6 things to know about medical tourism

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No matter where you turn, it seems the BBL trend has taken over everyone’s timeline. There’s no escaping it, and maybe we don’t want to. With plastic surgery being more easily accessible and accepted than before, many women are opting for a little pinch and tuck.

Women are starting to be more honest about their experiences with cosmetic surgery. However, it is important to weigh the consequences of surgery. Let’s face it, plastic surgery is expensive. Many top surgeons even charge hundreds of dollars for an initial consultation. And since many can’t afford to be treated by the top American surgeons their favorite celebrities visit, that leaves many women traveling overseas to get their jobs done.

Many find medical tourism appealing because it is often more affordable with similar or even better results than some American surgeries. Although this is usually the result, the cases of women suffering complications and even dying from inadequate surgery and follow-up are also increasing.

An unfortunate result of the increase in plastic surgery is the increase in body dysmorphia. Young girls and women feel pressure to compete with women on social media. This can cause women to travel to distant countries in search of a quick fix. But when it comes to medical tourism, planning is key.

Although its popularity is exploding, there are some things to consider before going under the knife in a foreign country. Let’s explore the ins and outs of medical tourism.

Medical Tourism: Pricing

Pros: One of the biggest appeals of medical tourism is that it’s usually a more affordable option than getting treatment in the United States. Patients Beyond Borders, an international medical tourism publication, reports that patients save up to 80% on physical and dental surgeries when they choose to have them done abroad.

Disadvantage: Patients pay the bills for everything. Medical tourism is especially helpful for uninsured or underinsured black people in the United States, but health insurance coverage doesn’t always extend to foreign countries, leaving patients responsible for their entire service.

Tip: Research the total cost of the procedure, asking potential surgeons and/or staff for estimates, including any hidden fees. Keep in mind costs not related to the procedure itself, such as travel arrangements, hotel or AirBnB reservations, car rental or other transportation to and from the hospital, food and drinks and even the cost of time off from work.

Quality of care

Pros: Medical tourism can provide the same quality of care as seeking treatment at a US medical facility. Just because it’s a foreign country doesn’t mean the quality standards aren’t desirable. International countries are also home to many accredited medical and dental professionals who are committed to providing high-value care to their patients.

Con: While the good outweigh the bad, there are many medical “professionals” who take shortcuts or provide inadequate care to their patients. Many Americans are wary of medical tourism due to the many cases circulating online of international treatments gone wrong.

Tip: Consider choosing a hospital with existing ties to the United States. American medical institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania encourage relationships with private hospitals outside the United States. These private hospitals often adopt the same standards of safety and care as those in the United States.

Medical Tourism: Treatment and Service Options

Pros: International medical professionals are generally more readily available to care for patients and are able to offer a list of alternative services and treatments that US professionals may not provide. Many patients with urgent needs opt for medical tourism because the wait time for treatment in the United States can be too long. International travelers are generally seen earlier, with US patients sometimes receiving priority processing.

Cons: Some foreign medical “professionals” are more likely to perform dangerous procedures if the money is good. Although medical tourism sometimes gets a bad rap for its stories of patients undergoing risky procedures, it is true that there are many fraudulent doctors and dentists out there who are willing to put your health on the line and ghost you when complications arise. .

Tip: Find a hospital accredited to perform your procedure by searching for medical organizations on the Joint Commission International website. The Joint Commission International is a non-profit organization that can help patients choose a safe, quality healthcare facility for their treatment.

Accommodation

Pros: Some international medical facilities offer alternative services to patients who are not native to the country. Many US patients can choose full packages that include airfare and hotel accommodations.

Cons: It can be difficult to navigate the country without understanding the language. Depending on the destination, many international medical professionals speak very little English, if at all. And when it comes to undergoing major surgery, it’s important to be able to communicate effectively with the medical staff.

Tip: Look for a concierge service before the trip. Many international agencies offer comprehensive packages for non-native patients including airfare, accommodation and transportation. For patients planning to enjoy travel, these concierge services can also help arrange dinner reservations, book tickets for tours or special events, and more. Private nurses are also available to transport patients to medical appointments, act as a translator between their client and medical staff, and assist patients with their follow-up needs.

Medical tourism: follow-up

Pros: International healthcare professionals usually provide quality aftercare instructions, including necessary prescriptions, just like in the US. Like American doctors, they have a safety and quality code to uphold, so they are usually available to support their patients from start to finish.

Cons: There are many unfortunate cases where follow-up care is minimal or non-existent. Many negligent “professionals” are there just for the money and don’t stick around to see their patients through the healing process.

Tip: Travelers can protect themselves by purchasing medical tourism insurance that provides financial coverage in the event of complications. In addition, patients should be aware of the risks associated with air travel following major surgery. Always check CDC guidelines for travel for medical tourism. For example, the government organization advises patients to wait at least seven days before returning home after cosmetic surgery due to the pressure of the airplane cabin which can negatively impact the body’s healing process. .

Opting for care in the United States

Pros: The United States employs highly skilled and knowledgeable healthcare professionals from around the world. There is a strict code of conduct that US professionals are required to follow to ensure patients receive quality care before, during and after their procedure.

Cons: Sure, US health care prices seem to be skyrocketing with no indication of letting up any time soon.

Additionally, an overwhelmed healthcare system means patients have to wait longer than expected to get the treatment they need.

And just because it’s America doesn’t mean patients are getting the results they’ve been dreaming of. Black women, in particular, must be extremely careful when choosing the right health care provider due to an unfortunate disparity in quality of medical care.

Tip: Patients can get their money’s worth by scheduling consultations with multiple surgeons. During the consultation, the medical staff can provide clear answers to their questions as well as estimates on the total cost and what to expect during recovery.

For best results, research the potential surgeon thoroughly, read their reviews, and look at photos to get an idea of ​​their work.

To help reduce the risk of complications, patients should obtain medical clearance from their doctor. People planning surgery can ask their doctor to perform a full physical assessment to make sure they are healthy and cleared to go under the knife.

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