Bariatric Care
Bariatric Care


The life-altering process of bariatric surgery, aka weight loss operation, is a trending procedure against severe obesity. Nevertheless, in countries such as the UK, Australia, or the US, it may be unaffordable to some people. But wait a minute! If you decide to undergo your surgical operation abroad, the cost can be considerably reduced even though you spend on flight charges.

Considering Weight Loss Surgery Abroad: A Wise Move?

It will be hard for you to decide whether or not to have bariatric surgery in a foreign country. To ease you with this choice, here are some compelling reasons why many people have chosen such a way:

1. Easier Eligibility

In the USA and Canada, people must meet strict requirements before they can be considered for weight loss surgery: a body mass index of over 40 or between 35 and 40 accompanied by any related medical complications is still acceptable.

Nonetheless, if one has had drug addiction problems in the past, as well as lung diseases running in the family, then they may not qualify for bariatric surgery. This leaves many more patients wanting it but being unsuited.

Unlike strict eligibility rules used in North America and Canada, medical tourism abroad accommodates more when it comes to qualification criteria, making it possible for more individuals to obtain life-changing surgical interventions.

2. Free Online Consultations

While consultations are costly in North America, most popular destinations for medical tourism offer them free of charge. It means that there is no financial burden on top of having an individualized plan for surgical operation.

3. Cost-Effective Option

However, apart from initial consulting, which is offered free of charge, the total cost of surgery would also be much less in abroad destinations. This is not because they use outdated equipment or lack skills; conversely, countries like India, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Turkey boast some of the best surgeons globally, and their operating rooms are equipped with cutting-edge technology and advanced machines.

The cheapness arises from lower living costs observed within these nations. For instance, gastric bypass surgery that costs around $23,000 in the US is only about \$6,400 in Mexico. In Turkey, the price can be as low as \$5,000.

Now, let’s talk money.

Costs of Weight Loss Surgery

On average, gastric sleeve surgery costs around $5,000 in Mexico. Meanwhile, the very same procedure can range anywhere from $10,000 to $27,000 across the border. Here is a rough comparison of how much weight loss surgeries cost in various countries:


Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Gastric Bypass Surgery

United States






Costa Rica












Note: Costs are subject to change.

The main reason why going abroad for your surgery saves you so much money is because it’s simply cheaper to perform these operations in these countries. It's more like getting a discount on your health! 

Turkey offers the cheapest gastric sleeve and bypass surgeries worldwide. This is quite surprising, considering that Europe (where Turkey lies) has the highest medical costs out of any continent. However, their rates remain low thanks to a government-private sector partnership. Mexico comes in second place with relatively cheap prices, too; its proximity to the U.S. also helps you save on travel expenses.

For anybody interested solely in weight loss surgery, know this: The average cost for bypass surgery is roughly $16,600. If you’d prefer a gastric sleeve procedure, it’ll be about $12,500.

India, Costa Rica, and Spain are also good options if you want high-quality results without breaking the bank. Although they aren’t as budget-friendly as Turkey and Mexico, many consider them to be home to some of the world’s top surgeons.

Types of Weight Loss Surgeries

Different surgeries work better for certain patients, depending on their needs. Some procedures only require balloons or no incisions at all! However, it may be best to listen to what your doctor thinks during your consultation; they will know exactly what suits you best.

  1. Gastric Sleeve

Doctors usually recommend this operation for individuals with a BMI over 40. It involves removing about 80% of your stomach, leaving behind just a small pouch connected directly to your small intestine in order to decrease food consumption and promote weight loss.

  1. Bypass Surgery

Bypass surgery follows a similar process to gastric sleeve surgery. However, this time, the intestine is attached to the upper part of your stomach. The surgery also generally takes longer than a gastric sleeve. Doctors only perform bypass surgeries on patients with a BMI over 35.

  1. Lap Band

Unlike gastric sleeve and bypass surgeries that remove part of your stomach, lap band surgery makes it smaller by placing a silicone band around its upper section. This procedure is suitable for reducing hunger and aiding weight loss.

  1. Bariatric Balloon

This surgery works best for patients with a BMI between 30 and 35. Doctors place a silicone balloon inside your stomach and fill it with saline so you feel full after eating less food.

