There is no doubt that the cost of bands, sleeves and bypass operations on the Continent and overseas is generally lower than the UK. There are many reasons why this is possible, however the important ones need to be mentioned.

When looking at a service, please read the fine print, as most of these centres will exclude the cost of what I consider to be essential backup services such as a blood transfusion or a stay in Intensive Care. If you are unfortunate to require such extra measures following an operation the headline advertised surgery figure quickly escalates to a figure much higher than packages offered by providers in the UK which encompass all the services mentioned above and more. This extra buffer is included in the package prices by UK providers as it is inherently linked to a safe service for individuals.

The other main reason why overseas providers are able to undercut their prices, is because their insurance costs are much lower or perhaps non-existent, whereas Healthcare in the UK is tightly regulated for the benefit of patients who have well established rights of redress when things go wrong as their providers are fully insured.

Last but not least, long term follow up after weight loss surgery is essential to achieve the best results. In case of bands, frequent adjustments are required to reach the “sweet spot”. Sleeve and bypass operations need nutritional monitoring and dietician input amongst other things. Overseas providers leave it to the individual to sort out their own follow up and if they do offer follow up, frequent travel costs need to be factored in to the headline figure or else the initial price may prove to be a false economy.