Dr. Hector Perez, MD

Bariatric Surgery Around the World: How procedures, costs, and results vary internationally

Bariatric surgery, a form of weight loss surgery, assists those struggling with obesity. It allows people to shed some pounds and improve their overall wellness. Internationally, the procedure is conducted with a lot of variations in its techniques, expenses, and outcomes.

In this article, we’ll delve into two prevalent types of bariatric surgeries – gastric balloon and gastric sleeve – and then compare the costs and outcomes in different nations, globally. Besides this, we’ll highlight various elements influencing the price tag attached to bariatric surgery and the possible outcomes post-surgery.

Gastric Balloon

The gastric balloon procedure is a weight loss strategy where they insert an inflatable silicone ball in your belly. It makes you think you’re full, so you eat less and shed those extra pounds.

If traditional dieting and intense workouts haven’t been delivering the results you are looking for—this procedure might be worth checking out. But keep in mind – like any other alternatives to losing weight – getting an intragastric balloon also calls for a few commitments towards a healthier lifestyle on your part, like changing your food habits permanently and ensuring regular physical activity – these will play key roles in providing long-term results from this process.

The gastric balloon can remain for as long as nine months. During this timeframe, the patient will team up with a dietitian and other care team members to work on a food and workout plan. Keeping a food diary becomes crucial in tracking how the patient is doing.

On average, people with a gastric balloon drop over one-third of their excess body weight (looking at differences between their pre and post-op weight). Gastric balloons often help with conditions associated with obesity, like diabetes, cardiovascular issues, and joint problems.

Cost & Availability 

The price tag on the gastric balloon varies differently from country to country – and even within a country. For an Orbera balloon, you might spend anywhere between $3,000 to $9,000 – averaging around $6,000. The United States has the highest prices rates, while South America and Mexico are more towards the lower end. Paying for a gastric balloon covers insertion costs, necessary examinations, surgeon charges, aesthetic services, and follow-up appointments.

Gastric Sleeve

The gastric sleeve, also known as sleeve gastrectomy, is your express lane to weight loss. It’s performed surgically, removing a huge part of the stomach and making way for a slimmer, tubular version. The procedure usually uses a laparoscopic approach, where tiny tools are inserted through several minor cuts in the upper belly area. In gastric sleeve surgery, roughly 80% of the stomach is taken out, resulting in a stomach resembling an average banana’s form and size.

The goal here is simple yet effective: constraining your belly’s size to give you more control over your food intake. In addition, gastric sleeve surgery also promotes hormonal shifts, helping you feel full during your weight loss journey.

A year post-surgery can show impressive figures – consider losing about 60-70% of that extra weight! Plus points include improved health status and relief from several chronic conditions like insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. Similarly it helps with high BP along with related heart diseases, for example hyperlipidemia, aka high cholesterol levels, and arterial disarray.

Patients must adhere to a tight diet and exercise routine after surgery for the best outcome. They’re supposed to downsize meals and steer clear of foods and drinks packed with calories. These patients are also expected to create a healthy eating plan with a dietitian. Regular physical activity is highly encouraged as well.

Cost & Availability 

Similar to the gastric balloon procedure, the price tag attached to gastric sleeve surgery also differs significantly depending on where you get it from. For instance, in the United States, the expense associated with this procedure is approximately $19,000. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, patients can expect to pay upwards of $13,000 for the same operation. Contrarily, the cost is remarkably lower in Mexico, averaging at about $4,000.

Keep in mind that many details can influence these figures. The surgeon’s expertise and reputation, the hospital or clinic’s infrastructure and services, the duration of post-operative care, and other related charges can all play a role in the final bill. As such, prospective patients should be aware that these numbers might shift based on a combination of these variables.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Bariatric Surgery

The expenses linked to bariatric surgery can swing widely depending on where it’s carried out worldwide. The following elements might sway the final bill of bariatric surgery:

  • Type of surgery – The kind of bariatric surgery you’re getting will impact how much it costs, with the bill for a gastric sleeve surgery generally being steeper than one for a gastric balloon surgery.
  • Surgeon’s fee – Surgeon fees can vary significantly, based on their experience levels and reputation in the medical community—Those held in higher regard and with more years under their belt often demand higher payment.
  • Hospital fee – The hospital fee can depend on factors like facility quality and locale—with city hospitals tending to charge more than those in less populated areas.
  • Anesthesia fee – Anesthesia costs differ based on what type is used and how long your procedure takes—with general anesthesia typically hitting your wallet harder than the local one.
  • Pre-op testing and post-op visits – Fees for every step of this surgical journey, including pre-surgery testings, as well as post-surgery check-ups, tend to add up and make the entire process costlier – but they are crucial steps to ensuring patient health both pre and post-operation.
  • Patient’s health condition – A patient’s current state of health is another factor contributing to the rising cost of bariatric surgery—with patients harboring severe health conditions potentially necessitating more comprehensive monitoring and testing.

Results of Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is the go-to treatment for obesity and its unpleasant side effects. Generally speaking, here’s what happens after bariatric surgery:

  • Weight Loss

Patients who undergo bariatric surgery often see a big drop in weight, though the weight loss differs based on the kind of surgery, and each patient’s health situation. On average, they lose about 60-70% of their extra weight within a year after surgery. In some cases, patients might even lose up to 80% of their unwanted body mass.

  • Improvement in Comorbidities

Bariatric surgery can help eliminate or alleviate certain obesity-related issues like diabetes, hypertension, acid reflux, sleep apnea, and joint issues. Patients have been seen to have fewer instances of Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance post-surgery.

  • Lowering Cardiovascular Risk Factors

Certain symptoms of heart disease, such as high blood pressure & high cholesterol levels, are known to decrease after this type of surgical intervention.

  • Sustained Results

Post-bariatric surgery is not just about losing weight but keeping it in check – which is linked directly with a drop in comorbidity (simultaneous presence of two chronic diseases or conditions) and mortality rates (death rate). Taking a look at Olbers’ study with seventy-eight participants battling obesity, only 15% were initially hypertensive, yet five years down the line, all recorded normalized pressure levels after undergoing surgery. The percentage of people with dyslipidemia also dropped from previous records by over half, standing at just 15% five years later; surprisingly, no fatalities were registered throughout this period!

Conclusion

Bariatric surgery, a procedure to lose considerable weight, is carried out across the globe. The details around success rates, costs, and how long the procedure takes differ wildly from country to country. Two major types of bariatric surgery are gastric balloon procedures and gastric sleeves.

With the gastric balloon procedure, they insert a silicone balloon in your stomach that you can inflate, while the gastric sleeve removes a huge portion of your stomach and reshapes it into something more tube-like. People who have had both procedures have seen their weight drop dramatically, along with a range of other health benefits.

Interested in exploring your bariatric surgery options? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Hector Perez, a renowned expert in the field, and begin your journey to a healthier you today.

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