Gastric Bypass Surgery is an expensive procedure. There's no doubt about it. Sure, it's not triple heart bypass expensive, but still, it will set the average patient back a minimum 12K € and often more than 18K € at some of the better clinics. |
Why so expensive? The simple fact is that gastric bypass is a complicated invasive procedure performed under general anesthesia. This means the full arsenal of surgical tools must be utilized. In a typical laparoscopic bariatric surgery a morbidly obese patient candidate is looking at a long list of component costs: * initial screening and diagnosis * endocrinologist and psychologist exams * pre-op diagnostic lab tests, scanning and ultrasound * hospital room and board * operating theater fees * laparoscopic instrument fees * nursing and assistants' fees * surgeon's and anesthesiologist's fee * intensive care and/or recovery room fees * post-operative mobility rehabilitation expenses * follow-up dietary and nutritional support
With all these individual costs adding up to one very big cost, it might be useful to look at how the price to patient can be reduced and the operation more affordable.
There's one very effective strategy that will cut the cost of bariatric surgery without compromising quality, safety or successful result - and by result, I mean large, rapid, and permanent weight loss, the dream of every bariatric patient.
The most important way to achieve savings is through a clever choice for the location of surgery. There's a simple reason for this. Hospitals and physicians base their prices on 3 things: their local cost structures, local insurance reimbursement rates, and local competitive pressure.
Therefore, the bariatric patient serious about paying less should look outside their home country to places where the general cost of living is lower, where patients more often pay out of pocket, and where there's more competition. It's a well established strategy; the growth of the medical tourism business is based in part on this geographical imbalance.
On the other hand, one can take that strategy too far, sacrificing quality care and health safety by considering countries that lack a sufficiently developed medical infrastructure or where lax enforcement of quality safeguards increase risk. Better to find a middle ground, where recognized standards apply yet the costs have not yet caught up to Western levels.
One such example is Latvia, the newest entrant in the weight loss surgery market. Latvia boasts a well developed medical services sector including a major teaching hospital, numerous private clinics, a highly educated physician community, and as a member of the EU it adheres to the same European standards one finds in Germany or the UK.
A quick look at advertised fees for bariatric surgery in Latvia's capital Riga, reveals the kind of savings an obese patient can expect. The leading provider, Baltic Bariatric Services offers a standard Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure for less than 6000 €. And, according to the company's web site that price includes, all pre-op and post-op tests, hospital and surgical fees, even hotel accommodations.
Since it's well known that obese individuals earn less than people of normal weight, these cost savings are a godsend to many weight loss surgery candidates who have been shut out of the treatment market. But more than that, it means an end to suffering for victims of morbid obesity and a classic win-win for Latvia's growing medical services economy.
Author, Claire Gallan, is a freelance journalist living in Stockholm, Sweden.
For more information about Bariatric Gastric Bypass Surgery in Latvia, For more information about bariatric surgery in Latvia please visit Baltic Bariatric Services, or Gastrisk Bypass Scandinavia.
Related Articles -
Baltic Bariatric Services, Gastrisk Bypass Scandinavia,