Tag: <span>Abroad</span>

The Irish Times ran an article this week entitled Flawed weight-loss operations abroad creating ‘huge problem’

The article states that there is currently a waiting list of over 400 people in Ireland needing bariatric surgery, and that some of those people are accessing faster treatment by paying for surgery abroad, in places like Turkey and eastern Europe.

However it seems that some patients are experiencing complications when they get back to Ireland, and according to my surgeon Prof Helen Heneghan, who works at St Vincent’s Hospital Dublin, they are presenting to Irish hospitals and need urgent surgery to correct problems.

She estimates eight to 10 patients a week are presenting at Irish hospitals with complications of bariatric surgery carried out abroad, with numbers doubling over the past 18 months.

Many suffer leaks where their stomach doesn’t seal, or stitches haven’t healed, after the operation. Bowel blockages and clots have also required treatment.

The answer, of course, is to increase the funding and capacity for bariatric treatment in the public hospitals here in Ireland, where the current average waiting time for surgery is 6 years!

If people could be treated for their obesity more quickly, they wouldn’t have to resort to paying thousands or euros to use a private clinic abroad.

News Surgery

One of the things I’ve learned from reading the Facebook groups is that there’s a lot of Irish people going abroad to get bariatric surgery.

The waiting list for getting weight loss surgery on the public health system is often years, and for those that don’t have private health insurance and are willing to self-pay, then the cheaper surgical prices abroad can seem tempting.

If you have private health insurance in Ireland, and you meet the requirements such as having a BMI over 40, then you will most likely be covered for surgery. However if you don’t have insurance, or you don’t meet the requirements, then the standard cost of around €15,000 in the Irish private hospitals for a gastric bypass can prompt people to look for cheaper options.

Some of the prices quoted for gastric sleeves and bypasses are in the range:

  • Turkey – €2,975 to €3,400
  • Lithuania – €5,500
  • Latvia – €5,370
  • Czech Republic – €4,500
  • Belgium – €4,300
  • Poland – €6,000

All of those prices are significantly cheaper than Ireland – even when you add the cost of flights on top!

Dr Bodnar in Letterkenny

Another option closer to home is a Dr Bodnar who operates out of Letterkenny General Hospital. He is reported to perform gastric sleeves for around €6,000 and gastric bypasses for €7,500.

That might be an option for people who worry about travelling abroad.