Turkey advanced in obesity surgery: Expert

Turkish hospitals attract thousands of foreign patients, or about half of obesity surgeries now performed, says doctor

Erdogan Cagatay Zontur   | 09.02.2020
Turkey advanced in obesity surgery: Expert


Turkey has made steady process in obesity surgery in recent years, and now attracts a great many patients from abroad, according to a leading doctor in the field.

Dr. Halil Coskun, a surgeon at Atasehir Memorial Hospital in Istanbul, said that nearly half of his patients come from other countries, including many from Europe.

Social Media Expert Deniz Unay, in his visit to Atasehir Memorial Hospital, observed an operation to gain more insight into this issue. 

“The number of foreign patients has risen considerably in recent years,” he explained, talking to Unay.

“There are people from Europe, as the price of surgery in our country is much more attractive than in Europe.

“Although I can't give firm figures, some 50% of our patients are foreigners,” he added.

Coskun said closed and even robotic operations are performed in Turkey.

He said the most common types of surgeries performed are sleeve gastrectomy, or the removal of part or all of the stomach; duodenal switch, which also removes most of the stomach and duodenum; and gastric bypass surgery, which change how your stomach and small intestine handle food.

“We evaluate the patient's weight and disease and find the right operation for them,” he added.

Coskun said surgeries have long been performed in Turkey to prevent or treat obesity.

“We have seen that the operations not only result in weight loss, but also prevent co-morbid diseases such as blood pressure and liver fattening in overweight people, especially diabetes.”

“After we perform obesity surgery, the patient’s sugar rates start to improve, regardless of the weight loss,” he added.

Requirements for surgery

Coskun said there are certain rules before a patient is accepted for obesity surgery.

“Firstly, their body mass index should be over 40%, and the patient should have experienced obesity problem for at least three years and tried dieting. Therefore, the patient also needs to be eligible for anesthesia.”

“Obesity surgery is not performed for aesthetic reasons, obesity is not a lack of will,” Coskun stressed.

But if a patient sheds a lot of weight, after surgery they may have excess skin, Coskun said.

“About a year-and-a-half after the weight loss, cosmetic surgeries can be performed so the patient can move comfortably and the body regains its standard form,” he said.

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