If the Earth were a single state, Istanbul would be its capital - Napoleon Bonaprte
The above proverb is enough to describe the beauty of Istanbul - one of the major cities in Turkey and has a major contribution to the country’s health, wealth and historic status.
Turkey is a Euroasian country with 95 percent of its landmass in Asia, known for its rich culture and royal history. Turkey, a land once owned by some of history’s greatest, powerful empires, including the Ottoman empire after Greek, Roman, Persian, and Byzantine empires.
Turkey is now known to have 1200+ medical facilities, out of which more than 50 hospitals are JCI (Joint Commission International) accredited.
Do you know that more than 700,000 medical tourists travel down to Turkey annually, especially from within Europe and the Middle East for Gastric Bypass procedure - minimally invasive treatment for weight loss?
Out of all medical procedures, dental, cosmetic, bariatric and reproductive are the common ones.
Why is Turkey a popular medical destination for weight loss journey?
In addition to Ankara, Turkey’s capital, Istanbul, Antalya, and Izmir are the popular medical destinations where people prefer to go for their medical treatment. This is possible due to the availability of medical resources, doctors, surgeons, hospitals and medical staff.
Popular Medical Destinations: 80 million people spread in a landmass of nearly 80,000 square km. and Ankara, being its capital, Istanbul is the well-known and populous city with 15 million inhabitants. The Euroasian country flaunts its beauty in front of 13 million tourists every year, considering it the fifth most popular tourist destination in the world. With Antalya in the south and Izmir in the west, the country provides 5-star luxury hotels at a reasonable price to vacation in.
Favorable Climatic Conditions in Turkey: The country does not have moderate weather throughout the year. Located on the Mediterranean Sea, the south coast of Turkey takes advantage of cooling sea breeze. However, the summer months from June through August are extremely hot. Meanwhile, spring and autumn seasons are quite peaceful and cooler, whereas the winters are mild.
Getting Around in Turkey: Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul is 24 km away from the city, is a stop-over destination for international travelers. Other cities have their own international and domestic airports. While Turkish Airlines being the main airline serving international as well as domestic airports, other airlines are Onus Air, AtlasGlobal, IZair, SunExpress and Pegasus Airlines.
For people prefer to travel by land, there is a mode of transport available such as train routes linking Istanbul to Ankara. City buses are also available which are pocket-friendly. Taxis are cheap, however, remember to negotiate before starting your journey.
Tourist Visas in Turkey: After the visa process is done, the tourist visa is valid for 90 days for many nationalities. In the case of some countries tourists holding US, UK, Australian, Spanish and Chinese passports, e-visa is required in advance with a fee prior to their arrival. However, the tourists holding French, Russian, German, or Singaporean passport can enter visa-free. For Indian and Pakistani passport holders, conditions are somewhat different such as e-visas are available on arrival at Ataturk International Airport which expires after 30 days. For detailed information, you may feel free to visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
What are the weight loss procedures opted by surgeons?
Once the consultation session takes place and the visa is approved, the patient travels down to Turkey where the right treatment procedure is decided by a team of surgeons and doctors. It can be a puzzling and long process for first-time goers, as it may take time knowing their basic needs - eligibility criteria as not all weight loss treatments are suitable for every candidate, type of body, body mass index (BMI), how it is good as compared to other treatment procedures and more.
Gastric Bypass Surgery: People struggle with obesity for years and years binging on trying several weight-loss diets, taking pills and joining professional weight loss service, but end up with no long-term results. In such cases, weight loss surgery, which is also known as bariatric surgery, help them lose weight with long-lasting results.
Gastric Bypass Surgery is one of the commonly performed weight loss surgeries in Turkey which reduces the stomach size and bypasses a portion of the small intestine to reduce food intake and storage of calories yielding long-lasting results.
The recovery time depends on the required number and size of incisions. In the case of laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery, the stay is of the shorter period as compared to the conventional form of treatment where bigger incisions are made. The doctor may prescribe you to intake a sufficient amount of vitamin B12, iron and calcium. You may return to your normal routine after 10 to 12 days.
|Length of stay in Hospital||3 days|
|Operation Duration||2-3 hours|
|Recovery Duration||10-15 days|
Gastric Balloon Surgery: It is a non-surgical treatment procedure in which an FDA approved device is inserted into the stomach by using only endoscopic methods. It is a minimally invasive approach as compared to surgical bariatric methods. This process is applicable when the candidate is overweight or obese and have tried several diets and exercises which didn’t work out. Gastric balloon weight loss program helps patients to lose 30 percent of their excess weight in 6 months to 1 year.
The specialist places a grapefruit-sized balloon in the stomach by using an endoscope through the mouth. The inserted balloon is filled with saline to control the portion sizes. This gives a feeling of fullness allowing to control the more intake of food. After 6 months to a year, the balloon can be removed in the same way it was inserted using the endoscopy.
This method is proven to be beneficial in case of reducing the risk of other health problems including heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
During recovery, the patient may feel nausea or stomach ache which can be treated with oral medications. The patient, if a sports person, can go back to the field after 3 weeks of balloon insertion.
|Length of stay in Hospital||Not Required|
|Operation Duration||1 hour|
|Recovery Duration||3 days|
Gastric Sleeve: This surgical method is applicable where all other methods fail, including diet, exercise, portion, and pills. Gastric sleeve surgery, also termed as sleeve gastrectomy, is a weight loss treatment method that involves the removal of a portion of the stomach which results in less hunger and eventually weight loss. This surgical method yields various benign benefits where patients may expect to reduce around 70 percent of their excess weight. The resulting stomach resembles a banana-shaped ‘sleeve’.
