Medical tourists from many countries have long been travelling across the borders to get weight loss surgery in Belgium, but recently the list has been expanding at a fast pace. Medical tourism in Belgium has been on an upward spiral as the country’s excellent quality healthcare system and low costing medical fees attract many patients looking for affordable healthcare facilities.
Belgium is one of the most popular medical tourism destinations for bariatric surgery patients in Europe right now.
Weight Loss Surgery Procedures in Belgium
Belgium offers a wide range of options for people looking to lose weight by undergoing bariatric procedures. The most popular types of bariatric surgery available in Belgium are:
Lap Band Surgery
- Also known as gastric band surgery.
- Involves the placement of a band in the upper portion of the stomach to produce a small pouch
- A port is also implanted on the abdomen – site for injecting fills in order to adjust the band in subsequent visits to lap fill centers
- Minimally invasive procedure and can be done outpatient or in a 24-hour hospital stay
Gastric Sleeve Surgery
- Also known as sleeve gastrectomy
- Involves the removal of a part of the stomach to decrease its surface area
- No placement of any implant is involved but involves cutting a part of the stomach to remove it
- Usually requires the patient to stay for a couple of nights in the hospital
- Also known as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.
- The cost of gastric bypass surgery in Belgium can be far less than that in many other countries in Europe and North America.
- Involves stapling the stomach to decrease its area, then rerouting the food’s path through the digestive system by bypassing the first part of the small intestine; reducing the amount of calories and nutrients absorbed in digestion
- Usually a patient stays 2-3 nights in the hospital for gastric bypass surgery in Belgium. Outside of that, the patient can stay in a hotel, should the surgeon require follow up visits in the next few days.
Belgium Medical Tourism Industry
Belgium’s hospitals have around 20 years of experience in doing weight loss surgery with very high success rates. Most medical tourists in Belgium are attracted to their low costing procedures performed by experienced surgeonswho are also very used to dealing with international patients. With positive feedback about Belgium’s excellence in the weight loss surgery field spreading all over the world, more and more tourists flock to this country to take advantage of their expertise.
- Officially known as the Kingdom of Belgium
- Located in Western Europe
- Brussels is the capital city of Belgium
- Location of the European Union’s headquarters
- Home to Dutch, French, and German speaking people
- Geographically, it is surrounded by Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and France
- Temperatures in Belgium range from very cold to cool (1-3degrees Celsius to 15-18degrees Celsius)
Belgium’s Healthcare System
Healthcare system in the country is counted among the best in Europe. Belgium’s recent efforts to promote their medical tourism industry have also given a boost to the volumes of medical tourists. This European country is looking to serve medical tourists by providing them high quality healthcare services at fair prices and the patients here are treated with courtesy and respect from the moment they step in Belgian soil until they return to their home countries.
Like in most countries, public and private hospitals and clinics serve its citizens, and employees get medical benefits with insurance, contributions, and reimbursements for medical fees. Insurance can be provided by either (or both) the government and private companies.
One of the reasons of its popularity among medical tourists is that Belgium’s doctors and hospital’s medical staff speak good English. For this reason many nationalities are comfortable in going to the country to get their much-needed surgeries without worrying about communication issues.
There are numerous hospitals in Belgium that offer weight loss surgery, orthopedic surgery, dental services, and many other procedures. Belgium hospitals are very strict when it comes to sterilization and infection prevention. They are known to be among the best in Europe. As Belgium is conveniently located near the center of the continent, tourists go there in order to save both time and money.
Their hospitals charge fairly for procedures, and because of this, international patients going to Belgium can find themselves saving up to 50% from having their procedure done there. The low prices are outstanding for any budget-concerned patient, especially when you are being treated in hospitals with world-class facilities and high-tech equipment.
Bariatric surgeons in Belgium are sought-after by international tourists because of their expertise and long history with weight loss surgery. However, one of the best things about going to Belgium is that surgeons are keen on observing the “no waiting time” concept for their patients. Once a patient has been approved for surgery, it can be scheduled at their most convenient time and the hospital or medical tourism company can then formulate an itinerary based on the patient’s wishes.
Belgium as a Tourist Destination
People going to Belgium for medical trips also manage to squeeze in some time for sight-seeing. Here are some spots frequented by tourists in Belgium.
- Waterloo – see the site of Napoleon’s defeat that officially ended the Napoleonic wars. The battle field and the 28 ton lion statue atop a hill are the main sights in Waterloo.
- Our Lady’s Basilica – This is located in Tongeren, the oldest town in the country. It is a majestic gothic church dating back to the 1200s, with a bell tower standing 64 meters tall.
- Church of Notre Dame – This church is widely popular around the world as much for its legends and its astounding beauty.
- Spa – This is not just a spa as the modern day knows it. The town IS called Spa, the very origin of the word as we know it today. Historically, members of the upper class of Belgium went to Spa to be pampered and be rejuvenated by its baths known to have healing waters. Today you can go to this town and live like the blue-bloods did; immerse yourself in curative waters and be rejuvenated.
- The Royal Museum of Art, Antwerp - Hosts art pieces back down to the 14th century, with works of Van Dijck, Jordaens, and Rubens – Antwerps’s most celebrated painters.
Why Go to Belgium for Weight Loss Surgery?
Here are some of the reasons why patients go to Belgium for bariatric surgery:
- Savings of up to 50% compared to other countries
- Excellent quality healthcare
- Internationally renowned bariatric surgeons
- Hospitals with the state-of-the-art facilities and equipment
- Medical staff who speak English and who are used to dealing with international patients
- Their expertise in minimally invasive surgery resulting in lesser recovery time
- Outstanding post-surgery care and follow up
Tips for Going to Belgium for Bariatric Surgery
- Contact a reputable medical tourism company for the best surgeons and hospitals in Belgium. They are connected to internationally renowned institutions known for serving international bariatric patients, so take advantage of their expertise in this matter.
- Look up the resumes of reputed surgeons in Belgium, and ask for a phone consultation. This way, you will be able to discuss your concerns with them and personally listen to how they plan to address your health issues.
- Let the medical tourism agency and the hospital know about your travel plans, especially if you want to include some tourist spots in your itinerary, so they can keep them in mind while formulating the best schedule for you while in Belgium.
- If planning to go on sight-seeing trips around the country, consider the surgeon’s recommendations if planning a post-surgery trip. Some activities may not be suitable for you after the surgery, so you might want to schedule others beforehand.
- Have the medical tourism company help you with hotel accommodations and transportation services; they will also have connections for cheaper deals in places near the hospital, where most of their clients stay.
- Ask for the surgeon’s recommendations for pre and post-operative diets, medication, and care. This way you can prepare everything beforehand.
- Look up the climate and weather for the time of your trip and pack your clothes accordingly. Most of the time Belgium is cool, so bring wraps and sweaters along.
- Before going on your trip, list down or save in your cellular phone all important numbers: your hospital contact person, the medical tourism company’s contact person, the hotel, police and emergency numbers. Have everything on hand every step of the way so you can call anytime without having to look their numbers up from the directory.
- Ask a family or friend to go with you on your journey for support and companionship. This can ensure that your trip for weight loss surgery in Belgium also becomes an exciting trip for both of you, and not just a needed medical procedure.
Medical Tourism Corporation facilitates affordable Weight Loss Surgery or Bariatric Surgery at reputed hospitals in Belgium & many other world class destinations abroad. Fill out the free estimate request form for a free quote & more information.