Weight-loss Surgery Abroad: Traveling Toward Disaster?

Cost is one of the important factors in any surgical procedure, including weight loss procedures such as bariatric surgery. Some patients in the US are willing to consider the unconventional idea of seeking this surgery abroad in order to bring down the cost substantially.

However, it is essential to take such decisions that involve one’s health and well-being after careful consideration and complete understanding of the reality. Leading bariatric surgeon Dr. Wiljon Beltre provides state of the art weight loss procedures to patients in Orlando, Tampa, Maitland, Central Florida, and surrounding communities.

Attractions of Treatment Abroad

The prime motivation for the patients who choose to seek surgical treatments, including bariatric surgery, away from the United States is that certain countries in Asia and Latin America are able to offer relatively lower costs for the procedure. Secondly, the waiting period is almost negligible, and the patient can save time by undergoing the surgery immediately.

A few patients look at medical tourism also from the point of view of traveling to an exotic country, and choose to combine a pleasure trip with medical treatment. While all of these are valid reasons, but if there is the safety and effectiveness of the procedure is compromised in the process, such a decision can have disastrous consequences.

Poor Communication and Less Regulation

Language and culture is a common barrier in many of the places where patients may seek weight loss surgery internationally. The bariatric surgeon may not be able to comprehend or appreciate the intrinsic needs and concerns of the patient due to differences in language and culture. At the same time, the patient may face the same hurdles in understanding the instructions and advice of the surgeon and the support staff.

Healthcare regulatory environment in many of the host countries may not be as stringent as that in the US. Laxity in legal oversight and regulation will typically lead to challenges in maintaining the highest quality standards and top competence levels. At the same time, the recourse to reimbursement or redressing errors can be ineffective or full of difficulties.

Agreements and expectations may not be well defined between the patient, doctor and surgical facility. Litigation in a foreign jurisdiction can be protracted and complex. As an experienced bariatric surgeon, Dr. Beltre provides safe and effective weight loss procedures to patients in Orlando, Tampa, Maitland, Central Florida, and nearby areas.

Other Challenges of Surgery Abroad

The patient going abroad for weight loss surgery will have no way to ascertain whether the surgical center and the provider who will perform the surgery actually have the right technology, equipment, training, skills, and experience as they claim. In many cases, the patient has little or no access to regulatory agencies for such verification and will receive no public documents that certify on these issues.

The patient should also consider issues such as emergency and back-up measures and systems available at the medical facility abroad. Whether medications and surgical supplies are within the dates of validity and stored appropriately, and whether the surgical suite is sterile as per international standards are also issues of concern.

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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