If you’ve been diagnosed with a severe issue that requires immediate surgery, you might’ve thought of getting the procedure done abroad to avoid waiting times. Or maybe you have heard that another country specialises in a specific procedure, and you want access to their expertise, often for less.
There are cases when getting surgery abroad makes perfect sense. However, there are various factors that you might have to consider first. The experience of getting surgery in another country might differ from what you expected. Therefore you have to be ready for some of the drawbacks of medical tourism. Let’s look at a few things you must consider before getting surgery abroad.
What About Follow-Ups?
Some surgeries require you to go back for follow-up appointments multiple times months after the procedure. This means that you will have to fly back to that destination every time, which could significantly strain your finances on top of being inconvenient. Not everyone likes flying back and forth, especially if it’s only for a one-day stay. So, consider how many follow-up visits will be needed and whether they’ll work within your schedule and budget.
It’s Not Necessarily Cheaper
Things like follow-up visits are one of the reasons why you shouldn’t assume that a procedure will be cheaper simply because of the lower price tag. You must factor in travel costs, lodging, and many more things.
You can’t expect to leave after the procedure either; you might be required to stay for a good while if you suffer complications. This means you’ll have to consider accommodation, food, and everything else that comes with staying in another country. If you notice that the price difference is minimal, it would be much better to go with a clinic back home.
Issues with Insurance
You might also have to deal with issues with your insurance company if you have private insurance. Make one mistake, and you could find yourself having to pay thousands of pounds more for your procedure. You also have no idea what could happen while you’re over there and what additional treatment you might have to get. These treatments may or may not be covered by your policy. So make sure you revise it before you leave and don’t engage in risky activities.
You May Have Issues with Corrective Surgery
Let’s say you go to Turkey to get a nose job, and the doctor does a horrible job. If that happens, there’s a strong chance you’ll have trouble finding a local doctor who will accept to perform corrective surgery on you. That’s perfectly understandable too. No surgeon wants to be blamed for complications resulting from a botched job an incompetent doctor served before them. So, you may have to prepare to pay more or wait much longer until you can find someone to work with you.
Do You Like the Destination in General?
Price and expertise are usually the two things people think about when they look for a destination for overseas surgery. But you also have to consider whether you’ll like the goal as you may have to stay for several weeks. It’s always good to go somewhere where you are familiar with the culture.
You also have to consider things like climate, as recovering in a tropical destination might sound better than what it is. Dealing with intense heat and humidity can be extremely tough during recovery. So consider this if you’re already familiar with the destination. However, this is a place you could see yourself living in for a few days or months after your medical procedure, then go ahead.
The Hospital and Doctor Reputation and Certification
Do your research on any facility or doctor you are thinking of going for. You must search if the hospital has a history of massive outbreaks or errors. You must check the doctor’s licence and certifications, where they got their degree. And any post-graduate training courses or fellowships they have received. Checking their employment history is also very important.
You will have to keep these things in mind before going abroad for any surgery. This is a tough decision and one that could have far-reaching consequences. So take the time to look at all your options before you make your final choice.