The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of Medical Tourism

By: Jake Solochek

The latest fad appearing on TV magazine shows like 20/20 and Dateline focuses on the cost-savings of medical tourism. You can fly to the Czech Republic for major dental surgery or get a heart by-pass in Thailand for half or less of what you would pay in the USA , and get a vacation (counting hotel stay, costs of travel and the recovery period, too).

Whether you are a fan of the rainforest in Belize or if you live in a paradise like Fort Lauderdale , you can find a medical and health dream come true in the tropics ( India, Thailand or Brazil ).

'You have to look at the good, the bad and the ugly' according to Dr.

Kurt Wagner, a plastic surgeon based in Boca Raton , Florida . A medical procedure in another country can be significantly lower. It's great to find capable, even fabulous medical care in areas that twenty years ago most people would not have called developed.

But you need to look at the bad, too. What if there are medical problems that arise from the procedure that was performed 10,000 miles away? Imagine coming home to find out that you need more follow-up care than anticipated by your Indian or Asian surgeon?

Things can get ugly, according to Dr. Wagner, who has written more than a dozen books on cosmetic procedures. “What will it cost to fix a botched procedure?" he adds. If the procedure is done at a nearby clinic, any botched jobs can be easily rectified without having to buy another plane ticket and foot yet another hotel bill.

Medical tourism is a hot topic and looking at the positives and negatives (and the REALLY BIG negatives) should be part of your evaluation of these low-cost alternatives to a local doctor's services. Whether you hear about these procedures on a cruise or on TV, the decision is the same: What is best for you?

Plastic Surgery
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