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Weight-Loss Surgery

An Overview of Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery involves the stapling, banding, excision, or rerouting of the stomach or intestines in order to reduce the number of calories that a person can consume and absorb. In the U.S. in 2005, doctors performed at least 175,000 stomachreduction surgeries, according to the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a database of inpatient operations at hospitals compiled by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The number for 2006 is over 200,000. Although this number might seem high, it represents less than 1 percent of those eligible for the surgery, according to Dr. Schauer, director of bariatric surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. The problem is that bariatric surgery is usually not covered by insurance and is very expensive — a national average of $29,921 for uncomplicated surgery, $36,542 for those with complications, and a whopping $65,031 for those with complications that require readmission to the hospital. Considering that about 40 percent of patients have complications, that is a staggering cost for most people. By now, you know the solution to this problem: medical tourism! In many countries, most notably India, Thailand, and Singapore, topquality bariatric surgery can be obtained for as little as 1/10 of the cost in the U.S. Moreover, many overseas hospitals will have a single charge, with complications treated free of additional charges. In these countries, you can also get advanced types of surgery that are not yet commonly available in the United States, such as the highly effective lapband surgery described below.

Content taken from the book MEDICAL TOURISM TRAVEL GUIDE

Book cover Medical Tourism Travel Guide by Paul Gahlinger Sunrise River Press

The Medical Tourism Travel Guide is the essential guide for anyone considering a medical trip overseas. It tells you everything you need to know to get top-notch medical care in world-class medical facilities at a cost far less than treatment in the United States. The author, Dr. Paul Gahlinger, has personally visited a great number of the facilities described in this book, and here he shares information on hundreds of clinics, hospitals, and spas in about 50 countries, as well as important tips on how to travel, how to pay, how to prepare, what to do, and what to avoid.

With kind permission of Paul Gahlinger. For more information visit Sunrise River Press