Obesity is one of the world's largest ailments today. Nearly 1.9 million of the world's adults are overweight and of these, 650 million are obese. Bariatric surgery is being seen as a successful solution to obesity problems. With nearly 100 bariatric surgeries performed per day, India is the global destination for bariatric surgery.
Reason for the high demand for medical tourism in India for bariatric surgery
Medical tourism in India is flourishing owing to the affordable bariatric surgery cost in India. A bariatric surgery in India costs just $6000-$8000 while the same costs $15,000-20,000 in the U.S. This is why India has become the hub for bariatric surgery for patients from the U.S., U.K., Canada and Europe.
The other significant reason for the bariatric surgery success rate in India is the expertise and proficiency of the doctors and the congenial facilities at the hospitals here. This is why patients from Africa and the Middle East prefer the Indian medical treatment for weight loss.
Another reason that deters people in countries like the UK for undergoing bariatric surgery in their home country is the excessive waiting time of 6 months to 2 years. Instead, Indian hospitals offer instant bariatric surgery after proper diagnosis and screening without any queuing up.
All the above factors justify the emergence of India as a bariatric surgery hub for medical tourists.
Types of Weight loss surgery
Bariatric surgery is a boon for obese patients as it contributes to weight loss by these 2 processes.
To achieve this, 4 common types of weight loss surgery are undertaken.
1. Sleeve Gastrectomy
Here a part of the stomach is separated and removed from the body. The remaining stomach is formed as a tube. This small tube-like stomach cannot hold much food.
It also produces less amount of the appetite-inducing hormone-ghrelin. So a person does not feel much hungry, and so the food intake is reduced, without affecting nutrient absorption.
2. Gastric Bypass
This method focuses on bypassing the stomach to reduce food intake. Here, a small pouch is created on top of the stomach to becomes the only part receiving the food. This greatly limits the food and drink a person can hold at a time.
The small intestine is cut below the stomach and directly attached to this pouch. This ensures that the food from the pouch reaches the small intestine directly.
The main portion of the stomach is reattached to a portion of the small intestine, down farther, to creates the digestive juices needed for digestion and send them directly to the small intestine.
But since the food is taken in only by the small pouch and bypasses the small intestine, fewer nutrients are absorbed.
3. Laparoscopic Gastric Banding
In this laparoscopic procedure, a small band with an inflatable balloon is fixed to the upper part of the stomach. This creates a small pouch with a narrow opening to the rest of the stomach. This pouch is inflated or deflated using an attached port beneath the abdomen, by injecting or removing fluid from it.
Gastric bypass restricts the food held in the stomach without reducing nutrient absorption.
4. Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch
Here a large portion of the stomach is removed. The duodenum or the first part and the last part of the small intestine are attached performing the duodenal switch. Biliopancreatic diversion is achieved by attaching the middle portion of the small intestine to the end making the bile and pancreatic juices flow directly. By this, food bypasses most of the small intestine, reducing nutrient absorption.
Bariatric surgery success rate is high in India due to the availability of expert surgeons, advanced equipment, amenable hospitals, competitive prices and world- class treatment.