The Hazards of International Weight Loss Surgery

Some patients in the US, who are looking for more affordable ways to receive bariatric surgery treatment, get tempted by the idea to seek this surgery internationally. The procedure is often available at a lower cost in several countries in Asia or Latin America. However, the challenges of getting this procedure done from an unknown healthcare center in a distant country are numerous.

While the patient may be attracted by an offer of a speedy weight loss surgery at a cheaper price abroad, they should carefully evaluate all the pros and cons before making a decision. Leading bariatric surgeon Dr. Wiljon Beltre provides various weight loss procedures to patients in Orlando, Tampa, Maitland, Central Florida, and surrounding communities.

Challenges of Communication and Regulation

In a new country, the language barrier can be a challenge. The surgeon or his team members may not be able to communicate comfortably in the American English language of the patient. That can cause difficulties with regard to clearly understanding the patient’s innate needs and concerns, while the patient may also find it difficult to understand the surgeon’s instructions or advice.

You also have to fly to another country. You could have passport problems and so on.

Another challenge is that the healthcare service provider and the patient will typically have no connection with each other prior to the procedure or after the procedure. The patient’s previous medical records may not be fully accessible to the surgeon, which can put them at risk in a major procedure such as bariatric surgery.

The medical regulatory and legal environment in the host country may not be as stringent as that in the US. In many cases, this can mean laxity with regard to quality and competence, and reduced recourse to reimbursement or redress. Contractual agreements or defined expectations may not be up to mark, and any potential litigation in a foreign jurisdiction can only worsen the matters.

Need for Awareness

While hospitals in a few foreign countries are acquiring accreditation from the US authorities for performing weight loss surgery, but choosing an international bariatric surgeon may not be as simple as one may assume. Choices become very limited, and usually there is no way for the patient to verify whether the medical center or the treatment provider possess the actual training, experience, and credentials to perform the procedure as they may claim to.

Regulation, standards, processes, and oversight are critical to ensuring the safety and success of a major weight loss procedure, according to Dr. Beltre, who provides these procedures to patients in Orlando, Tampa, Maitland, Central Florida, and nearby areas. The quality of equipment and technology available at a foreign facility may not be as updated as the one available in the US.

Other Concerns

Patients also need to consider other aspects such as the emergency and back-up measures for critical care available at the foreign facility, the validity of date of expiry and correct storage of surgical and medical supplies and other materials involved in the procedure. Success in weight loss procedures is also contingent upon factors such as pre- and post-care, patient education, and support network for post-op lifestyle changes and nutrition, which are difficult to receive at a foreign facility.

To find out more about the procedures & treatments performed by Orlando Bariatric Surgeon, Dr. Wiljon Beltre, at The Center for Metabolic and Obesity Surgery Call 321-499-6505 or Click Here to Schedule a Consultation.

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