Background: The number of Canadians who self-refer for bariatric surgery outside of Canada or to private clinics within Canada remains undefined. The outcomes from this questionable practice have not been evaluated systematically to date.
Methods: We completed a chart review of known cases referred to our center for complications related to medical tourism and bariatric surgery.
Results: We present a series of patients who have experienced complications because of medical tourism for bariatric surgery and required urgent surgical management at a tertiary care center within Canada. Complications have resulted from 3 commonly used procedures: adjustable gastric banding, gastric sleeve resection, and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.
Conclusions: Because of this review, we propose that a medical tourism approach to the surgical management of obesity-a chronic disease-is inappropriate and raises clear ethical and moral issues.
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