Dallas Weight Loss Surgeon Discusses the Dangers of Medical Tourism
Dr. David D. Kim with Kim Bariatric Institute says U.S. patients considering weight loss surgery in other countries should be aware of the risks involved and should understand the importance of comprehensive aftercare services.
Dallas, TX – Each year, many individuals in the United States embark on journeys to another country to obtain surgical procedures. People do this for a variety of reasons, including the fact that the cost of treatment may be lower in third-world countries. Dr. David D. Kim, a weight loss surgeon in Dallas and the Colleyville area, says bariatric surgery appears to be a common procedure sought by “medical tourists.” He says a recent news story discussing a number of serious post-surgical complications experienced by patients of a particular doctor in Mexico, for whom they’d found through a Medical Tourism agency, has raised many alarm bells. Dr. Kim notes that there are a variety of risks involved when going to another country for treatments such as bariatric surgery, including different sets of rules and regulations for overall care and the fact that the practice may not offer more advanced techniques and/or a comprehensive aftercare program. Dr. Kim says these aspects of care are vital when it comes to weight loss surgery in order to maximize the chances that patients are recovering safely and are not having any negative responses to the procedure.
Dr. Kim says aftercare is one of the most important stages of weight loss surgery, and patients need to be closely monitored and have easy access to their bariatric surgeon in the days, weeks, and months after the treatment. Those who have weight loss surgery in another country in order to save money, Dr. Kim says, may not be getting the aftercare they need, particularly if they are sent home shortly after the procedure and the surgeon is thousands of miles away.
A thorough, multi-step surgical weight loss program from an experienced bariatric surgeon is often one of the first things to look for when considering treatment, Dr. Kim notes. At his practice in the Dallas – Fort Worth area, Kim Bariatric Institute, Dr. Kim offers post-surgery support and aftercare services as a standard part of the treatment process. The program includes assistance from dietitians, counselors, and fitness experts, as well as routine follow-up appointments with the bariatric surgeon to monitor the patient’s progress and check in on his or her well-being. Dr. Kim says this lifelong support program is designed to help patients through the initial stages of recovery, ensure they are losing weight safely and effectively, address any problems as quickly as possible, and give patients physical and emotional help as they navigate down the path to better health.
In addition, Dr. Kim says it’s important to assess a bariatric surgeon’s commitment to reducing risks and providing safe care for his or her patients. For example: Dr. Kim developed an extra surgical step for gastric sleeve surgery, a popular bariatric surgery technique that removes most of the stomach and reshapes the remainder so that it holds less amounts of food before causing a “full” sensation while eating. The David Kim Inverted Gastric Sleeve™ adds another layer of support to the newly shaped stomach in order to reduce risks of staple line leaks, which can ultimately cause digestive contents to spill into the abdomen and potentially lead to a dangerous infection that would necessitate an additional surgery. While that complication is rare, a recent study found that it happened in 2.8% of the 539 patients who were examined. Of the more than 2,000 gastric sleeve surgeries performed utilizing the David Kim Inverted Gastric Sleeve™ since 2014, Dr. Kim says there have been no instances where a staple line needed to be repaired because of a leak.
Dr. Kim notes that advanced procedures and techniques can reduce risks, and aftercare programs available for patients right here in the U.S. can also be critical to minimize the chance of complications or, at the very least, diagnose and treat complications as quickly as possible. He says, if cost is the major concern, there are a variety of payment and healthcare financing options available that can help make the price of treatment more convenient and affordable for many patients. Ultimately, Dr. Kim says, individuals should be aware that post-surgery support and aftercare are just as important as the surgery itself, and they should never take chances with their health.
About David D. Kim, MD
The founder of Kim Bariatric Institute in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Arlington, and Colleyville area, Dr. David D. Kim is certified by the American Board of Surgery and a Fellow of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. He has also been
designated a “Surgeon of Excellence” by the ASMBS (formerly referred to as the American Society for Bariatric Surgery). Dr. Kim has performed thousands of bariatric surgeries and offers all major forms of surgical weight loss treatment at his practice. He was recognized by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. in its 2014 list of America’s Top Doctors®. Kim Bariatric Institute is designed to provide patients with extensive pre-operative and post-surgical aftercare and support services to help them through every step of the weight loss process. Dr. Kim is available for interview upon request.
Kim Bariatric Institute
5204 Colleyville Boulevard
Colleyville, TX 76034
8350 Dallas Parkway, Suite 300
Frisco, TX 75034
Fort Worth Patients: (817) 717-7447
Dallas Patients: (214) 614-7036
Frisco Patients: (469) 213-8300