Apart from losing weight, this method also helps in reducing other health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, stroke, and infertility. During recovery, the patient may experience the symptoms of dumping syndrome such as nausea, diarrhea, faintness, and vomiting which can be recovered by using oral medications.
Note: Dumping Syndrome is a condition that occurs after weight loss surgery.
Length of stay in Hospital 4 days Operation Duration 1-3 hours Recovery Duration 2 weeks
Liposuction Surgery: Liposuction is a weight loss surgery that involves removal of excess fat from any part of the body. Several techniques are used for fat removal - laser procedure in which fat is converted into the liquid to get rid off it easily. There are other procedures as well which do not need anesthesia but only near the area where suction is required, is given anesthesia. Other procedures are ultrasonic cavitation, power assistance liposuction, and high definition liposuction. Also, note that liposuction surgery is applicable only when fat is present in particular areas of the body, not in case of excessive obesity.
What kind of preventive measures should be taken after each of these surgical procedures?
As diet regimen varies according to the individual’s need, type of treatment performed, one should follow the standard diet to get long-term, fruitful results which include:
Drink 64 ounces of fluid a day to avoid dehydration.
Eat and drink slowly and steadily
Avoid alcohol strictly
Limit your caffeine intake
Intake vitamins and minerals supplements daily as prescribed
Take proper time to chew food before gulping it down
Wait for 30 minutes after your meal to drink fluids and no fluid intake before any meal
Eat protein-rich foods daily
Consume low-fat and low-sugar foods and drinks
After surgery, the patient must follow a strict, prescribed diet to recover and adjust to a smaller size stomach.
What is the cost of weight loss surgery in Turkey?
Bariatric surgeries restrict the ability of the stomach to hold excessive food causing malabsorption of nutrients. These surgical procedures cause hormonal changes as well. While some surgical procedures are minimally invasive surgeries, some of them are performed conventionally by making larger incisions.
As Turkey is an excellent destination for weight loss surgery, it has renowned medical centers providing weight loss treatment at a price of half as compared to the UK.
Gastric Sleeve Surgery: This treatment is affordable beyond compare due to the lower cost of living in Turkey, inexpensive expenses, lesser waiting times and more. Patients traveling especially from the UK may save up to 70 percent on their weight loss treatment due to the high exchange rate of the English Pound against the Turkish Lira. Also in Turkey, there are some health insurance companies that cover weight loss treatment which is a drawback in the United Kingdom as the treatment is not covered under the National Health Service (NHS).
Also, the waiting period is longer which is up to three to four years. During this period, obesity may become serious and causes other serious health problems as well such as diabetes, heart diseases, etc. The cost of Gastric Sleeve Surgery is 6,100 USD which also includes tests, examinations, 5-night hotel stay, free airport pick & drop facility, 2-3 night hospital stay including all meals.
Gastric Bypass Surgery: Due to expensive treatment all around the world and longer waiting period, Turkey is a go-to destination for medical tourists. People travel down to Turkey for affordable and accessible weight-loss treatment and may save up to 70 percent on their treatment as compared to other western countries. Turkey has proven to be beneficial in case of affordable medical care and less waiting times.
The cost of Gastric Bypass Surgery is 7,200 USD which includes required tests, examinations, translation services, 5-night hotel stay, free airport shuttle facility, 2-3 night hospital stay with all meals.
Gastric Balloon Surgery: The cost of gastric balloon surgery varies according to the type of balloon inserted and its duration inside the stomach.
|Type of Balloon||Duration||Price|
|MedSil®||6 months||2,700 USD|
|ORBERA®||6 months||3,300 USD|
|Spatz®||12 months||3,300 USD|
Which is the best clinic for Gastric Bypass Surgery in Turkey?
First of all, Turkey offers affordable treatment for weight loss as compared to other countries:
|Gastric Bypass in Turkey||Gastric Bypass in Tunisia||Gastric Bypass in Lithuania||Gastric Bypass in Poland|
|5,300 USD||5,700 USD||6,300 USD||6,000 USD|
Following is a list of top clinics for Gastric Bypass Surgery along with their price:
|Dr. HE Obesity Clinic||5,100 USD|
|Hisar Intercontinental Hospital||5,500 USD|
|Erdem Hospital||5,400 USD|
|Yeditepe University Hospital||5,400 USD|
|Medipol Mega University Hospital||5,200 USD|
|Koc University Hospital||5,200 USD|
|Medicana International Istanbul Hospital||5,200 USD|
|Acibadem Taksim||Price on Request|
How to choose the right weight loss surgeon and clinic in Turkey?
Choosing the right treatment along with the skilled surgeon yields the right kind of results. The Turkish Ministry of Health keeps on inspecting the clinics, its cleanliness level and doctor’s license, it is somehow still better to check on your own the required criteria.
Following are some of the crucial points to look into before deciding the weight loss surgeon and clinic in Turkey:
Check whether the clinic’s accreditation has international associations such as JCI (Joint Commission International).
Check whether the clinic provides a free consultation to answer the patient’s queries which help the patient in making the right decision.
You can also check the clinic’s reputation from Google star ratings, reviews from previous patients on Google, and its catalog displaying before and after pictures.
Make sure the clinic provides follow-up care services.
Surgeons should have vast experience in their specialization.
Bariatric surgeons in Turkey are medical experts who are well-versed in performing weight loss surgeries such as gastric sleeve, gastric balloon, revised bariatric surgery and other non-surgical treatments. Also, the clinics in Turkey offers comprehensive weight loss programs that are tailored to help patients lose the required amount of weight for maintaining a healthy life.
As the cost of weight-loss surgeries in Turkey saves up to 70 percent as compared to other western countries, it is also important to follow post-operative measures for long-lasting, permanent results.