Gastric Band Surgery in Belgium Is Safe

Yes, Gastric Band surgery in Belgium is Perfectly Safe.

In a recent report by Matthew Hill of BBC News it was inferred that Gastric Band surgery carried out by surgeons in Belgium put UK Patients at risk. This is totally untrue.

Gastric Band procedures In Belgium are carried according to the current guidelines of the Belgium Health Authorities which are different than those applied in the UK. This in no way infers that the Procedure is Unsafe for UK Patients who decide to travel to Belgium for this surgery Procedure. The Guidelines for Private Gastric Band surgery In Belgium are for Patients with a BMI of 30 to 35. What Must be remembered is that these are “Guidelines” on not strict “Rules”

In the BBC Interview it also carried a clandestine interview with Belgian Gastric Band Surgeon Dr. Chris De Bruyne who was “Secretly Filmed” during an Bogus interview for surgery by a BBC reporter. The reporter “Lead the Surgeon” in to making certain comments which gave the impression that He (the Surgeon) would carry out Gastric Band surgery on patients who did not fall within these guidelines. However, Dr Bruyne did emphasise that the difference of the 2 kg of weight was
insignificant if the patient was motivated and that patient had a record of weight fluctuation that would take them slightly over or below the BMI periodically.

There was no indication that Dr De Bryune was the Surgeon who had carried out the Operation on Jilly Trella who had needed the emergency treatment due to complications. So one must ask the question, why was he (Dr De Bruyne) chosen by the BBC to interview in this manner? Surely the BBC would have been much better served to undertake an interview the Surgeon who had caused the problems that Jilly Trella had suffered from.

Furthermore the Interview then continued on to suggest Gastric Band Surgery carried out abroad (again citing Belgium as a cause for concern) was unsafe because of difficulties with access to aftercare. This also is not a true statement of fact. Most Gastric Band surgeons in Belgium make arrangements for clients in the UK to have access to aftercare. In many cases the Surgeon themselves travel to UK medical centres to carry out remedial and aftercare services for their Patients.  In all cases Patients are given very clear instructions on what to do in cases of emergency and contact telephone numbers where they can obtain advice or treatment.

As with all cases of surgery there will be times when complications arise, and gastric band surgery is not without risk. These risks are explained to the Patient before and after surgery and the patient enters in to the “contract” with full knowledge of the risks involved. When complications do arise they are generally treated very quickly and efficiently by the surgeon, or the patient is advised how to seek emergency treatment.

The Interviewer also sent out a survey to Surgeons in the UK who were asked if they had carried out any emergency treatment for past patients from Abroad and the results stated that many had. However what the survey did NOT ask was if they had carried out any emergency treatment for gastric band surgery patients from UK Clinics. Nor did they ask Surgeons who are directly involved in High Volume cosmetic Surgery Clinics in clinics where gastric Band surgery is carried out.

In My opinion Dr Chris de Bryune was pilloried for something which he had not caused, nor was he given the proper opportunity to respond to the reporter’s questions in a timely manner. It is totally unfair for any reporter to call a surgeon and expect them to respond when they are with a patient in a private consultation. The English Surgeons whom he then went on to interview were given the full facts of the debate, and also afforded the opportunity to respond in a timely fashion, in surroundings of their choosing, with the full knowledge that they were being interviewed.

Gastric Banding Surgery In Belgium is carried out By Highly qualified and experienced Surgeons, the Clinics where treatment is carried out are clean and hygienic, and the risks of complications are no greater than for procedure carried out in the UK.

I feel the BBC gave a very Biased report and Blew everything out of proportion for the sake of sensationalism.

Geoff Lord

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