Medical tourism:

7 MOST POPULAR MEDICAL
PROCEDURES TO TRAVEL FOR
FROM THE US
7 Most Popular Medical Procedures
Abroad
A handful of the most popular
procedures sought after by travelers
offers big savings, effective treatments
and optimal prognosis and results in a
variety of fields, including:

Bariatric Surgery - Gastric Bypass
Gastric bypass is generally performed
using a technique called Roux-en-Y, a
procedure that reduces the size of the
stomach to create a pouch that
accepts no more than an ounce or so
of food at a time. In Great Britain and
the U.S., costs for bariatric surgery can
cost up to $25,000. The same
technique performed in India costs
roughly $9,500, while South American
destination costs hover around
$10,000.

Orthopedic Procedures - Hip
replacement
Conventional hip replacement surgery
involves large incisions made around
the hip joint. Muscles are detached,
the ball joint of the hip removed and
replaced with a prosthesis or artificial
joint. The artificial joint is attached to
the thighbone with materials that allow
bone to reattach to the new joint or by
using a cement-like product.

Minimally invasive surgery involves a
one or two incision technique where
the length of the incisions are half
those that are commonly used for the
conventional hip replacement
surgeries. Other than the size of the
incision, the technique for the actual
replacement of the ball joint is the
same as that in the conventional
surgery.

Patients from Iraq, Nigeria and
locations throughout east-central
Europe traveling to India, Singapore
and Thailand benefit from hip
replacement surgical procedures that
cost about $12,000. In India, costs
range around $9,000-$10,000.

Infertility Treatments - IVF
Eggs and sperm are collected outside
of the body and placed together in a
laboratory dish to form into an embryo
or embryos in a lab environment. After
fertilization, they are then placed into
the uterus of a female recipient. In vitro
fertilization is an option for any couple
who have been unsuccessful with
other methods.
In the United States, the average cost
of one cycle of IVF may average
$12,400. The same procedure in the
Argentina costs around $4,000, while
Thailand facilities offer the same
procedures for about $4,500.

Cardiac Surgery - Heart Valve
Replacement
Heart valve replacement surgery
replaces heart valves that have
narrowed and obstructed blood flow
into or out of the heart. Heart valve
replacement surgeries are often
indicated for those suffering from
congenital heart valve diseases or
those suffering from heart conditions
such as rheumatic valve disease,
coronary artery disease, heart attack
damage, cardiomyopathy or heart
muscle disease.

Heart valve replacement or repair in
the United States costs an average of
$25,000 per valve. Mitral valve
replacement may cost around $14,000
to $20,000, depending on hospital
location. Multiple valve replacement
surgical procedures may cost up to
$100,000.
Medical travelers to India, Jordan and
Singapore receive quality of service at
greater savings, with single valve
replacements generally costing around
$9,500 and double valve replacements
costing around $11,500.

Cosmetic Surgery - Face Lifts to
Breast Implants
Advanced techniques offer multiple
surgical procedures including but not
limited to breast augmentation or
reduction, facelifts, nose surgery and
tummy tucks. Liposuction in the U.S.,
Great Britain and in France or
Germany can cost nearly $4,000 per
area of the body, while liposuction on
two or more areas may cost as much
as $8,000. Liposuction in India costs
one tenth of what it costs in the United
States. In Argentina, the breast lift,
augmentation or reduction procedures
cost roughly $3,500, and even a bit
less in exotic locales like Thailand.

Stem cell therapies
Stem cell therapies today involve the
use of embryonic stem cells, adult
stem cell therapy and research, and
umbilical cord or placenta stem cell
therapy methodologies. The cost of
placenta stem cell therapies in the U.S.
in the future are projected to be
$25,000-$30,000 depending on the
number of implants, though placenta
stem cell treatments in Mexico are
approximately $15,000. Costs in other
locations are competitive.

Dentistry
Traditional dental techniques as well
as cosmetic dental procedures are
becoming increasingly popular. Some
of the most popular dental procedures
include but are not limited to dental
implants, crowns and bridges.

Travelers to South American
destinations may average a 50% to
75% savings for the same procedure.
The cost of a crown will vary by the
type of crown chosen, but may range
between $800 and $1,000. In central
Europe and Asian dental facilities,
crowns average about $125 to $300.
Bonding can run between $300 and
$600 a tooth.

DECIDING: TO GO OR NOT TO GO?
Some services, such as hip and knee
surgery, heart valve replacements,
spinal fusions,  coronary artery bypass
graft surgery, and many dental
surgeries, are good candidates for
medical tourists.
Others, such as bone marrow
transplants, need special follow-up
care and should be done at home.

MEDICAL TOURISM RELATED
INSURANCE INNOVATIONS
Medical tourism related insurance
innovations:
Doctors Care in South Carolina offers
employees the option of medical
tourism through their insurance
provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield;

Hannaford Brothers Company, a
supermarket chain in Maine, who uses
Aetna insurance to promote medical
tourism in Singapore for its employees;

Intermountain Health Care (IHC) even
created a medical-value travel
department;



US ENTITIES INVOLVED WITH
FOREIGN OPERATIONS
U. S. facilities and medical tourism
countries associated:
Weill Cornell Medical College, New
York - Doha, Qatar;

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
and Doha, Qatar;

Duke Medicine, North Carolina with
Singapore;

John Hopkins Medicine, Maryland and
Singapore;

Columbia University Medical Center,
New York with Philippines;

Harvard: With one hospital located in
Bangalore and another in Mumbai, the
Wockhardt Hospitals are exclusive
institutions that are also affiliated with
the Harvard Medical International,
which is the international arm of the
Harvard Medical School. Wockhardt is
also approved and affiliated by the
Blue Cross Blue Shield, a U.S.
insurance company providing
coverage to US medical travelers.