What is gastric bypass?
Gastric bypass is a form of bariatric surgery that is intended to treat obesity, diabetes, and other related conditions. It involves dividing the stomach into a small upper portion and a large lower portion, both of which are connected to the small intestine. After undergoing the procedure, the patient physically unable to eat nearly as much as before.
What countries are the most popular destinations for this procedure?
Mexico, India, Costa Rica, Thailand, and others.
What is the range of prices?
An American can expect to pay around $25,000 for gastric bypass surgery,
$14,000 in the U.K.,
$10,000 to $15,000 in Costa Rica,
$6,000 to $11,500 in Mexico,
$9,000 to $17,000 in Thailand,
$7,000 to $8,500 in India.
What are the common complications if the procedure is performed abroad?
Gastric bypass is a major surgery, so even under optimal conditions it carries risks of major complications. These include infection, hemorrhage, leakage from the stomach or intestine into the body cavity, ulcers, and many more.
This is especially true when combined with the stress of international travel after surgery. Complications are also more likely if the procedure is performed in a facility that lacks international accreditation or fails to meet accepted standards of hygiene, modernity, or professionalism.
Another factor to take into account is the importance of follow up care after bariatric surgery. Even if the patient found a world class doctor and facility abroad, proper follow up in the weeks, months, and years following the surgery are next to impossible.
In 2015, a California woman traveled to Mexico for gastric bypass surgery. After being administered an antibiotic not approved for use in the U.S., she had a severe allergic reaction and went into a coma. Doctors were uncertain whether she would ever recover.