Obesity has lately become one of the leading problems in the world. It is estimated that 1 person in 10 worldwide has obesity problems. The causes of obesity are not just over-eating and laziness; there are other factors which can make someone over-weight. However, whatever the causes, obesity can lead to serious problems: diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and cancer. This is why, if you are having problems with obesity, you should look for a solution in the form of an obesity or bariatric surgery.
When looking for a bariatric surgery, you have two options:
-Find local surgeons– Finding a surgeon locally is a good thing if a bariatric surgery is covered by your medical insurance. This means that you will not have to pay anything (or almost nothing), while also not having to travel for the operation.
-Find surgeons abroad– On the other hand, if the surgery is not covered by insurance (as they mostly aren’t, except in extreme cases), its cost can be quite high, depending on the country you live in. Bariatric and obesity surgeries costs differ in different countries, so it is quite possible to find a deal abroad which is cheaper than your local deal.
Whatever the case, whether you choose to go locally or abroad, you have to be able to choose the best surgery option available by making an informed decision. This is important, because the outcome of the surgery will affect your health in many ways, so you have to make sure that your health has actually improved, instead of being harmed.
How to make an informed decision?
With the amount of misinformation everywhere today, making informed decisions has become more important than ever. This is especially true when you have to put your trust in someone who will perform a surgical procedure on you. The best route to an informed decision is through thorough research and comparison. In this case, that means going through various medical centers across the world which offer the procedures you need, finding as much information about them as possible, and then comparing them against one another.
What to look for when researching medical centers?
- Qualifications and experience – The first thing that you ought to check about a clinic and its surgeons is how qualified they are to do the surgery that you need. Take a look at the certificates they have listed, which school they have finished and whether they have been a part of any symposium on the subject. A doctor who frequently visits conferences is a doctor who cares about his practice enough to stay up to date. You should also note for how many years the doctor has been performing these procedures.
- Pricing and inclusions – If you are going to a foreign country, it is vital that you do not run out of money while you are there. Most of the clinics which facilitate medical tourism have pretty clear pricing information. Find out what is included in the treatment price, whether there are some optional parts, whether the transportation in the city itself is covered, etc. All of this will help you know how much money you will actually spend once you are there, and save you from the stress of surprise costs.
- Check the facilities – The state of the facilities in a clinic can be a good sign of the quality of service you will get there (although not always). You should always look to find pictures and videos of the facilities and, if possible, have a live talk with the doctor who would perform the surgery. If you are, at any point, dissatisfied with the answers the doctor provides, feel free to move on to your next choice.
Questions to ask before booking
Is the surgeon certified by the relevant board to perform obesity/bariatric surgery? – Not all bariatric surgeons have certificates, which is why it is very important to ask this. Certificate means that the surgeon has undergone training and has experience in this medical field.
How much will the treatment package cost me? – The cost of the package will depend on many things, notably on the experience of the surgeon, fees for the surgical room, stay at the hospital, and the surgery method. Don’t always go for the cheapest, as, in some cases, this can mean that something is omitted from the package.
How much will other expenses, like travel and stay, cost me? – If you are travelling, this is especially important. Getting stranded abroad with no money can be quite a problem, especially if you are recovering from a surgery.
Where will the surgery be performed? – There are many boards which check the facilities for patient safety, like the International Joint Commission. If they are certified by such a board, you can be sure that you will be completely safe there, as these certifications are not easy to obtain. Steer clear of those hospitals that do not have these certificates.
Are there any before and after photos of this procedure at the desired hospital, or any patient testimonials? – It is always wise to see how people who have had the procedure before fared and what results they achieved. The doctors will always be happy to provide these for you.