Bariatric surgery in Thailand gives morbidly obese patients a number of procedures to choose from help them lose weight and get down to a healthy size.
The phrase bariatric surgery includes permanent and semi-permanent weight-loss surgeries that restrict food intake and what the body absorbs, resulting in massive weight loss. For patients who have been unsuccessful in shifting the pounds on a diet and exercise regime, bariatric surgery is a drastic, but proven solution.
Thailand is still a developing country by Western standards, but the quality of its health and medical care sometimes surpasses standards in the west – certainly if you are used to public, rather than private healthcare.
Thailand is the world’s leading medical tourism destination, after it opened its doors to international patients in the 1990s. In fact, medical tourism has been so successful, both for patients and for the country, that its popularity has seen high-quality, purpose-built, state-of-the-art facilities opening throughout the Kingdom, attracting thousands of patients year upon year from around the world.
Drawn initially by cost – the low cost of living means that patients often save in excess of 50% compared to prices at home, patients are often pleasantly surprised by the high-standards of medical expertise, patient care and the facilities.
Thailand now has more than 40 accredited Joint Commission International accredited facilities, considered to be the gold standard in global healthcare.
Patients traveling to Thailand for bariatric surgery will be presented with the most up-to-date techniques currently available, including:
Gastric Bypass Surgery, particularly the Roux-en-Y bypass which divides the stomach and small intestine, creating a smaller stomach pouch which the end of the small intestine is joined to. This means food enters the pouch, and bypasses the larger stomach and most of the intestine.
Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery, where 80% of the stomach is removed, leaving a small tubular pouch for food to enter.
Gastric Band surgery, which is the only reversible bariatric procedure. An inflatable band is placed over the top part of the stomach and inflated to section it off from the rest. The more the band is inflated, the smaller the opening is between both parts of the stomach.
All of these work to reduce the amount of food a patient is able to consume, thereby restricting calories and leading to weight loss.
Most bariatric surgery is performed through a laparascope (i.e keyhole surgery), meaning there are smaller wounds, and so recovery time is quicker. It may take several hours, and is performed under a general anaesthetic.
Depending on what type of bariatric surgery you have, you may be discharged within 24 hours. However, it could be between 2 and 5 days.
You will not be allowed to eat for a few days to give your digestive system and stomach time to heal. After that, you will start on a liquid diet, progressing to liquidized or soft food, like mashed potato, before returning to normal foods. You will be given a diet regime to follow for several months, and once the weight starts coming, exercises. Your health will be monitored closely. You will probably need to spend 2 weeks’ in Thailand after the surgery for check ups.
The cost of bariatric surgery in Thailand varies depending on the exact procedure, but on average it costs AUD $10,000 (US $8,000, CAD $10,000, £5,000 GBP, €8,000) compared to in Australia AUD $28,000, (US $20,000, CAD $24,000, £13,000 GBP, €18,000)
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