Let’s Compare: Weight loss surgery in the UK vs Weight loss surgery in Latvia

Let’s Compare: Weight loss surgery in the UK vs Weight loss surgery in Latvia


In this article, we will be talking about weight loss surgery in the UK and comparing it with weight loss surgery in Latvia, with stress on the latter. Why are we doing this in the first place?

Well, obesity and weight-related health problems are on a steady harsh rise in the UK. Meanwhile, NHS is unable to cater to all the people in dire need of surgical approach, due to the lack of funds. In private health care, the big stopper is the prices, which, albeit justified in the sense that they are dependent on the economy of the country, still cut off a great number of patients unable to afford the surgery.

This has led to the birth of bariatric tourism as such, and in past years there has been a noticeable shift from Turkey towards the eastern parts of Europe – Ukraine, Poland, Czech Republic, and Latvia, the latter gaining ever more ground.

For clarity, let us compare weight loss surgery in these two countries, Latvia and the UK, timewise, quality wise and finally, cost-wise.

What about weight loss surgery on NHS?

NHS annual cost for bariatric surgeries exceeds £45 billion and although the government is constantly increasing its budget, it would still take massive annual extra funds to make a change in the arena of bariatric surgery in the UK.

After preliminary qualifications, there is still a lengthy period of meeting with specialists, controlled weight loss, and being deemed physically and mentally fit to not just have the surgery, but also fully succeed post-operation, before actually being put on the official waiting list.

Comparing timewise

For bariatric surgery on NHS, the waiting time can be anything between 9-10 months (very, very optimistic!) to some 48+ months. This ratio of passing the sieve and long wait is what many people simply cannot afford.

Meanwhile, weight loss surgery in Latvia usually takes some consultation and a run of tests to make certain the patient is fit enough and aware of the entire process and their grand role in it. Time – 2-3 months.

Comparing quality wise

Although a tiny Baltic country at the other end of Europe, bariatric surgery in Latvia has a history of solid twenty years, with both local means and EU programs funding the latest quality equipment and well-paid professional surgeons and staff.

Weight Loss Riga hospital, for example, has hundreds of satisfied clients, providing more than 500 procedures annually. Their leading surgeon has 30 years of experience.

Comparing cost-wise: Where to find cheap weight loss surgery

Lower maintenance costs and the overall level of the economy mean that weight loss surgery in Latvia is much cheaper.

For example:

Gastric sleeve: £9000-12 000 UK, £4980 Weight Loss Riga

Gastric bypass: £9500-15 000 UK, £4323 WLR

Another solid reason for affordable prices is that weight loss surgeries in Latvia are so popular that the clinics can afford lower prices on the quantity alone – that, and the previously mentioned EU program funds and local governmental support for a particular streak of medicinal tourism.

These days, medical tourism has become more affordable, and there is no shame in putting your health first and choosing a quality service outside your own country. The same goes for quality – gone are the days of poor clinics and underpaid staff who did not know what they were doing. In Latvia, bariatric clinics are held to rigorous EU standards and by no means fall shorter than NHS or private clinics in the UK.

In conclusion, if in need of timely quality bariatric procedures, Latvia is a European and also growing world star to consider!


I am a pop culture and social media expert. Aside from writing about the latest news health, I also enjoy pop culture and Yoga. I have BA in American Cultural Studies and currently enrolled in a Mass-Media MA program. I like to spend my spring breaks volunteering overseas.

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