Irish surgeons report a massive increase in patients seeking treatment for complications of failed weight loss surgeries abroad.
It is only a matter of time before a patient dies from complications in a non-regulated foreign clinic due to the complications of weight loss surgery, warned the only bariatric surgeon of the Health Service.
“It is a big problem. “Patients everywhere present destructive but avoidable complications of their surgery in the system,” said Professor Helen Henegan, of St Vincent University Hospital in Dublin.
With more than 400 people on the list for bariatric surgery in Ireland, desperate patients are turning to the private sector, often abroad, for faster treatment.
However, surgeons say that some clinics, especially in Turkey and Eastern Europe, treat all visitors unfairly, whether they are suitable for treatment or not.
“Patients are not properly prepared. There is no selection process. “You or I can call the clinic and get an appointment next week, whether we are comfortable or not,” says Professor Henegan.
He estimates that between 10 and 10 patients a week are admitted to Irish hospitals with complications of bariatric surgery abroad, the number of which has doubled in the last 18 months.
St. Vincent, the main center of bariatric surgery in the country, cost 1 million euros to treat 90 patients with complications in the last four years, the hospital recently estimated.
Professor Paul Ridgway at Tallat University Hospital estimates that he is currently carrying out about “one to two” bariatric repairs a week compared to a month before the epidemic. “We see people getting off the plane right away with potentially life-changing complications.”
One of the problems identified by Irish surgeons in some foreign clinics is the provision of postoperative work in hotels, not hospitals. Strict discharge on the appointed date, not according to the patient’s condition. : Lack of follow-up services.
Often, says Professor Henegan, patients are told to go to the emergency department if they have problems.
Professor Henegan believes that for less than a quarter of private sector operations in Ireland, some clinics can “cut corners”, possibly by reusing equipment.
Pain և nausea
Complications range from pain and nausea, as well as a lack of information about eating after surgery, to more serious mechanical problems.
Many people have a leak after surgery where the stomach does not close or the sutures do not heal. Intestinal obstructions և Thrombi also require treatment.
Professor Henegan says there is a large market for gastric bladder, one of the cheapest procedures. They are expected to be removed within 12 months, but he says he has seen many patients with balloons “ready to explode”.
He describes the readiness of some clinics to perform surgeries on pregnant women as “careless”.
Some clinics offer “additional deals” on nose surgery, discounts on many procedures and family referrals, he says, adding: “Some are no better than the Ponzi scheme.”
The solution is to have enough surgery in the Irish public system, where the current average waiting time is about six years, according to Professor Henegan.
“It is unacceptable. We have dying patients on the waiting list. If transplant patients had to wait that long, it would make the front page news և resources would be provided. But since it is obesity, nothing is done about it. We just tell people to lose weight, but it does not work for these patients. ”