GASTRIC SLEEVE IN TURKEY: A TO Z GUIDE ON THE EXPERIENCE, PROCESS, AND COST FOR FOREIGN PATIENTS
In recent years, getting gastric sleeve in Turkey has become extremely popular among patients who are trying to lose weight, and improve their health and overall quality of life. As there is an increasing demand for this bariatric procedure, we prepared this detailed guide for people interested in learning more about how the process works when getting gastric sleeve surgery in Turkey. We will make sure to walk you through each step and answer every question you might have. By the end of this article, you’ll know about:
- If Turkey is the right place for you to get gastric sleeve surgery,
- The steps you need to follow to get the surgery,
- How to choose the right clinic and doctor for you,
- The cost of the procedure & how it is compared to other countries.
Gastric Sleeve in Turkey
Turkey has the highest obesity rate in Europe, so a permanent solution to fix obesity is in high demand, not only from Turkish patients but from international patients too. Even though many governments agree that obesity is a public health crisis, they might not be able to provide this obesity treatment to patients who need it the most. Gastric sleeve can be a life-saving operation for those who are suffering from the worst consequences of obesity, and Turkey is a safe, affordable option for people who do not want to delay their serious health issues any longer.
Why should you consider Turkey for gastric sleeve surgery?
Even though gastric sleeve surgery seems relatively easier compared to other bariatric surgeries, it is still a significant operation. Getting your surgery in a foreign country may concern you. Many people who want to get this surgery outside their homeland, consider Turkey an option for underlying reasons such as; cost-effectiveness, successful surgeons, healthcare system, and safety.
Turkey is known for its competitive prices globally. One of the reasons for being among the most popular health tourism destinations is that Turkey is 50-60% more affordable than the US and European countries. This makes Turkey a popular destination for people who want to get safe and well-performed surgery without breaking the bank.
First Class Care
Before and after the surgery, hospitals offer patients a comfortable and private space. Skilled and professional nurses, especially after the operation, check them out to supply their needs and take care of their wounds and they are available 24/7. For gastric sleeve patients, the meals are specially prepared by the nutritionists’ guidance.
The Best Surgeons and Hospitals
As gastric sleeve is in high demand by Turkish patients first and foremost, there are a lot of great surgeons who perform gastric sleeve surgery with ample experience. In addition to this, incorporating twenty-nine Joint Commission International accredited hospitals, Turkey is the second most JCI-accredited European country.
The FDA is responsible for protecting public health by ensuring human and medical device safety, efficacy, and security. If the equipment is not FDA-approved, there is a high possibility of serious complications occurring during surgery and severe infections afterward. FDA Approved equipment is available in Turkey to ensure patient safety.
The Pros and Cons of Having Gastric Sleeve surgery in Turkey
Most people who are considering getting gastric sleeve surgery in Turkey might not have traveled to Turkey before, especially for such a life-altering procedure. Surgery is scary in itself, but we understand the concerns patients must have about this decision. Let’s list the pros and cons of gastric sleeve in Turkey to lay everything out transparently.
Attention to Detail
If you decide to get this surgery in Turkey, you’ll be amazed at the level of care you’ll be receiving. From the moment of your first consultation, till your last post-op check-in after a year, you’ll be experiencing the quality and sincerity of Turkish hospitality.
Communicating with people might be challenging if you don’t speak Turkish. However, fortunately, in most private clinics or hospitals in Turkey, translation services are available. That means you will not be having problems communicating with your doctor or other service providers. They will be happy to guide you and answer all your questions throughout the process.
No Waiting Lists
Especially when it comes to such a life-altering operation, time is essential. Especially for people who are struggling with obesity, every passing day there is a risk of a heart attack or even death. It’s crucial that patients get this life-saving surgery as soon as they can. In Turkey, patients won’t have to sit around, waiting for the day of a surgery that is long ahead.
If you decide to come to Turkey alone, you might get homesick. Surgery in itself is overwhelming, and loneliness can exacerbate that. Even though there will be staff present to help you with all your post-surgical needs, it’s a good idea to bring a friend, a partner, or a family member that can help you and accompany you during the post-op process.
A Unique Experience
Turkey is a popular tourist destination that has a combination of breathtaking natural beauty, and historical and cultural sites. This makes it so that even though most of your time will be occupied with the surgery, you won’t have a dull moment in your free time exploring the city and what is has to offer.
Sketchy Doctors & Clinics
Unfortunately, there will be people who are going to want to take advantage of your situation, and your desire to get healthier. In order to avoid getting scammed, make sure that you research your surgeon, and the agency you’ll be working with carefully.
