Looking at weight loss surgery in Thailand? Sleeve gastrectomy is one of the procedures our quality-checked surgeons regularly undertake to help obese patients to lose weight.
If you’ve struggled to lose weight, and your health is suffering, then surgery is a drastic, but effective, solution to the problem. A gastric sleeve, or vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG), as the procedure is also known, is one of a group of procedures known as bariatric surgery, and it is now becoming one of the most popular surgical procedures to help patients achieve weight loss on a large scale – and to help the weight stay off. You may also hear it referred to as a tube gastrectomy, or a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy.
Weight loss surgery is a major life-altering decision and you should consider all the pros and cons, and be prepared to undergo radical changes to your lifestyle, especially with regards to the food you eat and about exercising.
The cost is a major reason why patients start looking at the possibility of having weight loss surgery abroad – it is between 50 and 70% cheaper, depending on where you go. Even if you stick around after your surgery for a few weeks, you are still likely to save many thousands rather than having the procedure at home.
Thailand first became popular as a medical tourist destination in the 1990s, and continues to attract patients to this day, for all sorts of surgery, dental and cosmetic procedures. It has a good reputation for its first-rate facilities, the expertise of its medical staff and, of course, the Thais’ renowned customer service ethic. What bowls many Westerners over is the facilities are often far newer, more advanced and high-tech than they are used to at home, with very often additional free services and amenities that are unheard of at home. Hospital rooms are kitted out like boutique hotels – with room for your partner to stay, and spa treatments to relax you and help you on your way to recovery are offered at a good many places.
The first Joint Commission International (JCI) accredited hospital was awarded in Thailand, and since then there are more than 40 throughout the country – testament to the excellence of Thailand’s medical facilities.
Undergoing surgery anywhere is daunting, but more so if traveling abroad. Medical Departures makes it easier, providing listings of pre-checked doctors and clinics, alongside real patient reviews and clinic photos so our patients can look before they book, and get a feel for whether it’s right for them.
You will usually be given a general anaesthetic, and mostly these days, the sleeve gastrectomy can be carried out with a laparoscope. This is a thin tube with a camera in the end, which is inserted through a small incision made into your tummy, and the pictures viewed by the surgeon on a monitor. This way, by making a number of other small incisions (between 2 and 5) across the abdomen, the surgical instruments can be passed through in the same way, at the appropriate places, and the whole procedure can be carried out without the need for creating large incisions, which means your recovery time is much less (and not as uncomfortable)!
The surgery divides the stomach, stapling a small portion together to create a banana-shaped tube, and removing the rest. Your stomach will be around 25% in size, so you won’t be able to eat as much food before you feel full.
Your digestive system will need time to heal after the procedure, so you won’t be able to eat for a couple of days. After that, you will start to introduce food gently, but just liquids initially, then pureed food, and eventually solid food.
You will be provided with a diet and exercise regime, and will be advised on possible vitamin supplements to take, but it will take around a month before you can embark on your exercises.
These radical changes may make you feel tired and achy, but your body will get used to it after a couple of months.
Sleeve gastrectomy in Thailand is a fraction of the price you’d pay at home, at around AUD $9,000 (US $7,000, CAD $8,500, £4,500 GBP, €6,000), compared to Australia around AUD $20,000 (US $15,500, CAD $19,000; £10,000 GBP, €14,000)
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