It’s no longer a matter of controversy that obesity is associated with serious chronic illnesses that can increase the risk of premature death, including hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease, and others.
The fatty tissue around major organs in the body becomes excessive in obesity, which in turn can lead to some of the chronic conditions. For these patients, bariatric or weight-loss surgery can be a reasonable option.
This is particularly true when diet and exercise have not worked or when weight has led to serious health issues. Some weight loss procedures limit how much you can eat, while others reduce the body’s ability to absorb fat and calories. Certain operations do both.
The major bariatric procedures include gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and gastric band. These have proven effective in treating severe obesity. Gastric sleeve in Turkey, in particular, is a very common choice among people.
In general, bariatric surgery is an accepted approach for weight loss and treating conditions related to obesity, and that’s why many people call it “metabolic surgery”. However, not everyone is eligible for this type of surgery. In other terms, it has qualification requirements.
Why Obesity Operations in Turkey?
Turkey is one of the most popular destinations for medical tourism in general and weight loss surgery in particular. As more people are choosing to have bariatric procedures- like gastric sleeve and gastric bypass- in Turkey, the reputation for quality of care, advanced medical technology, and affordable prices increases even further.
Skilled Bariatric Surgeons
Turkey is home to some of the most experienced and skilled bariatric surgeons in the world. They have performed thousands of operations with great results for many people, celebrities, and influencers. Many of them also specialize in different types of obesity procedures, such as adjustable gastric band, duodenal switch, and laparoscopic surgery, and gastric sleeve surgery in Turkey.
Turkish hospitals and clinics, like International Clinics, are equipped with safe and reliable facilities and technologies for weight loss procedures. This potentially can lead to optimal outcomes and faster recovery times. Indeed, the healthcare infrastructure in some of these clinics rivals top hospitals in the US and Europe.
Turkish clinics offer lower costs for packages and deals for foreigners. In fact, costs can be 40-50% lower compared to surgery in some of the Western countries. The prices often include hospital fees, surgeon fees, accommodation, and airport transfers.
High Success Rates
In Turkey, bariatric surgery has very high success rates. On average, patients lose 70% of their excess weight in 12-18 months after surgery. Many patients even report losing up to 30-40 kgs. Their overall health also shows remarkable improvement after losing weight.
Understanding Obesity and Bariatric Procedures
Obesity is defined as having excessive body fat that increases the risk of other diseases. The issue has become a major public health crisis worldwide in the last decades, thanks to the influx of unhealthy dietary habits among people. However, there are effective medical solutions available, such as bariatric surgery procedures, which in fact can help people achieve long-term weight loss and improve their health.
Obesity is mainly caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors. Consuming excessive calories from food and beverages coupled with physical inactivity are the main causes behind the issue.
Doctors often diagnose obesity once the Body Mass Index (BMI) hits 30 and above. Nonetheless, solutions for obesity exist in different forms, one of which is bariatric surgery, which helps obese patients lose significant weight by making changes to their digestive system.
When patients are chosen appropriately, and provided with education and follow-up care, bariatric surgery can lead to sustainable weight loss, ranging from 20% to 30% of initial weight.
This surgery also significantly decreases the risk of obesity-related illnesses and death. Additionally, bariatric procedures could improve patients’ mental health and overall quality of life.
Interestingly, gastric sleeve surgery is a popular option in Turkey. It involves removing a large portion of the stomach to restrict food intake. Average excess weight loss is 60-70% in 12-18 months.
Gastric bypass is another common procedure that divides the stomach into two sections and reroutes the small intestine. It causes greater malabsorption of calories.
Additionally, gastric band surgery uses an adjustable band to squeeze the upper part of the stomach. The band tightness can be altered to change restrictions.
Choosing the Right Clinic and Surgeon in Turkey
Selecting the right clinic and surgeon in Turkey is an important step to guarantee safe and effective bariatric surgery and the best chances of success.
Remember the criteria below when researching options. Taking the time to thoroughly research clinics against these key criteria will help you identify the ideal facility and surgeon for your needs and expectations:
The clinic must have JCI or TEMOS accreditation, which largely validates high standards of care and quality. However, even if the clinic or hospital has JCI accreditation, that’s not a total guarantee of quality. The opposite is also true as well.
It’s better to choose a specialist with at least 7-10 years of experience in bariatric surgery and more than 500 successful procedures completed. They must be also board-certified in Turkey and internationally.
Advanced technology like robots, digital equipment, and the latest monitoring systems help ensure optimal outcomes and results. Choose a clinic that deploys such technologies.
Look for comprehensive aftercare including dietary support or consultation, mental services, lifestyle coaching, and long-term follow-ups. This will make your life much easier during recovery time.
Range of Services
A clinic that provides a wide range of weight loss procedures like gastric sleeve, bypass, and band is mostly more experienced and more worth considering than those who provide just one or two services.
The clinic must have staff with experience in dealing with international patients and handling medical tourists. Such things can facilitate communication and mutual dialogue.
Many patients prefer a clinic with easy access from the airport and hotel areas as this can add a lot of convenience during checkups and follow-ups.
