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Mar 6, 2011

Weight Loss Surgery Abroad

Weight Loss Surgery abroad in other countries is a growing trend, as is medical travel in general. There are many options for weight loss and surgery is a drastic measure that is not suitable for everyone who wants to lose weight. Most doctors will not permit nor perform weight loss surgery unless a patient is obese, has a high body mass index (BMI) and has not succeeded at losing weight using other conventional methods such as diet and exercise.

The first type of weight loss surgery to gain popularity was the simple gastric bypass. This is when most of the stomach is portioned off and only a small pouch remains open to accept food. The upper intestines are then attached to the small pouch to completely bypass the majority of the stomach. Those who go through with gastric bypass surgery often only eat a few tablespoons of food before they are full. There is also a variation to this diet that uses an adjustable band, called a Lap-Band, that partitions off a small section of the stomach and then can be moved to open more up as the diet goes along.

Both of these weight loss surgeries are offered in the United States, but some seek this surgery abroad to save money. Going overseas or across the border can help with costs, even when you factor in the travel expenses that you can incur. Be aware that your safety is the number one concern. Those eligible for the surgery should have a BMI of at least 33 and should be at least 80 or more pounds overweight. If an overseas doctor will forgo those restrictions, it might not be the safest place for weight loss surgery abroad.

If cost is your main concern when choosing to go for weight loss surgery abroad, do not jump at the first offer you see. What you have to think about is where this surgery is going to take place. As you know, some countries are more developed than others. Assume that there could be complications. If that happens, are you sure the right follow up or emergency care is going to be available? Also, how much will it cost you to go to your destination, how long will you have to stay, and when will it be medically okay for you to travel home?

Whether you choose to have your weight loss surgery abroad or at home, there are some things you must do first. Any doctor you see should suggest counseling. This is to help you deal with the emotional attachments people often have to food, and also what happens as the body gets smaller. Many think this is going to make them happy, but it often brings about unhappiness as well. It is important to be in good mental health with a full understanding of what can happen for this type of surgery to be a total and fulfilling success.

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