Bariatric surgery in India


Chances are that you can't afford weight loss surgery in your country if you are staying in USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or any Western country, like most the other people. You can either choose to continue to risk your health or can choose bariatric surgery abroad in a country where not only you can afford the surgery, you get quality services as well.

Bariatric surgery in India gives you a great proposition; you not only get affordable surgery but also the doctors are highly trained and skilled, and hospitals are as good as in US or anywhere else in the world. This precisely is the reason why a large number of people are opting for bariatric surgery abroad giving rise to bariatric surgery medical tourism.

Though medical tourism is an age old phenomenon, bariatric surgery medical tourism is fairly new, but has picked up fast in the last decade. Obesity has become a global phenomenon, thanks to the modern lifestyle, and has been declared as an epidemic by WHO. More than one third of the US population, 35.7% to be precise is obese and 6.3% are extremely obese. As obesity poses a major risk to health and life of an individual, more and more doctors are advising people to opt for bariatric surgery.

Here are few of your most frequently questions answered, about why bariatric surgery abroad, why bariatric surgery in India, what is the cost of bariatric surgery in India and why is it so cheap?

Bariatric surgery also known as Weight loss surgery refers to the surgical procedure which changes the digestive mechanism of the body so as to limit the food intake or absorption of nutrients by the body, resulting in weight loss. They are referred to as restrictive or malabsorptive procedures.

Restrictive procedures are Intra gastric ballooning, Lap Band and Sleeve gastrectomy. They limit the amount of food that the stomach can hold, but do not interfere with the body's normal digestion. Malabsorptive procedures like Gastric bypass and mini gastric bypass, bypass the small intestine so that less calories are absorbed by the body.

Amount of weight loss is quite individualistic and depends on the procedure and the individual. With lap Band, you can expect to lose between 50-60 percent of the excess weight over a period of 2-3 years, while with Gastric bypass, you can lose up to 80 percent of the excess body weight in one to two years. A regain of up to 10 percent of your excess body weight is common. Your goal weight would be set by you and the surgeon determined by your height, lifestyle and other things.

You are a good candidate for bariatric surgery if:

  • Your BMI (Body Mass Index)is above 40 or between 30 to 40 and you have other associated diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea or painful joint condition arthritis
  • You are Obese for more than five years
  • You do not have glandular diseases such as hypothyroidism
  • Are not suffering from depression or other major emotional disorder

People with an inflammatory disease, severe heart or lung disease, esophageal, stomach or intestinal problems, cirrhosis or who are pregnant are not candidates.

You would be asked to fill a questionnaire for the assessment by the surgeon and he shall accordingly guide you with option best suited for you.

The cost of bariatric surgery in India depends upon the type of procedure, surgeon, facility and the city where you choose to undergo the surgery. We have specially negotiated rates for our clients for bariatric surgery in India. The cost of bariatric surgery in India varies from USD 2800 for Intra-gastric ballooning to USD 8000 for gastric bypass surgery. It is worthwhile to note that the cost of similar surgery in US costs between 20,000 to 35,000 dollars.

There is absolutely no compromise on the quality. The cost of bariatric surgery in India is less because of two main reasons:

Low cost of endowment in India - Qualified doctors, surgeons, nursing staff, lower investments costs, subsidies by government to private healthcare sector are more as compared to other countries

An exchange rate regime, which is favorable to India (indicative rates only, may not be currently applicable)

1 USD= 60 Indian rupees
1 GBP= 80 Indian rupees
1 Euro= 70 Indian rupees

Yes, a lot of people from US and various other countries like UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand etc. get their bariatric surgery in India. The most important reason is the cost. Since bariatric surgery is not covered, many people keep postponing the surgery, jeopardising their health and sometimes their lives. Since the cost of bariatric surgery in India is much affordable, and there is absolutely no compromise in the quality of care, getting bariatric surgery in India is the best option.

We can share the contact details of the previous patents from US who underwent bariatric surgery in India and they can be contacted for their experience.

The risks involved with bariatric surgery are the same world over, irrespective of the country where it is done. We at IndiCure make sure that the risk involved is minimal when you get your bariatric surgery in India done. We do this by choosing to work with surgeons of very high calibre and credibility. We have our own internal criteria and we choose to work with only those surgeons who fulfil the criteria. This includes looking into their qualification, experience, international exposure, membership to international organizations, command over language, bedside manners, success rate, any cases of malpractice against them etc.

