You’ve heard of people going to other countries for many things: vacation, business, & education. But for medical operations like bariatric surgery? Really?
The practice of traveling to countries like Mexico to get certain types of otherwise expensive elective surgeries performed is called “medical tourism.”
Common Reasons for Medical TourismMedical tourism is an estimated to become a 200-billion dollar a year industry by 2027, yikes, right?
( Source: https://www.grandviewresearch.com/press-release/global-medical-tourism-market )
There are a number of common surgeries that are being performed on American and Canadian medical tourists in countries like Mexico. These include:
- Hip Replacements: Hip and knee replacements are frequently covered by U.S. and Canadian health insurance, just not fast enough. Much of the cost-saving is due to the fact that what it cost to hire a surgeon in countries like Mexico is far less than what it costs in the U.S. and Canada. Also, many Mexican hospitals and medical facilities are not required to carry the same financially burdensome malpractice insurance that American and Canadian institutions must have.
- Angioplasties: Patients pay $10,000 to $15,000 for private practice angioplasty in the U.S. and Canada, and those requiring mitral valve replacements usually fork over up to $50,000. Angioplasty works to open blocked or clotted coronary blood vessels.
- Dental Crowns or Veneers: Dental crowns and veneers are very expensive and can cost upwards of 1,000 per-tooth. Those costs can be reduces by more than half by travelling to certain other countries.
- Gastric Bypass: Gastric bypass, a surgery to shrink the stomach, is less than half the cost abroad, according to the Medical Tourism Association. Bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery, is designed to help patients surgically lose weight safely, and with minimally invasive surgery. Gastric bypass is performed laparoscopically. This means your recover is faster, and you can be up and moving around again shortly thereafter. The affordability of bariatric procedures such as gastric bypass, and the gastric sleeve are one of the top reasons patients are getting passports.
The effectiveness & affordability of bariatric surgery had me wanting to learn more. I’d like to share my findings with you!
What Is Bariatric Surgery?
Bariatric surgery is a type of medical procedure that involves manual alterations made to your digestive system to help you lose weight.
Each of the three main types of Bariatric surgery (gastric bypass, mini gastric bypass, and the gastric sleeve) involve physically shrinking your stomach.
These weight loss surgeries also limit the number of calories you can absorb at a given time. While different individuals benefit more from specific treatments, the end goal of bariatric surgery is always the same: Significant weight loss.
Bariatric surgery is usually only an option for those who need of losing a lot of weight.
This can include those who are morbidly obese, as well as people with Type 2 Diabetes.
Bariatric Surgery has high success rates, because the procedures are minimally invasive surgeries that are performed laparoscopically, though they still, of course require experienced professionals.
Bariatric surgeries also require recovery-time (not too long) and have a dramatic impact on how your body functions and processes food.
Types of Bariatric Surgery
The most popular types of bariatric surgery include:
- Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band: Adjustable gastric band is an increasingly popular type of bariatric surgery. In the adjustable band procedure, a surgeon will cordon off a section of your stomach with a flexible band. This band is filled with a salt solution that can be added to or removed from over a period of time. The result of the surgery is that you will feel less full, and, as you condition yourself to eat less and less over time, the amount your stomach is restricted can be reduced until the eventually the band is removed completely.
- Gastric Sleeve Surgery (aka sleeve gastrectomy): The gastric sleeve surgery is one of the more radical weight loss procedures. Here a surgeon will go in and actually remove a large part of your stomach and seal the rest off, so it heals properly. The results are you will permanently feel less hungry and will get full much easier. This is an option considered for the morbidly obese and or dangerously overweight.
- Gastric Bypass: Gastric bypass surgery is another popular weight loss procedure that involves sectioning off a part of your stomach, so get full more quickly.
- Duodenal Switch: Although still popular, this type of surgery is less and less common as, along with dramatic weight loss, it can result in some negative side-effects.
How Much Does Bariatric Surgery Cost?
In the United States and Canada, Bariatric surgery typically costs $18,000 or more, often going up to even $30,000 for a single weight loss surgery procedure. Such procedures can be done at a fraction of the cost in other countries such as Mexico.
Advantages of Medical Tourism
There are many advantages to choosing medical tourism for your next surgery. After hearing the differences in pricing for bariatric surgery above, Here’s a breakdown:
- Price: Cost savings are one of the predominant factors that have made medical tourism increasingly popular. One of the worst things about the healthcare systems in Canada and the United States is that many private medical procedures are so costly that many who can stand to benefit from the surgeries choose not to undergo them (or simply cannot afford them). If you are interested in expensive bariatric surgery and are being stopped from moving forward because of debilitating costs, you should consider working with Healthcare Connects to dramatically reduce your costs associated with bariatric surgery.
- Wait Times: Imagine being able to have your procedure done next to no wait time. With medical tourism organized through Healthcare Connects, you can save time and money on your bariatric surgery. Where provinces may takes years, your medical tourism advocates are able to make it happen in a matter of weeks (Of course this is once the world returns to normal, post-COVID).
- Quality Care: There are over 600 JCI-accredited medical facilities worldwide. These hospitals give patients access to high standards of medical care, which may otherwise not be available in their home countries. Healthcare facilities that have paired up with medical tourism agencies offer post-op care for visiting medical tourists. Patients receive the utmost attention and care at these facilities, helping them recover in a relaxed atmosphere.
- Secondary Fun: Medical tourism or a medical vacation gives patients a chance to explore a new destination and a new culture. In fact, medical tourism agencies offer well-rounded health vacation packages that let medical tourists receive first-class medical care while sightseeing tourist hotspots or relaxing on the beach in the destination.
- Stress-Free: By having Healthcare Connects take care of all aspects of travel and medicine, you don’t have to worry – You can use the time to mentally prepare, and not have to worry about travel details, or long hospital stays. It is all taken care of.
Healthcare Connects and Bariatric Surgery
Healthcare Connects is a Canadian based medical tourism company that can help you save money, save time, and find the perfect bariatric surgeon for your particular circumstance.
One of the main reasons people opt for medical tourism is the convenience and cost savings. But, if you don’t know what you are doing or how best to approach having bariatric surgery in another country, just Healthcare Connects: By finding you the best surgeon, booking your travel, setting up where you will stay pre and post-op, and handling everything else that you can possibly need to have a pain-free, stress-free weight loss surgery experience.