Patient reviews and satisfaction levels reveal real experiences. Some clinics in Istanbul, for example, have outstanding ratings and feedback concerning obesity surgery in Turkey.
Cost Analysis of Obesity Surgery in Turkey
Many clinics in Turkey offer high-quality, safe weight loss surgery at significantly lower prices than most other destinations. Gastric sleeve cost in Turkey, for example, is much lower than in the US or UK by many folds.
The affordable pricing along with advanced infrastructure and expertise makes Turkey the perfect choice for bariatric surgery. In short, we can put a cost breakdown as follows:
Surgeon & Anesthesia Fees (1000 – 1500 US dollars)
This covers the work and efforts of the experienced bariatric specialist as well as the anesthesia specialist during the procedure.
Hospital Charges (1000 – 1500 US dollars)
This includes operating room facilities, post-op hospital stays in the rooms, nursing care, medications, and other monitoring costs.
Medical Tests (50 – 200 US dollars)
Pre-op lab tests, imaging scans, and medical clearances are essential before and after the surgery.
Medications (50 – 100 US dollars)
Post-operative medications and supplements are prescribed by doctors and specialists to help patients recover smoothly.
Transfers (50 – 70 US dollars)
The transfer costs refer mostly to airport pick-up and drop-off and transportation for hospital visits.
Accommodation (200 – 300 US dollars)
Hotel stays for 7-10 days are often included in the package deals offered by clinics, which have different tiers and details.
Translator (100 – 200 US dollars)
A personal translator is also provided for foreign patients during their stay in Turkey.
In total, the average cost of bariatric packages at top clinics ranges from 2500-3500 US dollars.
Patient Journey: Before, During, and After Surgery
For many, weight loss surgery is a major life event that requires extensive preparations, diligent self-care, and long-term lifestyle changes for optimal success. The patient journey can be divided into the following key phases:
The pre-operative phase involves medical screenings, lab tests, and imaging scans to assess health status.
Multiple consultations may be needed with the bariatric surgeon to determine eligibility and the appropriate procedure. Patients may need to lose some weight beforehand.
Patients will be under general anesthesia as the procedure is performed laparoscopically through tiny incisions. A gastric sleeve, for instance, involves removing a portion of the stomach while a gastric bypass divides it into two sections. The process may take around 1-2 hours.
This phase starts with close monitoring in the hospital for 2-3 days to manage pain, nutrition, and recovery. This is followed by a liquid diet progression at home, and activity will gradually increase. Vitamin supplements are essential for most cases.
Types of Bariatric Procedures in Turkey
for those seeking bariatric surgery procedures, there are plenty of options to choose from in Turkey. After all, the country has become a popular destination for gastric sleeve, bypass, balloon, and even robotic options for weight loss surgeries.
Needless to say, you should first consult medical experts to determine the most appropriate procedure based on your health profile and weight loss goals. The main bariatric procedures in Turkey include:
This procedure involves surgically removing a large portion of the stomach and leaving a smaller, banana-shaped pouch. As a result, food intake will be restricted, which leads to quick weight loss.
However, patients may need to take supplements as the smaller stomach absorbs fewer nutrients. It’s good to remember here that gastric sleeve is one of the most common bariatric surgeries in Turkey and in the world in general.
The bypass procedure is more complex because it reroutes the digestive system, bypasses most of the stomach and some of the small intestine, and creates a small stomach pouch.
Consequently, patients feel fuller faster and absorb fewer calories and nutrients from the food they eat. Nonetheless, it requires close medical supervision and lifelong dietary changes. Gastric bypass results in significant long-term weight loss compared to other techniques.
This is a non-surgical procedure that involves placing a silicone balloon in the stomach. The balloon takes up space in the stomach, leaving less room for food. However, it’s generally a short-term solution for 6-12 months, but it remains a less invasive procedure and a good step before considering surgery.
Robotic Bariatric Surgeries
Robotic surgical systems are increasingly being used in bariatric procedures in Turkey. They provide minimally invasive surgery, 3D imaging, and precision movements. However, their expensive cost limits widespread adoption, but robotic surgery may result in less pain and quicker recovery for patients.
Safety and Risks of Obesity Surgery in Turkey
Although obesity surgery in Turkey is safe, there are many considerations and potential risks to consider, just as with any other medical procedure. Nonetheless, Turkey’s top bariatric surgeons and medical facilities mostly provide their healthcare without risk.
- Infection: As with any other surgery, infection is possible following bariatric procedures, especially in clinics that don’t maintain rigorous sterilization standards.
- Blood clots: Clots can form inside selected veins after surgery, especially when physical activity is ignored. To prevent clots, patients must wear compression stockings and receive blood thinners.
- Bleeding: Both external and internal bleeding are possible after bariatric procedures. Avoiding such complications depends heavily on the experience and skills of the surgeons.
- Leaks along staple lines: This can occur along stapled parts of the stomach or intestines. However, surgeons use different techniques to test for leaks before completing procedures.
