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Am J Surg. 2010 May;199(5):604-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2010.01.002. Epub 2010 Mar 25.

Medical tourism in bariatric surgery.

Author information

1
Center for the Advancement of Minimally Invasive Surgery, Royal Alexandra Hospital, 10240 Kingsway, Edmonton, Alberta, T5H 3V9 Canada. dbirch@ualberta.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The number of Canadians who self-refer for bariatric surgery outside of Canada or to private clinics within Canada remains undefined. The outcomes from this questionable practice have not been evaluated systematically to date.

METHODS:

We completed a chart review of known cases referred to our center for complications related to medical tourism and bariatric surgery.

RESULTS:

We present a series of patients who have experienced complications because of medical tourism for bariatric surgery and required urgent surgical management at a tertiary care center within Canada. Complications have resulted from 3 commonly used procedures: adjustable gastric banding, gastric sleeve resection, and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.

CONCLUSIONS:

Because of this review, we propose that a medical tourism approach to the surgical management of obesity-a chronic disease-is inappropriate and raises clear ethical and moral issues.

PMID:
20346442
DOI:
10.1016/j.amjsurg.2010.01.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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