When people leave their own country to seek medical treatment abroad we call this medical tourism. Why would people do this? Mainly it is done to save money. Many treatments and cosmetic procedures are available at a much lower cost outside the United States.
When a person seeks treatment through medical tourism, their treatment does not go through their insurance company. They are treated as private patients and the costs for treatment are fully paid out of pocket.
Plastic surgery procedures are not covered by insurance, so it stands to reason that they account for a major part of the medical tourism market. Even after the costs of airfare are factored in, it can still be much less expensive to have an operation performed overseas. For example, breast surgery averages about $6,000 when done here in the U.S., but it can be done for just $2,200 in India. Facial surgery and body contouring surgery are also much less expensive when performed outside the U.S.
Know the Risks
While you will be saving money by having a surgical procedure performed overseas, you will also be taking some serious risks, including death. So if you are considering this option, be informed and try to minimize the dangers.
For instance, air travel can increase your risk for blood clots, infection and complications after surgery.
There are different standards for sanitation in other parts of the world. The facilities may be unsanitary and the equipment used during surgery may not be sterile.
What if you require a blood transfusion? Standards for blood donation vary greatly from country to country. You could be at risk of getting a serious infection like HIV or hepatitis.
The medications that you receive abroad may be counterfeit or low quality. And how will you know if you are receiving treatment from a licensed professional? How will you be able to check credentials and licensing in a foreign land?
Communication can be a real problem with medical tourism. If you don’t speak the language, you may not be able to communicate effectively. You may not be able to ask for help if something goes wrong, and misunderstandings can lead to serious complications.
Beware of hidden costs. Make sure that you have a written agreement defining exactly what is included in the cost of the trip. If you should require an extra long hospital stay, for example, would you be able to afford the extra costs?
You cannot be sure that you will receive adequate follow-up care in a foreign facility. What would happen if you got a serious infection or had complications from the surgery and couldn’t get the medical facility to treat you? And if there are any problems with your surgery or treatment, you may not have any legal recourse.
Medical tourism can be very dangerous. It is important that you understand all the risks before traveling to seek medical care.
Contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation. Skinfinite Solutions Medical Center and Laser Spa is located in Modesto, CA, also serving residents of Stockton, CA.