With many of us spending our time during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown indoors, and since an increasing number of jobs are sedentary in nature, obesity, and other medical conditions related to it, are on the increase. And with heart disease being the number one cause of death in the UAE caused by lifestyle and dietary factors, there’s an all-time high demand for surgical solutions.

What is bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, is a major procedure. It can be life-changing, with often incredible results but it’s also expensive to fund and not without its risks. It should therefore be carefully considered and only after other weight loss options have been explored.

How expensive is bariatric surgery in Dubai?

Given its complex nature and requirement for highly-skilled medical professionals, this surgery runs into several thousand dirhams, and caution should be exercised when looking to secure cut-price procedures. Prices are high, but there are several ways to make payment easier, with many clinics offering payment plans or insurance-funded surgery.

What does bariatric surgery entail?

Bariatric surgery addresses the underlying causes of excess weight: the predominant one being excessive food consumption. By removing 70-80% of the stomach, the amount of food the body is able to consume is reduced, and since the body is absorbing fewer calories, patients generally achieve automatic weightless within a few weeks of the surgery.

How does bariatric surgery help patients?

Since obesity is a catalyst for many other conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, respiratory problems and more, bariatric surgery is useful not only for aesthetic aspects but physical and mental health too, through increased confidence and self-esteem triggered by positive body image.

How is the procedure performed?

There are 3 main methods of procedure:
Gastric Bypass: where food is routed to avoid the stomach
Sleeve Gastrectomy: where a section of the stomach is “tightened” to reduce its capacity
Intragastric balloon: where a small balloon is inflated inside the stomach to make it smaller in volume and create a feeling of “fullness”

What is the cost of bariatric surgery in Dubai?

The average starting cost of bariatric surgery in Dubai usually ranges from AED 9,999 to AED 30,000. Depending on the type of bariatric surgery recommended for your case prices will vary. Typically, a gastric balloon is a less expensive option to a gastric sleeve or bypass.

Which other factors influence the cost?

Aside from the technique used, other factors influencing the cost include the fee charged by the Consultant, any follow-up treatments needed, the location of the clinic, the duration of hospitalisation, and any prescribed after-care medication.

Does health insurance in Dubai and the UAE cover bariatric surgery?

There is no definitive answer to this question. As a general rule, in cases where bariatric surgery is recommended for health reasons, it is covered by insurance companies. The coverage will vary from policy to policy in terms of limits, level of benefits, type of cover (inpatient, outpatient and after care) as well as the amount of excess or co-insurance contribution you may have to pay, so you should always do your research, and check the policy carefully before committing to any procedure if you want the costs to be covered under your health insurance. If you’re interested in losing weight, we’ve created a guide with valuable weight loss tips. Take a look to begin your journey toward achieving your weight loss goals.

About Author

Rachel Al Mughairi

About Author

With over 34 years in the international insurance industry in a variety of senior management roles, and as holder of the Diploma in Insurance from the Chartered Insurance Institute, Rachel surely knows her insurance! With experience in London, continental Europe and the Middle East, Rachel is here to share her knowledge and help you understand more about insurance products in this easy-to-understand series of videos and blogs.