Medical Tourism - What to Know Before Traveling For Weight Loss Surgery
It is estimated that a quarter-million people will undergo bariatric surgical procedures in the United States this year for the treatment of obesity and morbid obesity. In the U.S. gastric bypass averages $40,000 and gastric banding and sleeve procedures cost about $20,000. More people are electing to travel outside the United States to have these procedures at accredited facilities where quality and safety are assured by international governing bodies and costs are less than half. Learn what you need to know about medical tourism before leaving the country for bariatric surgery.
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By Kaye Bailey

It is estimated that a quarter-million people will undergo bariatric surgical procedures in the United States this year for the treatment of obesity and morbid obesity. Roux-n-Y gastric bypass surgery, considered the gold standard of weight loss surgery, will be performed most frequently at a cost of $40,000 or more per surgery. The less invasive gastric banding "lap-band" and gastric sleeve procedures will be performed for about $20,000 a surgery. More people are electing to travel outside the United States to have these procedures at accredited facilities where quality and safety are assured by international governing bodies and costs are less than half.

Traveling for Bariatric Surgery
Medical Tourism: the process of "leaving home" for treatments and care abroad or elsewhere domestically - is an emerging phenomenon in the health care industry. A 2008 study suggests that Americans are leaving their homes more than ever to receive medical care outside of the nationals borders in an effort to seek quality less costly medical care. Note these points reported by the Deloitte 2008 Survey of Health Care Consumers:

  • Health care costs are increasing at eight percent per year - well above the Consumer Price Index (CPI), thus eating into corporate profits and household disposable income.
  • The safety and quality of care available in many offshore settings is no longer an issue: Organizations including the Joint Commission International (JCI) and others are accrediting these facilities.

Quality:
Receiving safe and quality care is the primary issue for consumers considering outbound medical tourism as a treatment option. Consumers seeking treatment outside United States borders should look for centers that have been reviewed y the Joint Commission International (JCI) which was launched in 1999 after a growing demand for a resource to effectively evaluate quality and safety. There are over 120 hospitals worldwide that are accredited through the JCI. Patients should also seek programs touting these attributes:

  • U.S.-trained physicians and care teams
  • English language services
  • Use of clinical information technologies
  • Use of evidence-based clinical guidelines
  • Affiliations with reputable, top-tier U.S. provider organizations
  • Coordination of pre- and post-discharge care
  • Provision for adverse events requiring services unavailable in the facility

Safety:
Safety questions are answered in frequent reviews by the JCI and other governing bodies to protect the safety and rights of the medical tourist. Safety questions in the accreditation process include:

  • Are the accreditation certificates regularly renewed?
  • Is the hospital following all the standard safety norms? Are the disposables being taken care of properly?
  • Are the food and inpatient facilities hygienic?
  • Is staff fluent in English or is interpreter competent to prevent any miscommunication?
  • How safe and secure is the environment at the provider site?
  • What are the precautions to be taken for the post-procedural care?

Packages and Financing:
Packages will frequently include, but are not limited to, hospital stay, hotel stay, ground transportation, blood test and X-rays, surgery, anesthesiologist's fees, surgeon's assistant's fee, surgeon's fees, nurses fees, discharge medications, medical devices and miscellany. Transportation to and from the destination and the cost of a traveling companion is not included in most packages. Many centers facilitate financing for the medical procedures they offer through a third party financing company not associated with the medical facility.

Kaye Bailey 2010 - All Rights Reserved

LivingAfterWLS
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Medical Tourism - What to Know Before Traveling for Weight Loss Surgery

Days 1 & 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5

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Day 6: Beyond the 5 Day Pouch TestDay 6: Beyond the 5 Day Pouch Test
by Kaye Bailey
Kaye Bailey's follow-up to her powerful 5 Day Pouch Test Owner's Manual, which has helped countelss thousands get back on track with their weight loss surgery. In Ms. Bailey's generous spirit of compassion and belief in others she shares her secrets for working with the surgical weight loss tool, not against it, to achieve optimum success and long-term weight maintenance. No gimmicks. No quick fixes. Just simple common sense delivered in the powerful "you can do this" style we have come to expect from Ms. Bailey.

In Day 6: Beyond the 5 Day Pouch Test Ms. Bailey invites readers to consider their relationship with the word diet as she introduces a revolutionary new concept for nurturing a strong and reasonable respect for food.

Day 6 is the way-of-life weight loss surgery patients will follow if they want to control their weight for the rest of their lives.


"This is the book I wish I had read before having surgery in the first place - it would have made all the difference in my success or failure."
-- Alyce Pittaway, Laparoscopic GastricBypass 2002

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