Is it safe to have gastric sleeve surgery in Turkey?
Yes. The safety of both Turkish and international patients is of utmost importance in Turkey. The Ministry of Health inspects hospitals and clinics frequently to make sure that they are adhering to the safety standards set by them. Also, Turkey is the number 1 European country with the JCI (Joint Commission International) accredited hospitals.
In addition, patients should make sure that their doctors and the medical tourism agencies they’ll be working with hold a license from TÜRSAB. A TÜRSAB license is given by the Ministry of Health, and agencies that do not hold this license are not permitted to provide services to patients from overseas. To ensure your safety, check if your service provider has a TÜRSAB registration.
Getting Gastric Sleeve in Turkey
Now that we have learned about the basics of gastric sleeve in Turkey, let’s move on to the specifics. How can you, as a patient from overseas, can get this procedure done? We will walk you through the steps you need to follow to get this life-changing surgical procedure in Turkey.
The aim of gastric sleeve surgery is to help patients suffering from obesity, and other health issues to lose weight, and correct their eating habits, and their lifestyle overall. However, there must be some regulations in place so not everyone who wants to lose weight can get the surgery and endanger their life.
- Gastric sleeve can be performed on individuals between the ages of 18-65 on average.
- Obese patients with type 2 diabetes, other metabolic disorders, and a BMI of 30-35 can be operated on with the authority of a specialist obesity doctor.
- Patients with morbid obesity with a body mass index above 45 can get gastric sleeve, but they must go through a diet process beforehand and shrink their liver to be suitable for surgery.
- Those who have a BMI between 35-45 and have health problems such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and sleep apnea due to being overweight are also considered in the morbidly obese class and can get gastric sleeve procedure done.
İstanbul, İzmir, or Antalya for gastric sleeve?
Gastric sleeve surgery is available throughout the world and throughout Turkey. The three most popular cities for this operation are İstanbul, İzmir, and Antalya, which are the tourist hubs and vacation spots of the country. They each offer unique experiences and have pros and cons.At the end of the day, you’ll have to choose your destination based on your preferences.
İstanbul is the most populated city in Turkey, which means it also houses the most experienced surgeons performing gastric sleeve. İstanbul also houses the most advanced hospitals in the country, with state-of-the-art devices and technologies. İstanbul also has the most JCI-accredited hospitals in Turkey. The additional benefits of getting your surgery done in İstanbul are the extensive public transportation system and the rich culture in the city.
İstanbul’s public transportation system makes it very easy to commute in the city, most touristy, cultural destinations are located very close to train stations. Taxis are also available, but we recommend tourists either use the subway or hire private transportation services to get around in their spare time. Istanbul is one of the oldest cities still standing, and it has countless cultural, historical, and architectural marvels to be witnessed, from Hagia Sophia to the Blue Mosque. We strongly recommend that you visit some of these cultural landmarks before you leave.
Although the gastric sleeve prices are a little higher in İzmir, you may not find the modernity of hospitals in İstanbul. In addition, there will not be as many options as in İstanbul for highly-skilled bariatric surgeons and healthcare teams as the population is not as dense. There are only 3 JCI accredited hospitals in İzmir, so your options are limited.
İzmir also houses an extensive public transportation web, but it might be a little difficult to grasp on your first visit. Located on the Western shore of the country, İzmir is an ancient city. The most famous landmarks are the ancient city of Ephesus and the Agora open-air museum. If you’re a fan of antiquity, İzmir is definitely a great option for travel.
Antalya is the smallest among the cities, and it’s the least populated one. Still, it’s one of Turkey’s largest cities. Due to the population, you won’t have many choices if you want to get your operation done in Antalya. Also, Antalya doesn’t have any JCI-accredited hospitals available.
Antalya is one of the most popular destinations in the Mediterranean, both for locals and tourists. It’s the perfect vacation spot for the best summer experience. Antalya is famous for its beautiful beaches, and nightlife. Antalya also houses iconic historical sites like the Temple of Apollo and the Aspendos Theater.
Choosing the Best Gastric Sleeve Surgeon in Turkey
Choosing your surgeon carefully is a crucial step. It is their skill and experience that will provide you with the results you desire, and will ensure your safety. By following the steps mentioned below, you can be assured that you will find the best doctor for you.
- Researching your Surgeon’s Credentials: Surgeons should have enough training, skills, and experience to provide a successful operation. Most general surgeons in Turkey are technically ‘certified’ to conduct this procedure, but it’s not the best option. Make sure that your surgeon specializes in weight loss surgeries to avoid any problems that might occur.
