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Medical Tourism Statistics for Weight Loss Surgery Abroad

Posted by skymedicus STAFF on 7/24/2017 7:14 PM | Last Modified: September 26, 2017

If you’re considering bariatric surgery outside of the U.S., or if you’re doing some research on behalf of a family member or friend, one of the most important aspects of your due diligence will be to gather medical tourism statistics for weight loss surgery abroad. 

To help you make this process easier and more efficient, below we pull together some statistics for you to consider and discuss with your physician and peers:

  • The size of the medical tourism market in the U.S. is between 38.5 billion and 55 billion annually (source: Patients Beyond Borders)
  • Patients who travel overseas for surgery spend an average of between $3,500 and $5,000 per visit. This includes all medically-related costs, travel, and local accommodations (source: Patients Beyond Borders)
  • An estimated 6 million Americans travel outside of the country for medical care each year (source:
  • The costs of treatment approach can be between 20-50 percent of the going rate in the U.S. (source: National Center for Policy Analysis)
  • 64 percent of patients who travel abroad for medical tourism do not have health insurance (source: Medical Tourism Association)
  • 90 percent of patients who travel abroad for medical tourism engage in some tourist activities on their trip (source: Medical Tourism Association)

Beyond the Numbers

While each of these statistics point to a different aspect of seeking medical treatment abroad (including but not exclusively weight loss surgery), the key takeaway when you look beyond the numbers is clear: heading outside the U.S. to Mexico, Costa Rica, Thailand, India, Singapore, South Korea, Brazil, and many other popular destinations is not the rare exception.

Rather, given the skyrocketing and in many cases prohibitive costs of treatment and surgery here in the U.S. – with gastric bypass surgery or lap band surgery often costing $30,000 or more – heading abroad is an established alternative, and a virtual necessity for those without insurance 

What’s more, many U.S. physicians who many years ago initially balked at the idea of medical tourism, are now realizing that it’s the only way that their patients can get the affordable and quick care that they need. Indeed, some of the most vocal advocates for medical tourism today are U.S. physicians! 

Learn More

To learn more about seeking medical treatment abroad for weight loss, cosmetic surgery, dental surgery, and many other treatments that millions of Americans are accessing each year, contact the SkyMedicus team. Your consultation with us is free, and there’s never any obligation to partner with us.

Need a better visual of the cost savings of weight loss surgery abroad? Check out our FREE infographic by clicking below:

Comparing the cost of weight loss surgery overseas

Topic: Weight Loss Surgery

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