Warnings against ‘reckless’ weight loss surgery abroad
Seven English patients who went to Turkey for weight loss medical procedure passed on after tasks there, a BBC examination concerning the pattern has found.
Others have gotten back with serious medical problems subsequent to having had gastric sleeve activities, during which over 70% of the stomach is taken out.
The procedures, which are used to treat severe obesity, are performed in the UK.
But, since it can require a long time to help one through the NHS, certain individuals are looking abroad for treatment.
In recent years, advertisements on social media have contributed to the rise in interest in traveling abroad for weight loss surgery.
After seeing an online advertisement, Belfast resident Katie (not her real name) initially considered traveling to Turkey.
She had, like many others, watched “before and after” videos on social media about losing weight. Over the past three years, the TikTok hashtag #gastricsleeve has had 292 million views in the UK.
In October 2021, Katie traveled by air to undergo surgery. She claims to have been in pain shortly after the procedure, but the Turkish clinic informed her that it was just trapped gas.
Days later, she was rushed to the hospital with sepsis and pneumonia after flying home and “squealing” in pain.
Six separate cases of sepsis caused Katie to spend nearly a year in and out of the hospital. Her entire stomach had to be taken out by NHS doctors.
She claims that the procedure has made her constantly exhausted and unable to continue working as an elderly support worker.
She declares, “It’s the worst mistake I’ve ever made.” It has destroyed my life.”
Katie claims that her care and treatment were “nothing like” what she saw advertised online.
Joe Thornley, who was 25 years old, was one of them. When the police came to their house, his parents found out about his death for the first time.
Mick, Joe’s father, called the Turkish clinic after officers gave him the number.
“The doctor simply turned around and said, Oh, he had a heart attack and low blood pressure.'”
A post-mortem examination carried out after Joe’s body was brought back to the United Kingdom revealed that he had actually passed away at the site of his surgery from internal bleeding.
According to Mick, “We tried to ring the doctor back and he just refused to answer the phone, refused emails, and everything.”
According to Joe’s friends, he told them he was unhappy because he had tried everything to weight loss. His death, according to his mother, was “a nightmare.”
Weight loss surgery
Weight loss surgery is typically only available to people with a BMI of 40 or higher in the United Kingdom. A person’s BMI is determined by dividing their height by their weight using a formula. A healthy BMI is between 20 and 25.
We contacted 27 Turkish clinics to determine whether they would accept patients with a normal Body Mass Index (BMI) of between 20 and 25 for treatment.
Six of the clinics we approached were happy to perform extreme weight loss surgery on someone with a BMI of 24.5.
One said, To have sleeve surgery, you need to gain 6.7 kilograms. I believe you can easily consume some food and then easily lose weight.” Another inquired: How quickly can weight gain occur?”
The methods, according to Dr. Ahmed, are “unethical” and “reckless.”
“I’ve never encountered a situation in which someone is told to eat more to gain weight. It’s appalling.” At a normal BMI, they shouldn’t be offering any kind of surgery.”
The government advises travelers to consider the risks and requirements for aftercare, stating that it is testing new obesity treatments.
According to Dr. Ahmed, the NHS now faces the double burden of paying for obesity-related health complications and costly post-operative care due to the inability to provide this surgery.