- Considering the Surgeon’s Experience: The more experienced your surgeon is, the better your results will likely be. According to FASMBS (Fellow of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery), bariatric surgeons must perform at least 25 successful surgeries in a year. (1). So do not hesitate to ask your doctor how many surgeries they perform in a month, or in a year.
- Researching Hospital Quality: The facilities where the patient will undergo surgery should also be taken into consideration. Hospitals and clinics should benefit from the latest technology to get good treatment and provide a clean environment with a comforting atmosphere. They should incorporate well-trained and helpful health care members. You may check the hospital’s website to see the rooms you will rest in. Also, you may search for hospital reviews online.
- Reading Patient Reviews: It is demanding to understand a patient’s overall care experience without reviews or feedback. They represent how patients feel about the services. Reading patient reviews will be a good idea if you want to learn more about a surgeon and how they practice medicine. It’s also useful when trying to evaluate the overall quality of care you’ll be receiving. Make sure that you are reading verified reviews from websites like Trustpilot and look for not only positive reviews but negative reviews too.
Which doctors can perform gastric sleeve surgery in Turkey?
In Turkey, all weight loss surgeries are performed by general surgery specialists. Although a general surgery specialty seems sufficient to perform a gastric sleeve procedure, unfortunately, this is wrong in practice. General surgery specialty is a challenging process that takes five years for a doctor to complete. And even after that, there is no guarantee that they will be good ad performing gastric sleeve surgery.
For this reason, you must find a surgeon who specializes in bariatric surgeries, and mostly or only performs these surgeries.
How to Book a Consultation
At Arpanu Medical, we value your time and make it super easy and quick to book a free consultation. After you fill out the contact form below, one of our medical consultants who speak your native language fluently will reach out to you in no time. You can discuss your current medical conditions, ask and answer your questions about the surgery, get a quotation, and can start planning your journey in no time. Our team will take care of your every need from the instructions on the pre-op diet, to arranging your surgery, your transfer, and accommodation. All that there’s left for you to do is book your flight. Just in the last year, we helped over a thousand patients start their journey toward a healthier life, and we would like to be a part of your journey too.
Sharing Your Medical History
Patients need to share their medical history so the medical staff can ensure the safety of the patient before, during, and after the surgery. If the medical staff is informed of your diet history, allergies, prescriptions, current and past conditions, previous surgeries, etc. they will be able to come up with the safest treatment plan for you.
For how long do I have to stay in Turkey?
Your stay in Turkey for gastric sleeve will last about 7 days. Patients need to arrive at least 2 days before the surgery date so the pre-op tests can be performed properly. After surgery patients need to stay in Turkey for a few more days until the immediate post-op period has passed.
How long will I be in the hospital?
For vertical sleeve gastrectomy, the patients are usually hospitalized for 2-3 days after the operation. During their stay, patients will be under the monitoring of doctors and nurses, and they will be provided with the necessary medications such as painkillers and antibiotics.
Can a family member or a friend come with me?
Yes. We know that gastric sleeve is a life-altering, intense surgery. We believe having a trusted companion next to you like a partner, family member, or a close friend throughout this surgery process for both physical and emotional support can help you a lot.
When can I go back home?
Patients who had gastric sleeve surgery can go back to their homes around 4-5 days after the operation. It’s essential that patients do not go back home immediately after the surgery, as if any post-op complications were to occur, they can be dealt with at the hospital, immediately.
Is it safe to fly after the surgery?
Yes. It is safe to get on a plane and fly to your home country since you have passed the immediate post-op healing process. However, if you have any questions about your safety, you can a fit-to-fly report from your doctor, which informs the airline staff that you have gone under surgery recently, and they can prepare for your needs in case of an emergency.
Cost of Gastric Sleeve in Turkey
It’s a well-known fact that the most common reason why people choose Turkey to get gastric sleeve surgery is the cost. In addition to the previously mentioned benefits like not having to deal with a waiting list, tourist attractions, etc, Turkey offers the most competitive prices in the entire world for this operation.
How much does it cost to have gastric sleeve surgery in Turkey?
So, how much does the treatment actually cost? To highlight the competitive prices in Turkey, we came up with average price ranges where sleeve gastrectomy surgery is performed frequently, and where most of our patients travel from.
The price range for Turkey is based on all-inclusive package deals, including accommodation.
The price range for Europe and Mexico is based on package deals, excluding accommodation.
Prices for the US and the UK are based on only the cost of the surgery and do not include anesthesia, hospital stay, consultations, etc.
