Treatment of obesity abroad

Obesity is a disease, whereby the body accumulates an excess amount of fat. There are primarily two types of fat: subcutaneous and visceral. Obesity can be attributed to stress and the lack of physical exercise.


The incidence of obesity is highest in developed countries, the number sometimes exceeding 30%. In developing countries the number is slightly lower with 20-25% of population being diagnosed with this condition.


Obesity treatment abroad


Causes of obesity

Obesity is more a physiological, rather than a pathological process. A person starts to deposit fat when he/she eats more than necessary. As a result, the body stores excess food energy in fat. 


There are many factors that affect a person’s body fat mass. The main ones are:


Dietary habits. The more a person eats, the more he or she gains weight.

The rate of the primary metabolism is the amount of energy that a person is losing when he/she is resting. The higher the rate of metabolism, the lower the body weight index.


Factors that influence the rate of metabolism are:

  • Patient’s age
  • Sex (male or female)
  • Race and nationality
  • Muscular mass
  • Hormonal balance
  • Lifestyle (sleep routine, bad habits)
  • Hereditary predisposition
  • Physiological and physiological processes (pregnancy, climax, stress, sharp infectious diseases etc.)
  • Certain drugs, which slow down the metabolism


Physical activity. The more a person works out, the lower the body fat index.

Digestion. A good digestive system is able to absorb more nutrients from the food. Some diseases affect digestion and trigger weight loss (chronic pancreatitis with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency). Digestive system can in some cases become more efficient if a person starves for a certain period of time, and digestion adjusts to take more nutrients from a small amount of food. 


Primary obesity can be caused by chronic overeating, combined with low physical activity (90%). Secondary obesity is most commonly caused by diseases of the endocrine and central nervous system. Such diseases can drastically change metabolic processes (hypothyroidism, hypercortisolism, insulinoma) or contribute to an increased appetite (mental disorders, central nervous system tumours).


Obesity symptoms and diagnostics


Symptoms and Diagnostics of obesity

Obesity is always seen visually. The fat is deposited in different parts of the human body. The most common places are the belly, thighs, buttocks, chest and face. The fat can be stored on the limbs too.

Diagnosis of obesity is based on body mass index (BMI). 


BMI = body weight (kg) / height2 (m)



  • BMI of 30 kg / m2 - 1 stage of obesity
  • from 35 kg / m2 - 2 stage
  • from 40 kg / m 2 - 3 stage


Abdominal obesity poses a great risk to the health of a person. It is usually diagnosed by measuring waist circumference. The ratio of the waist circumference to hip circumference (ON / OF) is also calculated.


The criteria for diagnosis of men:

  • Waist circumference - more than 94 cm
  • ON / OF - greater than 1.0


The criteria for diagnosis of women:

  • Waist circumference greater than 80 cm
  • ON / OF - greater than 0.85


A more accurate diagnosis can be done by a lean body mass test. This test can be be performed only in well-equipped specialised clinics, since it requires special equipment


Obesity danger


Danger of Obesity

Obesity is not just a cosmetic defect. It is also serious medical health problem. A high body  fat index can be a cause of many diseases. Among them are:

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease (hypertension, ischemic heart disease, myocardial infarction, cerebral atherosclerosis)
  • Cholelithiasis
  • Pathology of the joints
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Erectile disfunction


A risk for developing dozens of other diseases increases in people who suffer from obesity. A high body fat index significantly decreases the duration of life and its quality. 


Obesity treatment abroad


Treatment of obesity abroad

Obesity treatment is chosen individually, as it depends on a number of factors. Treatment can be conservative or surgical. Surgeries are performed with cosmetic or medical purposes in mind.


During the first two stages of obesity, conservative treatment may be used. The third stage required bariatric surgeries. Some clinical cases require surgical treatment of obesity as early as stage 2.


Conservative treatment includes:


Diet. The amount of fat and simple carbohydrates is significantly reduced in the diet. The aim of the diet is to reduce the calorie intake.


Exercise. Work outs are used to slow down or stop weight gain by expending energy and burning fat. Your muscles use a lot of energy even after exercising, that`s why exercise is a great way to lose weight, because even after you’ve exercised, your muscles are still burning up the fat.   


Behavioural therapy. Psychotherapeutic interventions aim  to correct the eating behaviour. This is a vital part of treatment, which ensures that one does not relapse into unhealthy patterns after treatment is finished. 


Drugs. The most common medications, which help the patient lose weight are:

  • Anorectics reduce appetite. These drugs complement the effect of a diet, greatly improving its result.
  • Stimulants accelerate metabolism and complement the effect of physical exercise by increasing energy expenditure.
  • Calories blockers influence digestion by blocking enzymes that cleave to carbohydrates or fat in the gastrointestinal tract.


Other medications are used if necessary, depending on a specific case. For instance, if a person suffers from hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone) thyroxine replacement therapy is prescribed. If hyperphagia takes place ("seizing" stress) then psychotropic drugs are recommended etc.


Obesity treatment


Surgical treatment:


Plastic surgery aims to improve the appearance of a person, but it doesn’t improve the long-term prognosis of obesity. Plastic surgery usually targets the abdominal area.


It includes:

  • Subcutaneous liposuction
  • Laser liposuction
  • Abdominoplasty with the abdominal skin tightening


Patient will look a lot better after the surgery is performed as his/her body weight is reduced considerably. Nonetheless, the amount of visceral fat, which surrounds internal organs, remains the same, so plastic surgery can be performed only for cosmetic and not medical reasons.


Bariatric surgery aims to:

  • Dissociate bolus and digestive enzymes. As a result pancreatic juice can no longer mix in the intestines. Impaired digestion is thus developed. A person can eat all he/she wants, but still continues to lose weight.
  • Reduce the volume of the stomach so that a person is no longer able to eat large amounts of food at a time. Due to early satiety the intake of calories is considerably reduced, so that the patient loses weight.


Both surgeries are performed for medical reasons and are indicated in the third or second stages of obesity. They are recommended for patients with abdominal obesity, accompanying somatic pathology and for patients who did not benefit from conservative therapy.




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