As the cost of US medical care continues to climb, many Americans are traveling abroad for surgery. The Centers for Disease Control estimates approximately 750,000 Americans travel abroad each year for medical care, including heart surgery, dentistry, and cosmetic surgery. While surgical costs can be lower abroad, there are risks. These considerations can help you decide if medical tourism is right for you.
- Talk to your own health care provider about your plans. Your doctor may offer useful insights into the pros and cons and also can tell you if you should take any particular medical precautions, such as obtaining the appropriate vaccinations needed for the country you’re traveling to.
- Ensure communication won’t be an issue; consider possible language barriers before you travel.
- Thoroughly check out the credentials of the doctor abroad who will treat you and the surgical and aftercare facilities.
- Take complete copies of your medical records with you and bring back your medical records from the overseas medical facility post-procedure.
- Determine which US doctor will provide any needed aftercare; some physicians may refuse to treat you due to liability concerns.