks do not negate the overall success rate that the surgery has been recording all these while. The procedure is quick and when conducted in a reputable clinic (such as Weight Loss Riga), you can be sure of getting nothing but the best.

The Role of the UK in the Procedure

For some time, casting aspersions on the UK medical system has been the norm. This is because of the inability to offer efficient weight loss surgeries. The UK is one of the countries with the highest number of obese people in Europe. The region has set up the National Health Service (NHS) to oversee the smooth running of the healthcare system. However, the service has not been living up to expectations. There are reports that the UK has an increase in the number of obesity-stricken people. These set of persons require the best care available but sadly, there is little hope for them. With the NHS battling against bankruptcy and the exorbitant costs of bariatric surgery in nearby hospitals, the last option is going abroad.

The Decline in Obesity Surgeries

Despite the fact that the UK sets apart huge sums of money for the weight loss surgery, the improvement is not in sight. More clinically obese individuals are opting for the gastric bypass surgery and more persons are looking at undergoing different weight loss surgeries. In Europe, the UK, France, Sweden, and some other countries lead in bariatric surgery. However, these countries outperform the UK in the procedure. For instance, Sweden performs about 7,000 bariatric surgeries every year. France performs about 37,000 and Italy comes up with 8,000 per year. On its part, the UK performs about 3,000 bariatric surgeries every year.

These figures drive home the point that the UK does not live up to expectations in weight loss surgeries. In the same vein, surgeons have warned the government to step up actions. However, this seems to be a futile attempt as the government is embarking on a course that could collapsethe healthcare system; at least, for some time.

The Brexit Perception

The government of the United Kingdom (UK) is set to leave the European Union (EU) in March 2019. The NHS is in great threats. Most medical personnel in the UK healthcare system are staff drawn from EU-member countries. On the successful pullout of the UK from the Union, the healthcare system might come to its knees. In the light of this, the rise of medical tourism is imminent. For some months after Brexit, there might not be much coming from the healthcare system. The most viable option open to obese individuals is going abroad to undergo bariatric surgery.

As the quest to embark on medical tourism continues to rise, there are factors to consider before making a move. Despite the fact that the UK’s healthcare system seems fragmented, the insurance coming through from the NHS is one of the factors that keep patients back. However,you can still get the weight loss surgery at good rates when you go abroad.

Gastric Bypass Surgery Abroad: The Advantages Outweigh the Risks

The general perception is that bariatric surgery is better off when conducted outside the UK. Other European Union-member countries (such as France) offer these surgeries. However, patients opt for other locations such as Riga, the capital city of Latvia.

It is a truism that bariatric surgeries have their risks. Some of these are the possibility of triggering diseases when the procedure goes wrong. Despite this, the surgery is better when conducted abroad. You might wonder the specialty that comes with this medical tourism. The idea here is that the advantages of the surgery outweigh the risks that come with it.

One out of many reasons why obese individuals in the UK choose to have the surgery abroad is the cost. In addition, they cite the quality of service and excellent medical equipment as their reasons for settling for the surgery abroad. It might interest you to know that some other reasons form the basis for an abroad treatment for obesity.

• Cost: 

The first factor on the list of preferences is the cost of the surgery. Many patients from the UK are looking for inexpensive weight loss surgery. The best place to get this is embarking on medical tourism. Outside the shores of the UK, hundreds of clinics offer bariatric surgery at cheaper rates. Weight Loss Riga located in Riga, the capital of Latvia is one of the choice destinations for obese individuals that want immediate and cheap weight loss surgery.

• Surgical Equipment: 

Besides the cost of the surgery, other factors interest patients. The excellent surgical equipment is another factor that motivates patients to have weight loss surgery abroad. This is not to speculate that the UK lacks relevant equipment for the surgery. Reports have it that clinics outside the UK have far better surgical equipment. The risk of passing through the knife keeps obese individuals away. However, the thought of their safety (with the abundance of surgical equipment) triggers their interest in the surgery.

• NHS Approval is Slow: 

Despite the fact that the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK helps in reducing the cost of the surgery, the process is quite slow. Patients often wait long periods before they get the nod. In some cases, after the long wait, they get a turn down in their applications. This is usually the case if such patients do not meet up to the NHS requirements. Because of the slow progression of bariatric surgery on the NHS, obese individuals in the UK prefer getting the surgery abroad. In addition to the low costs and tendencies of tourism, bariatric surgery abroad is the best option for them. It is worth noting that most obese patients in the UK have confidence in the NHS and would love to get their weight loss surgery through the service. However, the delay in approvals is the major turn off.

• Excellent Medical Team: 

It would interest you to know that most surgeons abroad are versatile and have expertise in the field. In addition, the clinics are in partnership with notable institutions such as John Hopkins and the Cleveland Clinics. To back this up, the number of bariatric surgeries conducted in the UK is below the charts from other countries. To this end, it cannot boast of experienced surgeons. On the other hand, the continuous flocking of patients to clinics outside the UK offers the surgeons the advantage of adding more expertise to their kitty. As patients would posit, their preference is having the surgery in a community of highly experienced surgeons.

• Post-Operation Services: 

The surgery is only a tool in the buildup to weight loss. The main job lies with the patient. The expectation is that he sticks to the guidelines the surgeon issues after the procedure. While a patient keeps up with regular exercises and healthy dieting, it is important to keep to appointments with the surgeon. This is another reason why patients prefer getting weight loss surgery abroad. The efficiency of the post-operation services shows in the overall health of patients. For instance, Weight Loss Riga, one of the choice clinics abroad, offers five (5) years follow-up to patients that underwent bariatric surgery at the clinic. The Patient Coordinator is also available online and on the telephone to attend to patients’ concerns. This helps in monitoring the patients’ recovery phase.

• Post-Operation Services: 

The surgery is only a tool in the buildup to weight loss. The main job lies with the patient. The expectation is that he sticks to the guidelines the surgeon issues after the procedure. While a patient keeps up with regular exercises and healthy dieting, it is important to keep to appointments with the surgeon. This is another reason why patients prefer getting weight loss surgery abroad. The efficiency of the post-operation services shows in the overall health of patients. For instance, Weight Loss Riga, one of the choice clinics abroad, offers five (5) years follow-up to patients that underwent bariatric surgery at the clinic. The Patient Coordinator is also available online and on the telephone to attend to patients’ concerns. This helps in monitoring the patients’ recovery phase.

Do you get Insurance?

This is one of the questions asked by patients. The National Health Service (NHS) is in charge of insurance for bariatric surgery. It is important to find out the chances of getting insurance when embarking on medical tourism. Sometimes, this might be hard. For patients that get approval, they get to foot the bills and apply for a refund when they are back to the UK. However, if you were not able to get the coverage, do not hesitate to embark on medical tourism (especially if you are convinced of getting better treatment).

Gastric Bypass Surgery is better Abroad

As the United Kingdom gears up to pull out of the EU, the healthcare system is in palpable threats. In addition, more individuals that are obese are looking at getting bariatric surgery outside the UK. This is because of the cheaper rates and quality of healthcare service. The expertise of surgeons and aftercare service also influence their decisions. With this latest trend, the gastric bypass surgery is better abroad with Weight Loss Riga. Join our Facebook Group to ask questions and engage with other patients!