People regularly go overseas for healthcare to save themselves money and cut waiting times. However, there are some dangers inherent in having surgery carried out overseas and it’s worth investigating them before taking the plunge.
Things like organ operations can be secured for as much as 50% of the cost of the same procedure back in the west, minus the long and annoying waiting lists intrinsic to the majority of western countries.
Research shows that many American citizens go overseas every year for kidney transplants. However, surveys show that people who go overseas for this operation can risk greater chances of complications like infection or acute rejection, and the level of these complications is accentuated by being a medical tourist.
A piece of research from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) showed that kidney rejection happens in up to 30% of medical tourists who undergo kidney transplant operations abroad. In comparison, just 12% of people who had operations at UCLA had kidney rejections.
Medical Tourism for Kidney Transplant
The Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology reports that the most common destinations for kidney transplants via medical tourism are India, Turkey, Mexico, and Thailand.
However, with that in mind, the motives for becoming a medical tourist or a transplant tourist are pretty convincing. The USA has just 10,000 kidney transplant operations carried out per year, but the country has around 70,000 patients who need a new kidney. The average waiting list is around five years. Remaining on dialysis for this period is something most patients would do anything to avoid.
Some people consider it simpler and undoubtedly cheaper to seek out a transplant overseas, risking the possibility that the donor was a prisoner, deceased, or otherwise.
Things to think about when considering overseas surgery:
- Pick a reputable hospital or clinic
- Investigate the surgeon’s qualifications and experience
- Investigate the credentials of the medical board which certified the surgeon
- Find out if the surgeon can speak English
- Request an in-person consultation with the surgeon ahead of the operation
- Take the help of medical facilitators
Seek Advice First
Before you go ahead and book an operation overseas it’s worth speaking to a surgeon in your own country. A domestic doctor might well advise you against a procedure. If you find you require a procedure then you must talk about any likely risks and dangers inherent in the process.
If you do plump for overseas operations, it’s worth meeting your surgeon before you proceed with the procedure. Check that you accept his post-op plan, and ask him about his training, experience, and credentials to give yourself peace of mind.
In thinking about how much the procedure will cost it’s worth considering what you get for your money. For example, Kidney Transplant cost in India is not only cost-effective as well as you get quality treatment. Don’t forget your health is invaluable.
A major worry for people who want surgery overseas is post-op care. People who have operations privately around the world don’t get much by way of aftercare or post-op looking after, even though this is an important part of the procedure. There are lots of examples of people heading home only to find that they then experience complications that require further care.
Having no aftercare or post-op support can mean long-term problems so it’s worth checking out what kind of post-op care you actually need to make the best possible recovery.
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