Doctor-Approved Tips If You’re Traveling for Bariatric Surgery

Doctor-Approved Tips If You're Traveling for Bariatric Surgery

Making the decision to travel outside of your local area for any medical care can give you pause. The first step is always to ensure the location offers quality care and that you are fully aware of the risks and limitations of that care. Yet, when you know the facility offers the necessary procedures with the highest standards of care, you should feel more comfortable with the process. The fact is that traveling for bariatric surgery is doable, reliable, safe, and effective.

To make it a success, you do need to take a few steps to ensure you are fully protected. Being your own advocate is at the start of this process. Then, consider applying these steps to the process.

Give Yourself Time to Recover

When you are traveling out of the country (or a long distance within it), it is critical to provide enough time for yourself to heal before you try to hop on a plane or take a long bus ride. There are some procedures that need just a weekend away, but for bariatric surgery, it’s often best to give yourself more time, usually 7 to 10 days when possible. Talk to your doctor about any travel restrictions based on the specific types of care you are seeking.

Take Help with You

Don’t try to navigate the process on your own. If you cannot travel with anyone else, utilize a recovery house close to the bariatric treatment center that will provide you with hands-on help immediately after the procedure. You’ll appreciate the hands-on support during those first few days.

Related: Benefits of Bringing a Companion for Bariatric Surgery in Mexico

Know the Travel Risks

Choose to visit an area that is as close to home as possible, even when traveling out of the country. Learn as much as you can about the area and abide by any travel advisories in place. If you are going to Mexico for bariatric surgery, for example, choose destinations closer to the border in areas renowned for their security and quality medical care.

Take Your Medications with You

Before you leave for your trip, talk to your doctor about any medications you may need. In many situations, you will need to turn to a local pharmacy to fill those medications before you travel. Doing this helps ensure quality and can minimize any risk of flying with prescription medications (keep them in the bottle and be sure your name is clearly listed on them).

Learn About Travel Restrictions

Where you visit for bariatric surgery will also play a role in the decisions you make. For example, if you are going to a country that requires a visa for all American tourists, obtain it before trying to enter the country. While you are going to these locations to secure exceptional medical care, you still need to be sure you’re not violating any type of tourism visa requirements that could halt the process.

Related: Travel Guide to Mexico for Bariatric Surgery

Do Your Research

It goes without saying that you need to learn as much as you can about the medical providers and the procedures they are offering for you. Speak to people upfront, host a video call, and get all of your questions answered. Then, do even more research, including in the following areas:

  • Determine what type of accreditation the provider has.
  • Ensure that the location itself meets all expected healthcare standards (in Mexico, many healthcare standards present are the same as in the US)
  • Ensure the bariatric surgeons have the most advanced training and education. Are they using the most up-to-date equipment and methods?
  • Learn about the services provided, including what the day of the procedure will be like. The more information you have on this area, the better since you can then plan to meet your needs.

Related: How to Verify Your Credential for Bariatric Surgery

Always communicate any concerns you have with the medical providers. Chances are good you are not the only patient who has flown in to get this care.

When choosing a bariatric surgery destination, always take the time to read the good and bad. Find out what the location expects you to do, such as what the costs are, what type of support you will need, and how long you will remain in the country. The more data you have, the better this decision can be for you.

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