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Home 9 The Health Store Handbook 9 11 Checks for Safe & Reputable Gastric Sleeve Surgery

11 Checks for Safe & Reputable Gastric Sleeve Surgery

July 29, 2022 | Sponsored by The Health Store Turkey

If you’re considering travelling abroad for gastric sleeve surgery, it’s imperative to review these simple but very effective checks to ensure that you’re choosing a legitimate, safe provider abroad.

As with all elective surgical procedures, there are known risks and we have seen a significant rise in the number of unlicensed ‘rogue operators’ targeting the Irish public, making the selection process potentially riskier than the surgery itself.

1. Information should not be withheld until after you pay a deposit.

No money should be paid until you have all the information you require as you may not be entitled to a refund later. If you are being harassed to book and pay a deposit after making an enquiry or the hospital or agency is pushing a ‘special offer’ or ‘limited availability’ as an incentive to book, be careful. You should be given time to consider your options and never be harassed to book a surgery.

2. Check the company is a registered medical tourism agency in Turkey and the hospital along with the Doctor has a medical tourism license and insurance.

Many companies and individuals are not registered to book or arrange surgeries in Turkey and not all hospitals are licensed to work with foreign patients . This means you cannot expect that the standard of service set by the Turkish Government is being met nor are you covered by Turkish legislation or insurance.

The Health Store Turkey

3. Confirm with the booking agent that you will have a translator by your side at all times while at the hospital.

Some agencies and hospitals will include a translator but rarely it’s 24/7. The Health Store Turkey ensures that you have access to a translator 24/7 as you never know when you might need something from a non-English speaker and you need to be certain that you’ll be properly understood at all times. Ask the booking agent to confirm this in writing before you book.

4. Check that the company has local offices you can visit or company employees who can come and visit you in your own country.

This gives reassurance that the company is accessible and will not disappear at short notice. Ask for the nearest office/agent’s location. There should be someone who’s accessible in your country on a permanent basis like our coordinators. It is important for continuity of care and ease of access if required. Ask the agency or hospital to confirm this in advance.

The Health Store Turkey

5. Confirm with the booking agent that you will have a translator by your side at all times while at the hospital.

Some agencies and hospitals will include a translator but rarely it’s 24/7. The Health Store Turkey ensures that you have access to a translator 24/7 as you never know when you might need something from a non-English speaker and you need to be certain that you’ll be properly understood at all times. Ask the booking agent to confirm this in writing before you book.

6. Don’t just go with a friend's suggestion. Do your own research.

Your friend may not have completed the correct checks. Your requirements and standards may be different from theirs. Visit the company’s Google business listing, Facebook page and independent review websites and read the reviews there. Read each review carefully paying special attention to the negative feedback. How did the company respond? Was the complainant's issue addressed to their satisfaction?

7. Ask the agent how many surgeries are being carried out daily in the hospital.

This is important to ensure the theatre is not overused and enough time is given between procedures for cleaning and preparation and to ensure that staff are not overworked or tired when performing your surgery. A good rule of thumb is 4 – 5 surgeries per day for a Gastric Sleeve per surgeon. Be wary of any surgeries taking place outside of working hours, i.e. between 19:00 in the evening and 08:00 in the morning.

8. Ask the hospital what brand of materials are being used.

This ensures that the equipment used is of good quality, carries kite marks and is traceable in case of a product recall. It is recommended to ask if you will get the labels / barcodes of the materials used after your surgery is done and if the equipment used during surgery is utilised according to the manufacturer's guidelines. Overuse impairs the equipment’s functionality.

9. Do not sign anything in Turkish.

Be wary of anyone asking you to sign something you don’t understand. It is advisable not to sign anything in Turkish even if it means you do not get to have your surgery. Take your time to read the documents you are signing. You could be giving permission for something you are not aware of. The hospital should only give you documentation to sign in your native language. Confirm in advance that this will be the case.

Make sure you have your medical surgery notes in English for your GP in Ireland. It is important that your medical records at home are updated, that your doctor understands your test results, surgery notes, aftercare treatment and ongoing requirements.

10. Check that you will have a dedicated dietitian/counsellor who is going to follow up regularly.

The days prior to and following surgery can be very difficult mentally and this can require additional advice/support. The early days following surgery are crucial for a successful recovery also. Support is often required and regular advice regarding eating habits, nutrition and ongoing check-ups should be proactively forthcoming and readily available when needed.

At The Health Store Turkey, we have a Facebook Support Group but you also have
access to your dietician and coordinator whenever you need them.

11. Be certain that you will have access to your surgeon before and after returning home.

You should be able to arrange a video consultation with your surgeon if required like all our Gastric Sleeve patients have access to.

12. Be wary if you are asked for cash.

Registered and reputable companies will provide a choice of payment options. ‘Cash only’ may indicate that the company is not registering your treatment or not registered to trade. Check with the local Chamber of Commerce.

It is also important to check if you are paying into a Euro bank account. This ensures
that you are protected by EU banking legislation. Ask for the bank account details
and check that it’s an IBAN that tracks back to an EU bank account.

Remember to ask for an invoice and a receipt on the company’s headed paper with
the company stamp and signature.

About The Health Store Turkey

Specialists in arranging Bariatric surgery, Post Bariatric Reconstructive Plastics, Aesthetic Surgeries and Dental Treatments, The Health Store Turkey doesn’t compromise when it comes to ensuring the safety of its clients. Pre-Op, a candidate's suitability for surgery is carefully considered taking into account their medical history, dieting history, height and weight (BMI), allergies, surgical history, medication, lifestyle and personal goals.

The company works with a hand-picked team of proven experts in their field and when a
candidate arrives in Turkey, it is only after a full health check is carried out including tests
performed by an Anaesthesiologist, Cardiologist, Radiologist, Chest Specialist, Internal
Diseases Consultant, Operating Surgeon, Psychiatrist and Dietician that, assuming the team agrees, surgery will be approved.

The aftercare team includes a Dietician, Councillor and should the need arise, access to your Surgeon. To ensure long-term success the company also operates its own Patient Support Group and offers ongoing one to one advice and support from others who have had similar operations.

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