We encourage you to spend 5 minutes of your life reading through the following information.  We encourage you not to skip over it because it is longer than your average Facebook post.  Hopefully, the info will assist you in your decision as well as give you information to provide to your family or friends who may question your decision.

Is it safe to go overseas for surgery?

This question comes up regularly from people who don’t understand what it is you are doing and have misconceptions about Asia in general. Let’s be clear, any surgery whether performed in Australia, Asia, the USA or the Moon comes with risks.  An intelligent person will analyse the facts and weigh up the risks, they won’t discount an option because they read it on Facebook.  Simple risk reduction strategies can be applied to whether travelling overseas is too big a risk.


  • What are the risks (identify the risks)
  • Understand the risks (evaluate the risks)
  • Accept risk when benefits outweigh the cost
  • Anticipate and manage risk by planning
  • Manage and monitor the risk

Once the exercise is completed at a ‘high level’ (eg. travel overseas) get specific.

  • What are the risks of traveling to Malaysia?
  • What is the rank of those specific risks? (eg on a scale of 1-10 and in order of highest to lowest)
  • Do the risks outweight the benefits or visa versa
  • Can you reduce the risks through planning
  • Can you manage the risks?

Once that is complete, you can then look at the individual components such as the surgeon, the hospital, the actual travel.  This will help you to understand whether the risk is a misconception, or whether it is a real and present danger.

Convincing others

Most people when they get to this stage of looking overseas have already made the decision to have gastric surgery.  You have been convinced of the benefits of gastric surgery but as you begin to communicate it to others, you will face two main challenges.


  • Telling your family and friends you are thinking of having gastric surgery
  • Telling the same people you are going overseas!


The first point you will be able to talk through with 90% of people you talk to using the same logic you used to come to the decision.


  • It’s a proven permanent weight loss solution that has worked for millions of people world-wide.
  • It’s a tool, not a silver bullet.  It allows you to gain control when your body has taken over through hormonal shifts that you can no longer control diet and exercise alone.
  • Reduces if not eliminates type 2 diabetes (or the onset), heart and blood pressure issues and other obesity-related illnesses.
  • Studies recently released are showing that gastric surgery patients are actually outliving their ‘normal’ counterparts.

The second point is more difficult because of certain misconceptions that exist.  Let’s work through them.

The Doctors in Asia are backyard hacks

Having a surgeon you can trust is important but why do people think that the best surgeons reside and practice in Australia? You see this quite regularly on Facebook.

I wouldn’t have surgery overseas if you paid me”   “The risks are much higher”  “Are you crazy??”


These comments are based on a Hollywood depiction or (ill) preconceived notions of the Asian medical fraternity rather than fact and it is simply not the case.  As many if not more (due to the population) brilliant and highly qualified and experienced surgeons reside and work in Asia as any part of the world.  Take Dato. Dr Tikfu Gee, A New Life consulting surgeon as an example.  He is one of the foremost bariatric surgeons in the world.  His reputation is well known in Australia and the rest of Asia.


  • He holds a Bachelor in Medicine
  • He has a Masters in SurgeryA Fellowship in Advanced Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery
  • Is the Vice Chairman of the Malaysian Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Society
  • Is the Secretary of the Society of Endoscopic Laparoscopic Surgery Malaysia
  • He has been given the title of “Dato” in Malaysia which is the equivalent of a Knighthood for his work in the bariatric and diabetes fields.


Like ANY field of expertise, you are going to have different levels of skill and being trained in Australia DOES NOTmake you a better surgeon.


Contrary to what the media may report and what seems to be popular opinion on Social Media, surgery, when organised by Australian based facilitators, is not performed in a Hollywood style backyard operating theatre with questionable hygiene and potentially mixed species patients (veterinarian). Malaysia especially has fostered a reputation as being one of the most advanced and modern Asian countries when it comes to medical travel.  Kuala Lumpur is a 1st world modern city with all the same infrastructure you would come to expect from Australia or New Zealand, sometimes better, much better.

Risks and risk aversion strategies

It would be foolish to advise a client that there are no risks.  Of course there are.  The main risk is people going over on an extremely tight budget with any allowance for contingencies.   What if you need another night in hospital due an unforeseen circumstance or you don’t feel comfortable yet to discharge?  Dr Gee who is the Consulting Surgeon for A New Life has a brilliant track record when it comes to Gastric Surgery.  In the 6 years he has been operating on Australians, there has not been one mortality or complication requiring return trips to Malaysia!  That’s astounding.  In Australia we see this all the time where rework is required, so this is testament to his professionalism and skill as a surgeon.


What if something does ‘go wrong’?  What if you require ICU for a few weeks or the absolute worst case scenario, you are injured or suffer a mortality?  You can take out Medical Complications insurance that covers you up to a dollar amount of your choosing.  We are an official partner of the only Medical Complications Insurance, Global Protective Solutions.  We encourage clients to spend the $1000 (dependent on US – AUD exchange rate) to ensure they have no out of pocket if things inexplicably go wrong.  This is different to your travel insurance which should be taken out as a matter of course.   Have a look at GPS’ frequently asked questions.  Disclosure:  A New Life does not receive any commissions or payments from Global Protective Solutions for referrals to their program.

Fly-Back for free

A New Life offer an affordable FlyBack Program that entitles the client to fly back to Malaysia (return), all Accommodation and the surgeon’s fee if any rework is required that is found to be a fault of the surgeon.


A New Life is a medical travel facilitator.  Our whole reputation is staked on the facilities and doctors we refer to.   With Social Media and hungry news outlets, our business would not last long if we had mortalities or major problems.   The facts is, if you plan right, use the right facilitator, the risks are the same as Australia.

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