As you can see, getting gastric sleeve in Turkey can be up to 85% more affordable compared to other countries.
|Average Price in Turkey||Average Price in the USA||Average Price in the UK||Average Price in Europe||Average Price in Mexico|
Why is gastric sleeve so affordable in Turkey?
With these affordable prices, you might have some doubts about the quality of the procedure you’ll be receiving. As we explained previously, Turkey is a completely safe destination for your medical needs. The affordable prices in Turkey emerged as a result of highly specific circumstances.
First of all, the exchange rate of the Turkish lira is the main reason why these procedures are so affordable for foreign patients. Second, Turkey is a tourism hub, and the government recognizes it. The government invests heavily in medical tourism to encourage the growth of the sector, and in turn, medical tourism agencies, hospitals, and clinics are able to offer highly competitive prices for patients without compromising safety, security, and efficacy.
Can insurance cover gastric sleeve in Turkey?
Most probably not. Most insurance plans do not cover surgeries performed overseas. Even if you get specific travel health insurance before coming to Turkey, it won’t cover non-emergency surgeries for you. You can still check in with your insurance company, just to make sure if they would cover this surgery. However, problems with insurance companies are one of the reasons why people choose Turkey in the first place; Turkey is much more affordable even if your insurance plan covers a big chunk of the fees.
Is there an all-inclusive gastric sleeve package you offer?
Yes. At Arpanu Medical, we take care of everything for our patients, so they can be comfortable and avoid stress during such a transformation. We will make sure that every step of your trip is planned well in advance so all there’s left for you to do is book your flight. Our all-inclusive gastric sleeve surgery package includes:
- VIP Transfer between the hotel and the clinic, airport pick-up/drop-off
- 7-night hotel accommodation, 2-night hospital stay
- Consultation and pre-ops tests
- Surgery and anesthesia
- Medications and supplements
- Supplies (shaker, compression stockings, spirometer, etc.)
- Post-op checkups by the physician for 1 year via WhatsApp
- Post-op dietitian support for 1 year via WhatsApp
- Access to our patient support group on Facebook
Will there be any additional charges?
No. At Arpanu Medical, we value transparency. We openly lay out which expenses are covered in our packages, and which ones are not. We do not want our patients to be surprised by any expenses, and we do not want to take advantage of their already stressful situation. Now, some additional expenses might come up if emergency intervention is needed. However, we inform our patients before any expense that is not included in our packages and ask for their explicit consent. Without explicit consent present, we do not bring up any additional charges.
Payment Methods for Gastric Sleeve in Turkey
In Turkey, various payment methods are available for patients’ convenience. However, not every clinic or medical tourism agency will offer them all. To avoid any miscommunication, do not forget to ask which payment methods they accept. Turkish clinics can also ask for a down payment, as they need to have some sort of confirmation that you’ll follow through with the process, which will either be counted into your total payment, or you can get it back if you were to let your service provider know in 30 days in advance (duration may vary).
- Cash: Cash is the most common option. You can draw money from the banks in Turkey, or bring cash from overseas. You can make payments in Dollars, Euros, or Pounds.
- Credit: If you are concerned about carrying too much cash, you can make the payment using your credit card. But make sure that your bank allows you to use it overseas, and the limit matches the fee of the surgery.
- Online payment: You can also make your payment online before you come to Turkey so you don’t have to deal with the payment process while here.
- Financing: Some clinics provide financing; however, to finance payments in Turkey, patients must have a Turkish bank account, and the bank must authorize the financing option. Most patients prefer to avoid this option to avoid dealing with banks.
You’ve made it to the end of our guide about sleeve gastrectomy surgery in Turkey. We hope you found it helpful. The problems you may face like financial troubles, not getting the information you need or poor medical services should not get ahead of your health. We are here to help you complete your treatment journey. In short:
- Turkey offers great medical care and treatment with professional doctors and medical teams and is one of the best options compared to Europe and the USA in terms of affordability and service quality.
- Offering top-notch hospitality, excellent medical care, and incredible travel opportunities, you will have an unforgettable experience as well as getting your treatment to finally get rid of excess weight and kickstart your new, healthy lifestyle.
- There are excellent medical travel agencies to help you during your life-changing adventure from planning to booking, and they will take care of your every need throughout the process.
So, if you’re considering having a gastric sleeve in Istanbul, Turkey, contact us for a free consultation today. Our medical consultants will reach out to you within minutes in your native language, and you’ll receive your treatment plan and travel arrangements as soon as possible.
We wish to see you in Turkey soon to witness your incredible transformation!