Weight Loss Surgery in Turkey

Last Modified: August 21, 2020  |   Created on: August 21, 2020
General Surgery, Weight Loss

Obesity is becoming a concerning health problem for many people. With rise in sedentary lifestyle and bad eating habits, more people are falling prey to this condition. Excessive weight has also been associated with several other medical problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep anea. 

Early management and obesity treatment can help patients maintain a good quality of life, reduce the risk of other conditions and prevent severe serious health issues. Surgery for treatment is generally considered when people with morbid obesity have related health conditions and fail to show any significant improvement with dieting, exercises and other non-invasive methods of weight loss. 

There are various kinds of weight loss surgeries and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. (To know more, read ‘Comparative guide to bariatric surgery’

weight-loss-surgery-Turkey

Weight loss surgery: An overview

Bariatric surgery, commonly known as weight loss surgery, is a term for a group of medical procedures that aim to help people with obesity issues lose excess body weight. It can not only help people with weight loss but also improve obesity related health problems such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. As it is a major procedure and carries certain risks, surgery is considered after careful medical evaluation. A person usually tries other less invasive weight loss methods such as healthy diet and physical activities. 

Different types of bariatric surgeries help a person lose weight in different ways, such as by altering the digestive tract and system or use medical devices to making changes in the stomach. Certain bariatric surgeries involve making the stomach smaller, restricting the amount of food the person eats and drinks at one time and making them feel full sooner. These surgeries may cause gastric restriction or malabsorption of nutrients, or by a combination of both.

Types of bariatric surgery

Based on the method of weight loss, many types of bariatric surgeries are available: 

Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band

In this bariatric procedure, a medical device known as gastric band in the form of a ring is placed around the top of part of the stomach to create a small pouch. The band is inflatable and adjustable. It makes the patient feel full sooner and after eating a small amount of food than before. The band comprises an inflatable circular balloon inside filled with saline (salt) solution. 

The size the opening from the pouch to the rest of the stomach can be adjusted by injecting or removing the saline solution through a port, a small device placed under the skin during the surgery.

After the procedure, the doctor will schedule certain follow-up visits to make adjustments to the size of the band opening. The procedure is reversible, which means if the band is causing any problem or not helping with enough weight loss, it can be removed through a surgical procedure. 

Gastric Sleeve

Gastric sleeve or vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery is also a widely performed bariatric procedure. In this, a majority part of the stomach is removed, and only a banana-shaped section or sleeve of the remaining stomach is left which is closed with staples. 

This surgery also restricts the amount of food that can the stomach can hold, leading the patient to feel full sooner than before, i.e. with less amount of food. Removing a part of the stomach may also affect certain gut hormones or factors such as gut bacteria that play a role in enhancing appetite and metabolism. This is not a reversible surgery as it involves permanently removal of some part of the stomach.

Gastric Bypass

One of the most common weight loss surgery is gastric bypass procedure, also known as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. It comprises two parts. In the first part, the surgeon divides the stomach and creates a small pouch in the upper section of the stomach using staples. 

This results in restriction of amount of food the stomach can hold, making a person eat less and feel full sooner. In the next part, the surgeon removes a section of small intestine and attaches the small stomach pouch directly to the lower part of intestine. This results in a bypass for passage of food through most of the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine. It causes the body to absorb fewer calories than before the surgery. 

As the bypassed section is still attached to a part of the stomach, digestive juices can move from the stomach and pass through the first part of the small intestine into the lower part to aid in digestion. The bypass may also affect the gut hormones, bacteria, and other factors that affect appetite and metabolism of the person. 

Duodenal Switch

The biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch, or simply called duodenal switch is a complex surgical procedure. This duodenal switch surgery involves two separate procedures. In the first, a small section of stomach is created, similar to that made in the gastric sleeve surgery, while in the second surgery, a bypass is created to redirect the food from most of the small intestine. 

The bypassed section is reattached to the last part of the small intestine, which enables the digestive juices to mix with food and allow proper breakdown of nutrients. This surgery can help a person lose more weight than the other three, but there are more risks and complications involves. 

The patient is more likely to have surgery-related problems and a deficiency of vitamins, minerals, and protein in the body due to their malabsorption. Therefore, it is important that the patients are carefully evaluated and selected for the surgery and to have success results.

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Bariatric surgery in Turkey

Turkey is a popular name in the sector of healthcare and offers a wide range of medical procedures. Bariatric surgery in Turkey is a successful treatment for obesity. There are many top-rated hospitals across the major cities, such as Istanbul, Konya, Anatolia and more, where these procedures are offered. 

The Obesity Units of the top Turkey hospitals work on a multidisciplinary approach and ensures that the patients receive the best type of treatment for their condition. A team of bariatric surgeon and other specialists work together with experts from different departments, including Nutrition and Dietetics, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, and Psychiatry departments. 

They consider the patient’s history of previous weight loss attempts and medical reports before determining and recommending the most suitable type of bariatric surgery for the individual. Apart from personalized treatment and compassionate care, patients can expect high standard of quality and safety the best weight loss surgery hospitals in Turkey. 

Another important advantage of choosing this country for the treatment is the cost-effective healthcare packages. The cost of bariatric surgery in Turkey is highly affordable, compared to several other countries, especially the Western nations. This benefits the international patients as they can save a significant amount of money on an equally goos quality of treatment. 

