Chapter 4

Gastric Balloon in Turkey

Welcome to the final chapter of my ultimate guide on gastric balloon procedures. As you already know and studies show, gastric balloons are effective treatments for people with mild or moderate obesity, and also, a solution for weight loss before bariatric surgery for obese patients to reduce the risks of gastric sleeve and gastric bypass surgery.

Why People Go for Gastric Balloon Turkey?

As insurance usually does not cover the costs of gastric balloon treatments, it is not an affordable solution, which is why many patients choose to have their treatment abroad where prices are noticeably lower. Gastric balloon in Turkey is another popular option among overweight patients. Even if someone around you has made this decision, do not go for it before you do thorough research and collect information about the risks, benefits, and costs of gastric balloon in Turkey. Also, you must know if you are eligible for this procedure or not. So, let’s get started.

Why Is Gastric Balloon Procedure Cheap in Turkey?

In comparison with other parts of the world, such as the UK or North America, gastric balloon Turkey is a lot cheaper. You can see the difference in prices in the following sections.

According to Manchester Evening News, “In 2018, medical tourism in Turkey was estimated to be worth around £1.8 billion.” Moreover, 2020 stats shows Turkey turned out to be the second most popular country in Europe for all kinds of cosmetic surgery.

But with all the proficiency of Turkish surgeons and the high standards of medical services, why are the procedures so cheap in Turkey. A comparison between the average wages and cost of life in Turkey with the US or most parts of Europe justifies this lower cost. So, the reason is all economic. Yet still, there are some necessary questions you might know about.

Questions about gastric balloon in Turkey

Is Having Gastric Balloon in Turkey Safe?

This is the first question you should think about because safety is more important than money and all the other factors that affect your decision. Gastric balloon procedure is not even surgery and the process is fairly simple, but you should check whether the medical equipment and the hospital you will be at are standard.

The high quality of medical services in Turkey is both the result and reason for the rise in medical tourism in this country. As surgeons became more competent and the quality of medical facilities increased, more people came to Turkey from all around the world, from the neighboring Middle Eastern countries to Europe and America. As a result, the competition between medical centers, especially in Istanbul, rose which resulted in better medical services.

Level of Medical Services in Turkey

The Turkish government pays specific attention to the healthcare section because they are convinced caring for the health of not only the citizens but all the people who come to Turkey receive medical treatments should be their absolute priority. Every year about 77 billion Turkish lire is spent on healthcare services.

Of all the medical centers in Tukey, 28,000 medical centers currently are JCI (Joint Commission International) accredited, which is a high number as only 10 clinics in Germany are of this type.

Which Gastric Balloon Types are Mostly Used in Turkey?

This is another significant question. Of course, before choosing your surgeon, you should ask them about the type of intragastric balloon they use. But mostly, there are three popular types used in Turkey: Elipse, the Spatz3 Adjustable Balloon, and Obalon. The procedures are done either endoscopically, and in the case of swallowable balloons, you should swallow an expandable capsule that goes through your esophagus down to your stomach.

However, my experience has proven that Elipse is the one with almost no complications and way easier insertion and extraction. I have seen cases when people could not take the Spatz3 because of nausea and pain. But no such cases when Elipse balloons are used.

How Elipse gastric balloon is inserted:

Elipse gastric balloon

Here’s a brief comparison of Elipse and Spatz3 adjustable intragastric balloons.

Spatz3 Adjustable Balloon Elipse Swallowable balloon
Number of Balloons 1 1
How long should it stay in my body? 12 months 4 months
How is it inserted? endoscopy swallowed
How is it removed? endoscopy Naturally removed by excretion

As you see in the table above, the Elipse balloon does not need anesthesia because there is no endoscopy and you can swallow the expandable capsule. Nor surgical intervention is one of the reasons for its popularity. Then, when the 4-month period is over, it dissolves naturally without any extra effort. During this time you will lose about 30 lbs (13-15 kg).

Elipse gastric balloon after insertion

What If I can’t Take the Balloon?

When an Elipse balloon is placed in your body through swallowing it, there is no way you will have serious complications. But in the case of other intragastric balloons that are inserted via endoscopy, if the patient can’t take it and nausea, vomiting, or any kind of discomfort does not end, it can be removed just the way it was inserted.

This is exactly why it is better for you to stay in Turkey for 2 to 3 days after the placement of the balloon so that your doctor will be sure you’re totally safe and ready to go home.

Who Is Eligible for Gastric Balloon Turkey?

Anybody who is eligible for the gastric balloon process is qualified for having a gastric balloon treatment in Turkey. This means your BMI (Body Mass Index) must be between 30 and 35. Also, you should have tried exercise and diet but have not received the ideal results.

Moreover, you must be mentally ready to have your procedure in a place other than your home country. Mostly, the medical centers that offer bariatric procedures, including intragastric balloons, provide their patients with all-inclusive packages (transportation and airport pick-ups, free consultation, translation, accommodation, and so on). Still, are you ready for this journey? This is a question only you have the answer to.

Where Is Gastric Balloon Performed in Turkey?

Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, and Antalya are the 4 most popular destinations in Turkey for medical tourists. However, the average cost of gastric balloon in each of these cities differ:

Most popular cities in Turkey for gastric balloon The average cost of gastric balloon in Turkey (USD)
Ankara 2,750
Antalya 2,850
Istanbul 2,750
Izmir 2,800

In each of these cities, you can find bariatric surgeons, professional medical centers, and standard hospitals and clinics for your procedure. However, the percentage of JCI accredited institutions in each city varies, as the pie chart below shows.

JCI accredited medical institutions in Turkey

How Much Does the Gastric Balloon Cost in Turkey?

Gastric balloon procedures do not cost a fixed price in all centers in Turkey. The final cost depends on different factors, such as the expertise of your doctor and their staff, the hospital fees, the cost of your balloon, and so on.

However it usually starts from $2,500 and the maximum price is $3,000, which is still way less than most countries.

Belgium: $8,000

Germany: $7,600

The Us: $7500

France: $7,500

Italy: $7,000

Spain: $7,000

Denmark: $7,000

The UK: $7,000

Austria: $7,000

Russia: $6,000

Lithuania: $5,000

Turkey: $2,800

As you see, the average price of gastric balloon in most parts of Europe is around $7,000, including France, Italy, Spain, and the UK. In the United States, the price is even more as is it is about $7,500.

You might think with yourself you have to pay even more for your stay in Turkey. But except for the flight ticket, all your necessary costs including transportation from and to the airport, hotels and accommodation, translations, medical tests, and consultations are all included in the final cost of gastric balloon packages in Turkey.

How Long Should I Stay in Turkey for a Gastric Balloon Treatment Procedure?

The insertion of a gastric balloon, both by swallowing or endoscopy, does not take more than 30 minutes. It is better to arrive 2 to 3 days before your procedure date. Also, after it is done, it is suggested that you stay 2 to 3 days more for your recovery so that your bariatric doctor will be able to check you a few times and then send you back home with ease of mind. Therefore, your whole trip takes about one week. Due to the simplicity of this procedure, you can go back to work as soon as you get home.

Here’s the schedule of your gastric balloon treatment in Turkey:

Day 1: arrival; you will be transferred to your hotel.

Day 2: you’ll be taken to the clinic to do a number of tests.

Day 3: procedure day

Day 4: resting and enjoying your trip to Turkey

Day 5: check-ups by your doctor

Day 6: you’ll be given diet and exercise schedules

Day 7: you’re ready to go home!

How to Choose the Best Gastric Balloon Surgeon in Turkey?

Gastroenterologists or bariatric surgeons are eligible to perform gastric balloon procedures. Their main focus is on treating obese and overweight patients to overcome obstacles because of obesity and have a healthier, happier life. They usually work with a team of healthcare provider professionals such as dietitians, weight loss specialists, and so on.

The best way is to talk with people who had the same experience. But that’s not enough. Make sure to check the surgeon’s website, read their reviews, and follow their social media to find out how many operations they perform a day.

The high number of operations is proof of a surgeon’s expertise. Here’s a good guide that introduces top surgeons for gastric balloon in Turkey. 

What’s the Success Rate of Gastric Balloon in Turkey?

As gastric balloon is a safe, simple procedure, when we talk about its success rate, we want to know how much extra weight will be lost with it and is sustainable or patients will regain weight in the future?

The good news is that the success rate of gastric balloon in Turkey does not differ from the average global number. So, if you are a woman and want to have this treatment in Turkey, you are expected to lose about 2 to 3 kg of your excess weight in the first week. Men usually lose 4 to 7 kg during the first week. However, on average, you will lose 7-15% of your excess weight while you have the balloon in your body.

You should know that the effectiveness of gastric balloon is not like other bariatric procedures. So, once the balloon is out of your body, if you start eating unhealthily and stop being physically active, you will definitely gain weight. If you haven’t made a strong commitment to a new, healthy lifestyle, you are not ready for this.

Gastric Balloon in Turkey Reviews

Gastric Balloon in Turkey Before After

Gastric Balloon Before and After

We talked about the excess weight you lose after gastric balloon, but let’s take a look at just a few of my patients who have undergone this procedure and managed well to keep their ideal weight.

gastric balloon before and after

gastric balloon before and after

Gastric Balloon Turkey Reviews

Hear it not from us, but from the people who underwent gastric balloon in Istanbul, Turkey.

Matt, 43, London

“Honestly, it was difficult for me to trust doctors in another country, one I’ve never been to. But my best friend did it, and I decided to go with it. I had Elipse balloon in my stomach for 4 months, and now it’s 2 months of a no-balloon stomach. My appetite is not comparable to before. I lost 15 kg and I’m on the right path now. It’s a long way to go, but gastric balloon made it way easier.”

Martha, 53, Manchester

“I found Dr. Ceyhun when I was in my most depressing time.  Tired of years of weight loss and regain, I finally made up my mind. I was afraid of bariatric surgery and was not even qualified for it as my BMI was 30. The balloon is still in my body, but I’m sure I’ll never let my life be the same as before.”