There are numerous foreigners that are flying to India and desperate to do so. It is not to see the backwaters of Kerala or the beautiful beaches of Goa but to rid themselves of the extra flab.
What is common between Christine a Canadian, Amir a Bangladesh-born American and Hardeep a Sikh from the US is there desire to get in shape.
The hub of laparoscopic surgeries is Kolkata as shows the flooding of the email box of noted laparoscopic surgeons such as B. Ramana in Kolkata.
In the words of these med tourists it says it all.
"I am looking for a hospital that does good quality, affordable laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery. Please tell me if this is possible in your hospital," asks Christine.
Amir says: "I have minor diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol and I weigh 360 lbs. I have to urinate three to five times at night. I wake up in the middle of the night due to breathlessness. My family has a history of obesity."
"There is a previously unrecognised need for morbidly obese patients to undergo surgery to reduce weight. We call it bariatric surgery and it is the only proven way to achieve major weigh loss and sustain it. Because there is a long queue for such operations abroad and because it is far economical here, we are flooded with queries from abroad for operation dates in India. In this new development of laparoscopic bariatric surgery, there are many procedures that we use. In one type of procedure, the capacity of the stomach to take food is drastically reduced," says Dr. Ramana
The procedure is simple and cheap then other countries. Dr. Ramana explains the method, "We insert a silicon band just beneath the junction of the food pipe and the stomach. There is another procedure called a 'sleeve gastrectomy', whereby 60 percent of the stomach is removed and the shape of the stomach is changed to a tubular organ. In another type of operation, the capacity of the stomach is severely reduced (20-25 cc) and its ability to digest food is severely impaired, by bypassing the major portion of the digestive tract. This is called 'Gastric Bypass', which is now considered to be the gold standard in bariatric operations."
"Obesity cure by operations in India can form a major chunk of our medical tourism revenues in future," adds Ramana.