- Nutritional deficiencies: Less food intake and nutrient absorption can lead to deficiencies over time. Hence, vitamins and supplements are often prescribed to manage this.
Recovery and Long-Term Outcomes
Bariatric surgery is a major procedure that requires extensive recovery and long-term lifestyle changes.
However, patients who follow the guidelines of their doctors can experience successful long-term weight loss and health improvements. Recovery and long-term considerations include:
Patients typically spend 2-3 days in the hospital after surgery. However, recovery continues for 4-6 weeks at home with rest, proper nutrition, and physical activity. Besides, having a strong support system is essential during initial recovery.
After surgery, patients must follow a new nutritional regimen. Often, this involves much smaller portions, high-protein foods, hydration, and vitamin supplementation.
Light walking must start shortly after surgery. The more strenuous exercise should be spared after healing. Exercise helps patients achieve and maintain weight loss goals long-term.
Patients may undergo follow-up exams and blood testing to monitor their nutritional status and overall health. These steps can ensure patients experience optimal long-term results.
Following major weight loss, some patients may seek body contouring surgeries to remove excess skin and fat deposits. However, plastic surgery procedures require additional recovery time.
Legal and Ethical Considerations
As bariatric surgery becomes more spread worldwide, the topic of legal and ethical considerations regarding these procedures becomes more relevant in all places. Bariatric surgery poses risks and lifelong effects that patients must thoroughly understand.
Patients must educate themselves on the procedure, risks, lifestyle changes required, and likelihood of success. However, informed consent provides patients with more autonomous, voluntary decisions.
Guidelines help identify appropriate surgical candidates based on BMI and health comorbidities. However, excluding patients due to age, gender, or race raises controversial ethical issues of justice and equality.
Marketing claims can oversell bariatric surgery as a “quick fix.” However, reputable surgeons convey realistic expectations about risks, commitment required, and long-term outcomes.
Pediatric Bariatric Surgery
Weight loss surgery for minors remains widely debated, especially in the Western world. However, professional guidelines recommend surgery only for extremely obese youth after other treatments fail.
Requiring employees to undergo bariatric surgery as a condition of employment violates autonomy. However, employers may ethically incentivize but not mandate surgery.
Bariatric Surgery Testimonials
Patients’ testimonials reflect the reality of any procedure. Below are some of these testimonials (we use only their initials due to privacy concerns):
“Maybe I was lucky to find this amazing bariatric surgery program in Turkey. The doctors and nurses were so collaborative with me from the start. I was careful and a bit worried, but it turned out easier than I thought. Now after 3 months, I am so happy to have lost a lot of kilos.”
Patient L.S (36 years old male from Germany)
“I thought weight loss surgery in Turkey is a silly idea and risky, but this clinic proved me really wrong. I got everything in detail and I was surprised from what I saw. The results did take some time to show but they come eventually!”
Patient M.A (40 years old female from Jordan)
“I didn’t know what to expect in Turkey. I was hesitant about the whole matter. But the stuff I saw exceeded my expectations! The best thing was the clinics smooth procedures. I certainly recommend this facility and team for obesity surgery.”
Patient L.S (29 years old male from the United Kingdom)
FAQs: Obesity Surgery in Turkey
Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) over 35-40. This may be a prerequisite for stomach reduction surgery in most clinics in Turkey.
Patients should be over 18 years old, have failed to lose weight through other methods such as diet and exercise and get medical clearance from their doctor. Candidates must be also prepared to make major lifestyle changes in their eating habits and commit to follow-up care after surgery.
Important pre-surgery measures include quitting smoking at least 6 weeks before surgery, adjusting to a proper bariatric diet, getting necessary lab work done, and undergoing any required medical examinations to ensure fitness for surgery.
Dietary restrictions after stomach reduction surgery usually involve eating small portions of low-fat, high-protein foods. Foods high in calories, fat, or sugar need to be avoided.
For patients who follow the recommended lifestyle changes, success rates for significant long-term weight loss are over 70% after stomach reduction surgery in Turkey.
Aftercare involves regular follow-up appointments, nutritional counseling and education on diet, exercises tailored to patients’ new lifestyle, physical and mental health assessments, and continued medication (if needed).
Common risks include infection, blood clots, leaks from staple breakdown, malnutrition, dehydration, vomiting, and potentially inadequate weight loss or weight regain if lifestyle changes are not maintained well enough.
Conclusion: Making an Informed Decision
As obesity rates rise globally, Turkey is expected to draw more attention as a popular destination for affordable bariatric procedures like gastric sleeve and gastric bypass. After all, obesity surgeries cost in Turkey less than in most other places around the world.
When considering surgery abroad, most patients try to find a qualified clinic and surgical team. To make it easier, we can recommend patients verify credentials like accreditation of the clinic and surgeon experience.
Look for clinics associated with reputable hospitals and check surgeons who have high experience with good success rates. Consider the clinic’s services like English-speaking staff and post-op support.
International Clinics is an established clinic in Istanbul and one of the clinics that consider patients’ budgets but don’t compromise on expertise and safety standards. You can contact us directly to explore your weight loss options.