It is important to find a good surgeon and good hospital where you can be safe and well cared for. Weight loss surgery is a serious proposition and is life changing surgery, you must make sure you are in safe hands, especially in a foreign country, where you have access to limited resources.

Some insurance companies do cover bariatric surgery. You need to check with your provider if they cover bariatric surgery. We shall help you with all the paper work.

Most weight loss surgery patients find that their obesity related health conditions either improve or disappear completely as they lose weight. If you have medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol, obstructive sleep apnea, and knee pain, you will see health improvements as you begin to lose weight. Most patients experience improvement in body image and reduction in the symptoms of depression have also been noted after weight loss surgery. Women have also experienced improved fertility and pregnancy outcomes.

Non-invasive procedure like IGB will be done on day care basis and you would be discharged from the hospital the same day. Other procedures would require you to stay for 2-3 days at the hospital and another week in India before you can fly back.

Most people are able to return to light work after ten days and to heavy labour after six weeks. The time of the return to work will depend upon the physical demands of the job and the rate of the recovery. Driving a car is usually permitted one week after surgery. Sexual activities may be resumed in week to ten days unless otherwise specified.

Exercise is important in the recovery. Walking is one of the most effective forms of exercise for this purpose. Begin with very short walks several times a day and gradually increase the distance. Walking also improves muscle tone while you are losing weight. Do not, at first, engage in strenuous exercise. About six weeks after surgery, you should be able to tolerate all but the most strenuous exercises.

Bariatric surgery has the same risks associated s with any other major abdominal operation. Life-threatening complications or death are rare, occurring in less than 1% of patients. Such significant side effects as wound problems, difficulty in swallowing food, infections, and extreme nausea can occur in 5-10% of patients.

Your surgeon and dietician will slowly take you through different stages of diet after the surgery. It is in your best interest to follow the doctor's recommendation properly to let your body heal properly and avoid any post op complications. The diet is advised in a way that it keeps you nourished while you are still losing a lot of weight.

After the procedure, your doctor would advise you to sip fluids slowly and keep the portion very small so that you do not feel overfull at any time. You would be kept on a full liquid diet for a week or two after the surgery. It allows your stomach to heal well and avoid strain. You would be allowed to have only clear liquids for first 1-2 days immediately after the surgery. This would include apple juice, chicken broth, beef broth, sugar-free gelatin, and artificially-sweetened non-carbonated beverages. Once the doctor and the dietitian are sure, you can digest clear liquids well, your dietician would advise full liquids diet for you. Full liquids include cream broth and soups, protein shakes, milk, yoghurt, and sugar-free puddings.

This shall be followed by puréed foods after a couple of weeks. You must respect your body and proceed slowly to see what your body allows. You must keep the portion of your meals small and focus on high-protein foods. You would be advised to slowly add soft foods such as oatmeal and eggs.

Most people are able to start eating normal foods 4 - 8 weeks after the surgery. It will be important to choose healthy foods, eat slowly, chew food thoroughly, and to stop eating when you feel full.

Undergoing bariatric surgery is a life-changing procedure and should be considered carefully. The following steps will help you prepare for surgery and the changes that you will go through.

  • Educate yourself about bariatric surgery.
  • Make lists of the following
  • A complete diet history of all diet attempts.
  • Medications (both prescription and over-the-counter) that you are on.
  • Foods you like and dislike:
  • Start making important changes in the eating and exercise habits. Doing this can help prepare you for life changes that you will need to make after surgery. These are some of the necessary dietary and behavioral changes that you need to start:
  • Drink at least 64 ounces of water daily.
  • Switch from caffeine to decaffeinated beverages
  • Keep a detailed written food diary.
  • Eat at least three meals per day and avoid snacking in between. Don't worry about the calories for now, focus on the behavior.
  • Begin a walking program if able.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking slows the healing process and may cause respiratory problems after surgery. If you need help, consult a specialist.
  • Write down the feelings every day to remind oneself of the commitment to begin a new and healthier lifestyle and the alternatives if you