The overall weight loss surgery cost in Turkey may vary depending on several factors, including:

  • Type of surgery
  • Technique used for the surgery
  • Choice of hospital/clinic (location and accreditations)
  • Surgeon’s experience
  • Required length of stay in the hospital and country
  • Room category

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Who is suitable for a bariatric surgery?

Weight loss surgery is recommended for people who have:

  • A body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above, or a BMI of 35 to 40 with an obesity-related health issue that may improve with appropriate weight lost, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure
  • Tried all non-surgical weight loss methods, including dieting and exercise, but failed to lose significant weight or struggle to keep the weight off
  • Poor commitment to long-term follow-up post surgery, such as making healthy lifestyle choices and keeping regular check-ups. 

Not everyone is suitable for bariatric surgeries, and it is usually recommended after complete medical evaluation to determine if there is a serious health risk to the patient. It is not considered as a cosmetic procedure as it carries some potential risks and complications.

For specific procedures: 

Gastric Bypass

The gastric bypass surgery is a suitable option for people who have body mass index of 40 or higher, or 35-40 with health issues. In some rare cases, the surgery can be considered when a person has severe health issues but BMI of 30 to 34. Also, a suitable candidate for gastric bypass have not undergone any previous stomach or oesophageal surgery. 

Biliopancreatic Diversion With Duodenal Switch (BPD/DS)

This surgery is generally performed when the person has a high risk of potentially life-threatening medical conditions associated with obesity, including:

  • Cardiac or vascular disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High level of cholesterol
  • Severe case of sleep apnea
  • Stroke 
  • Infertility 

It is not suitable for every person who suffers from obesity. A proper screening process is conducted to assess a person’s eligibility for this surgery.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

Other than normal eligibility conditions for BMI, in some rare cases, this procedure can also be considered for people who have severe health issues even if the BMI is 30 to 34. 

Risks of weight loss surgery

As with every type of operation, weight loss surgery is also associated with some risks and potential complications. Particular risks depend on the type of bariatric surgery performed. These include:

  • Excess folds of skin left which may need further surgery for their remove 
  • Malnutrition – deficiency of vitamins and minerals as they can’t be absorbed due to some bariatric procedures. However, this can be managed by taking supplements for the rest of life after surgery
  • Gallstones: small, hard stones in the gallbladder
  • Deep vein thrombosis – a blood clot in the leg 
  • Pulmonary embolism in the lungs 
  • Slippage of the gastric band from its place or food leakage from the connection between the stomach and small intestine. The gut may become blocked or narrowed

Before the surgery, the surgeon will discuss all the benefits, risks and post-surgical precaution related to the procedure.

Life after bariatric surgery

Bariatric procedures in properly selected patients can help achieve dramatic weight loss, but it’s important to keep in mind that it is not a magic cure for obesity. The patient must follow the instructions and take precautions as recommended by the doctor. It requires a hearty commitment to making permanent lifestyle changes post operatively to avoid regaining the weight.

Some lifestyle changes that may help the patient include:

  • Eating a healthy diet. Initially the patient is on a liquid or soft food diet for a few weeks after surgery. Gradually a normal balanced diet will be started as per the dietician’s recommendation and continued for lifetime. 
  • Regular exercises after recovery from the surgery. The doctor will help you to start an exercise plan and it has to be continued for life
  • Schedule regular follow-up appointments to keep a check on patient’s health after surgery 
  • It is usually advised for women to avoid pregnancy during the first 12 to 18 months after weight loss surgery.
  • Taking supplements as recommended by the doctor is also important to maintain a healthy life. Patients may need to take daily supplements lifelong. These usually include Multivitamin, Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron, and Vitamin B12. 

The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) has specific guideline about the recommended doses, but the dietitian may prescribe them specifically for the individual. 

  • It is highly recommended avoiding smoking to lower the risk of complications associated with weight-loss surgery. The bariatric surgery program will recommend the patient quit smoking or using chewing tobacco before the surgery. It is best if it continued later as well.
Dr. Suneet Singh

Written By Dr. Suneet Singh

Dr. Suneet is a doctor-turned-Hospital Administrator with a rich 12 years plus multi-faceted experience in the field of operations management, Corporate and Public Health Administration. Formerly a practicing doctor, Dr. Suneet holds a post-graduate degree in Hospital and Healthcare management from one of the country's esteemed Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)
Dr. Surbhi Suden

Verified By Dr. Surbhi Suden

Dr. Surbhi Suden is one of the founders of Lyfboat and a doctor with a renowned name in the Medical tourism industry. She has been working with international patients since 2008 and is a deeply committed professional with a long term vision of transforming the current healthcare scenarios.

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Dr. Suneet Singh

Written By Dr. Suneet Singh

Dr. Suneet is a doctor-turned-Hospital Administrator with a rich 12 years plus multi-faceted experience in the field of operations management, Corporate and Public Health Administration. Formerly a practicing doctor, Dr. Suneet holds a post-graduate degree in Hospital and Healthcare management from one of the country's esteemed Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)
Dr. Surbhi Suden

Verified By Dr. Surbhi Suden

Dr. Surbhi Suden is one of the founders of Lyfboat and a doctor with a renowned name in the Medical tourism industry. She has been working with international patients since 2008 and is a deeply committed professional with a long term vision of transforming the current healthcare scenarios.
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