Healthcare is one of the most controversial and complicated issues in modern America. How do we assure that our friends and loved ones get the attention they need without breaking the bank? It’s important to explore all of your options with your doctor and insurance provider, but some people don’t have the patience for this process or the cash. That’s why they often resort to seeking cosmetic surgery abroad. From Canada to the UK and Singapore to Israel, Americans are traveling internationally to undergo certain procedures in hopes of getting them performed for a lower cost than they would pay here at home. According to one study, a large number of these surgeries are cosmetic in nature. But is it worth the globetrotting? Here are some important considerations to make before you hop a plane to engage in medical tourism…
Communication Is KeyThe first important factor to consider seems obvious, but it can’t be overstated: do you speak the language of your desired destination? If so, how fluently do you converse? It is imperative to be able to communicate effortlessly and pointedly with your medical team to ensure the utmost transparency and openness. For example, if you are experiencing pain or discomfort, you must convey the specifics of your predicament to elicit the proper remedy. Now revisit that initial line of questioning. Are you sure that you can accurately translate your health status into another language, no matter what that status may be… or how it could suddenly change?
Verifying CredentialsYou’ve done your homework. You know what procedure you want. But is your surgeon as prepared as you are? You want to fully vet his or her credentials before putting your trust in their care. It’s a simple process in the United States because you can search their accreditation with well-established organizations like the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, but it becomes much more complicated overseas. Is there a comparable organization in your host country? If you don’t know the answer, then more research is inevitable.
Risk AssessmentWith any surgical situation, there are inherent risks. Clotting, swelling, and general pain management are parts of the landscape you must maneuver when you’re recovering from a procedure. You should ask yourself a few important questions before you embark upon a medical journey through a foreign land.
- How long will I be visiting this country?
- How expensive is it to stay in the local hospital while I recuperate?
- Will I have access to the appropriate pain meds?
- What about other resources like antibiotics and sterile equipment?
- If an infection should occur, do I trust this medical team to deal with the consequences?