Taking a trip overseas to get rid of extra baggage might work for broadcaster Vanessa Feltz but weight loss surgeons from BMI Healthcare are warning against having procedures done by unregulated surgeons abroad.
Losing pounds whilst saving money seems like the perfect solution for people with weight issues but cost-conscious Brits need to be aware that they are taking a major gamble with their health, and many could end up having to pay out for corrective surgery when they return to the UK.
Consultant General and Obesity Surgeon Mr Anselm Agwunobi comments on the worrying trend of people having obesity surgeries abroad to save on cost:
“There are enormous risks if you choose to have your weight loss procedure done abroad. In the UK all of our surgeons have to be registered with the General Medical Council and are usually members of British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society (BOMSS). However, in some centres outside the UK these accreditations may not exist. Many patients are therefore left with no understanding of the level of experience that their surgeons have, which is extremely risky.
“Patients who have obesity surgery abroad are also pretty much left in the dark in terms of the cleanliness of hospital premises and instruments used during the procedure and the blood used in transfusions. Strict rules regarding the sterilisation of surgical instruments, cleanliness of hospital wards and blood used for transfusions are in place in the UK as stipulated by the Care Quality Commission. This means that patients who have surgery in some centres abroad may be putting themselves at a greater risk of infection, both on the operating table and in the ward.
Mr Agwunobi added that people should remember that weight loss surgeries can, at first, be very debilitating, so patients need to consider the comparative comfort levels and costs involved in recuperating in a foreign country until they feel well enough to safely fly home.
“My recommendation to anyone considering weight loss surgery would be to have your procedure done in the UK, where you are in control of every decision, from your consultant, to the hospital.”