The Best and Cheapest Weight Loss Surgery by Country
Andrew Mackay - Medical Content Writer
Posted Feb 19, 2021
Finding the cheapest weight loss surgery can be tricky. While price is an important factor, considerations like waiting lists and the quality of care offered are vital too. Trying to bring all of these together can be difficult, especially as accessing high-quality, affordable weight loss surgery in the UK isn’t always easy. Barriers like long waiting lists and stringent eligibility criteria often force patients to turn towards private hospitals where, for many people, the price for treatment is simply unaffordable.
It’s for these reasons that travelling to undergo weight loss surgery abroad is becoming increasingly popular. But, with a wide choice of locations, clinics, and doctors — not to mention treatment options — to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to begin.
To help get you started, we’ve looked into the cheapest weight loss surgery options by country. As well as price, we’ve analysed the range of treatments they offer and the quality of care they provide, to pick out the best weight loss surgery options for you to choose from.
Weight Loss Surgery in the UK: Why Travel Abroad?
For many patients, the thought of travelling to have weight loss surgery abroad may feel a little daunting, especially as high-quality care can be found through the NHS. Unfortunately though, there are a number of barriers that prevent patients from accessing the treatment they need at home.
One of the biggest issues is treatment availability. Due to the ever-constricting capacity of the NHS, waiting lists for weight loss surgery are growing and growing. In fact, it was recently reported that patients commonly have to wait for a minimum of 18 months to undergo treatment. Not only are the waiting lists getting longer, but the number of procedures that the NHS can carry out is also decreasing — with 4,500 bariatric surgeries performed in 2018, compared to 12,000 in 2007.
These long waiting lists leave patients with little other option but to turn to private UK healthcare. However, this can be an extremely expensive alternative, with even the cheapest weight loss surgery in the UK starting at around £4,000. In fact, prices for gastric bypass surgery can range from £8,000 to £15,000.
These are just two barriers that make weight loss surgery in the UK difficult for many patients. Thankfully though, high-quality, affordable options can be found by travelling overseas.
Where Can I Find the Best and Cheapest Weight Loss Surgery?
The popularity of travelling to undergo weight loss surgery abroad has taken off in recent years. There are now a number of highly-trained doctors and reputable clinics offering bariatric treatments. Below, we’ve outlined some of the best weight loss surgery options worldwide, analysing factors such as cost, treatments offered, and the reputation of doctors and clinics.
The first choice for those looking for the best and cheapest weight loss surgery, Turkey is home to renowned weight loss surgery specialists working from a number of high-quality clinics. One standout option is the Memorial Bahcelievler Hospital in Istanbul. This multi-disciplinary facility is not only equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technology, but is also home to reputable bariatric surgery specialists. Dr. Murat Cag, MD, for example, has over 20 years of experience specialising in gastric sleeve, bypass, and balloon surgeries. Memorial is also well-versed in caring for international patients, with unique treatment packages that include airport pick-ups, clinic transfers, and accommodation in the overall cost of the treatment.
Welcoming more than 1,000 patients every year, Lithuania’s Kardiolita Hospital is renowned when it comes to bariatric treatments. Established in 1998, the hospital offers some of the cheapest weight loss surgery prices — with gastric bypass surgery starting at just €5,570 — as well as comprehensive treatment packages for international patients. Highly-experienced specialists like Dr. Antanas Mickevicius, MD are renowned for the quality of care they provide, and are always looking to offer the best weight loss surgery options through new methods and technologies.
When searching for the cheapest and best weight loss surgery, it’s hard to look beyond Poland. One of the most popular choices for bariatric surgery patients is KCM Clinic, located in the southern Jelenia Góra region of the country. Similarly to Memorial Bahcelievler, KCM is a multi-disciplinary facility, offering an extensive range of treatments through modern techniques and diagnostics, with ISO 9001-certification highlighting the high standards of care offered. With gastric bypass prices starting at just €5,990, KCM boasts some of the cheapest weight loss surgery prices, highlighting the significant savings that can be made — without having to sacrifice on quality — by travelling abroad.
4. Czech Republic
One of the most frequent answers when asking where to find the best weight loss surgery, is the Czech Republic. ISCARE in the capital city of Prague is a world leader for bariatric surgery — specifically gastric balloon surgery — offering a combination of exceptional care and low prices. ISCARE’s bariatric specialists are members of internationally-recognised medical associations like the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO), allowing them to stay at the forefront of technological developments within the field of weight loss surgery.
As we can see, there are a number of great options to choose from when searching for the cheapest and best weight loss surgery abroad. If you’re still feeling unsure about which option is right for you, contact us. One of our Patient Managers will be in touch to provide you with a 100% free, non-binding assessment.
Weight Loss Surgery: A Quick Summary
Weight loss surgery — often referred to as bariatric surgery — is a treatment speciality covering a number of different procedures that aim to tackle obesity and related conditions that arise from being overweight. In most cases, these treatments are only performed after all other diet and exercise regime options have been attempted. Weight loss surgeries tend to involve making adjustments to the digestive system, like reducing the size of the stomach for example, to physically limit food intake. Depending on the specific procedure, they can be either reversible and non-reversible.
There are a few main types of bariatric surgeries:
Gastric band surgery: A reversible procedure that involves fitting an inflatable band filled with saline around the stomach to physically restrict food intake. The band can then be controlled through a port placed under the skin.
Gastric sleeve surgery: This non-reversible treatment involves removing around 80% of the stomach, leaving behind a banana-shaped pouch. This significantly reduces the amount of food and calories that can be consumed.
Gastric bypass surgery: Considered the ‘gold standard’ in weight loss surgery, this non-reversible treatment works by reducing the absorptive capacity of ingested food by dividing the stomach and re-routing the normal path of consumed food through the small intestine.
Gastric balloon surgery: This procedure involves the placement of a deflated silicone balloon into the stomach to reduce its capacity. This in turn causes the patient to feel full sooner. This treatment is reversible, with the balloon staying in the stomach for around 6-12 months.