Choosing Your Country

When trying to decide which country to have your weight loss surgery in, keep these factors in mind:

  1. Affordability:
    1. The cost of bariatric surgery varies significantly across countries. Americans, Canadians, Australians, and Europeans can save up to 70% by having the surgery in countries like India, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Turkey.
    2. Affordable prices make these countries attractive options for individuals who cannot afford the procedure in their home country.
  2. Availability: Health insurance companies often cover bariatric surgery only if it is deemed “medically necessary.” However, many people face availability issues in their home country. Bariatric surgery abroad provides an alternative without the need for medical insurance. Numerous clinics and hospitals offer the procedure, giving patients a wide choice.
  3. Safety of destination: Participating in destination care programs for bariatric surgery has been found to be both safe and feasible. Choosing accredited medical facilities and experienced surgeons minimizes risks. Envoy health promotes medical tourism and prioritizes patient safety while adhering to international standards.
  4. Healthcare quality: Bariatric surgery centers in these countries maintain high standards of healthcare quality. Surgeons are well-trained, and hospitals invest in state-of-the-art equipment. Medical tourists receive personalized care and attention throughout their journey.
  5. Efficacy:
    1. Bariatric surgery abroad is equally effective as surgery performed in the home country. Surgeons follow the same surgical steps with minor variations.
    2. Whether in Turkey, Thailand, Germany, or the United States, the goal remains significant and sustainable weight loss.

Mexico: Mexico’s medical system receives significant annual investments, and many doctors there have studied abroad in countries such as the U.S. So, if cost is one of your primary concerns, this might be where you want to go. Bypass surgery costs about $6,400 in Mexico, while the same operation could set you back $23,000 across the border.

India: You wouldn’t expect many people to travel halfway across the world for an operation; however, thousands do just that every year by flying into India. It has some of the top surgeons and doctors worldwide while maintaining a meager cost of living, meaning you’ll get more for your money. Gastric sleeve typically costs between $6,000 to $7,000 in India, while bypass will set you back about $7,500 to $8,000.

Spain: Spain is known for its medical facilities and has been compared to a spa in terms of comfort and care. Their global hospitality and comprehensive services are unmatched. Despite being in Europe, where medical costs can be pretty high, Spain’s rates are actually similar to those in Costa Rica – which has one of the lowest costs on earth! Spain’s low cost of living pairs nicely with their committed spending on healthcare (over 6% of GDP). It’s no wonder they’re such a popular destination!

Turkey: Turkey usually lands a spot in the top medical tourist spots, and it greets a considerable amount of international patients annually. Its location at the crossroads of Europe makes it even more appealing. For Americans who are looking for weight loss surgery, Turkey provides them with competitive prices: around $4,650 for gastric sleeve surgery and roughly $5,000 for bypass surgery.

Costa Rica: Medical tourists from North America will favor Costa Rica because of its proximity. 6%-8% of the people who visit Costa Rica go there for medical purposes. If you want to keep your travel time to a minimum, gastric sleeves in Costa Rica cost around $12,650, while bypass surgeries range at about $14,900.

Renowned Hospitals Overseas for Bariatric Surgery

Hospital Clinica Biblica

Located in San Jose, Costa Rica - the Envoy Health has recognized this private hospital as an establishment that excels in a series of surgeries, including gastric sleeve and bypass.

Max Hospitals

Max Hospitals is India’s premier healthcare provider, which offers access to 16 facilities with over 3000 doctors and around 3400 beds that cater to all sorts of medical demands.

Distinguished International Bariatric Surgeons

Dr. Guillermo Lopez

A board-certified Mexican surgeon who has done weight loss surgeries (WLS) for almost 40 years with over 5000 successful procedures under his belt.

Dr. Hector Perez

A general surgeon certified in Mexico who has conducted more than 3,000 weight-loss surgeries throughout his career that span over two decades.

Dr. Galileo Villareal

Dr. Villareal is certified by the Mexican Council of General Surgery after completing more than four thousand surgeries with less than one percent complication rate.

Dr. Luis Cazares

Having specialized in gastric sleeve surgery, Dr. Cazares has been doing the procedure for 11 years, and he’s already performed it on more than 3,000 patients.

Post-Surgery Follow-Up from Home

To ensure a successful recovery, it’s crucial to undergo follow-up consultations with your surgeon after bariatric surgery. This can quickly be done through video calls. Check this schedule for a typical follow-up:

1. Two-week and four-week consultations post-discharge.

2. After the four-week check-up, there is a possibility that you may be allowed to return home already.

3. Surgeon availability for phone or video consultations if you have any concerns between the dates.

4. A three-month follow-up appointment aimed at general assessment.

5. Lastly, six to nine months of body measurements and dietary consultations to ensure that your nutrition is on the right track.


Opting to undergo weight loss surgery overseas can save you an immense amount of money - possibly thousands of dollars! - but it also provides you with an opportunity for an affordable and unforgettable adventure. However, thorough research about reputable hospitals should still be conducted before jumping into the decision, as different countries vary in their medical capabilities. As previously stated, we’d gladly guide you through all of this information if you decide to make a call with us!

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