surgery


Bloomberg recently reported a story that highlighted the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force on yearly mammograms for women aged 40 and above. According to the story, the guidelines released by the task force suggested that annual mammograms for most women in their 40s have more drawbacks than benefits and therefore, women should wait until age 50 to start getting breast cancer screening tests every two years.

Here is the story:

November 17, 2009

Annual mammograms for most women in their 40s have more drawbacks than benefits, said a panel of U.S. doctors that recommended women wait until age 50 to start getting breast cancer screening tests every two years.

The change in guidelines released by the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force, a government-backed physician group, said women in their 40s are more likely to get false-positive tests that can lead to unnecessary biopsies and anxiety. The recommendations, which also said that self-examinations were unnecessary, don’t apply to women who carry a high risk for breast cancer. Those women should talk to their doctors about when to get screening, the panel said.

The new guidelines, published yesterday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, pit the task force against the American Cancer Society, which insisted doctors should still advise women to undergo routine annual screening starting at age 40. About 64 percent of women ages 40 to 49 had an X-ray of their breasts during the past two years, the panel’s report said.

“This is not a blanket recommendation not to worry until age 50,” said Diana Petitti, a disease epidemiologist at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, and vice chair of the panel. “It’s a recommendation to have a discussion with your physician to better understand the trade-offs between starting exams now and starting later.”

Imaging machines for mammograms, and related supplies, are marketed by Fairfield, Connecticut-based General Electric Co., Bedford, Massachusetts-based Hologic Inc. and Munich-based Siemens AG.

Insurer Coverage

J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, the American Cancer Society’s deputy chief medical officer, said the panel’s guidelines may affect insurance payouts. ‘Our hope is that insurers will not make any change in coverage,” Lichtenfeld said.

WellPoint Inc., the top U.S. health insurer by enrollment with 34 million members, pays for annual mammograms for women age 40 in the majority of its health plans. The Indianapolis- based company periodically reviews its reimbursement policies and “doesn’t adhere to any one source” for guidance, said Jill Becher, a company spokeswoman in Milwaukee.

The new guidelines, if widely adopted by physicians and insurers, could reduce the number of U.S. mammogram screenings by 58 percent, from the current 37.2 million annually to 15.6 million under a “worst-case scenario,” Junaid Husain, a Boston-based analyst at Soleil Securities, wrote in a note to investors today.

Detecting Cancer

Mammograms, self-breast examinations, and doctor’s exams are the three main forms of detecting breast cancer. The task force said there was no evidence that self-exams reduce breast- cancer deaths, and insufficient information exists to recommend that doctors do routine physical exams.

The mammograms are used to check for breast cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms of the disease, and also to check for breast cancer after a lump or other signs of cancer have been found, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths among U.S. women, after lung cancer, killing 40,480 women in 2008, according to the task force report.

The task force analyzed published research and developed computer-simulation models to evaluate the likely health outcomes if mammograms were begun at certain ages and done every one or two years.

Deaths, False Positive Tests

The study confirmed earlier research that women who have mammograms die less frequently of breast cancer than those who don’t have the tests. About two deaths per 1,000 women are averted if women begin annual screenings rather than exams every two years starting at age 40, the task force estimated.

It also estimated that women who begin getting mammograms at 40 will have about 60 percent more false positive results per 1,000 exams than women who start screenings at age 50. A false positive, in which an abnormality is seen that proves not to be cancer, typically leads to additional screenings and tissue biopsies, the panel’s researchers said.

The cancer society challenged the reliability of the task force study’s methods.

“We are reluctant to recommend changing a proven program that has helped to save lives,” Lichtenfeld said. The society questions whether the task’s force computer modeling “is sufficiently sophisticated and accurate enough,” he said.

High-Risk Women

The recommendations aren’t intended for women older than 40 who have a higher risk for breast cancer. Increased risk can come from having a gene mutation linked to breast cancer or having been exposed often to chest radiation, which can raise the probability of breast cancer.

The task force said it didn’t make recommendations for these higher-risk groups because it lacked sufficient data to know the benefits of more frequent screening tests.

Women’s health groups varied in their responses to the new guidelines.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Dallas-based breast cancer advocacy group, said it won’t change its recommendation that women ages 40 to 49 get annual mammograms. “We would not want to see a change in policy or reimbursement for screening mammography at this time,” said Eric Winer, the group’s chief scientific adviser, in a statement.

The task force’s recommendations were applauded by the National Breast Cancer Coalition, a Washington-based advocacy group, which said the guidelines support its position.

‘Deserve the Truth’

“Women deserve the truth even when it is complicated,” said Fran Visco, the coalition’s president, in a statement. “They can accept it.”

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists rejected the task force’s recommendations, maintaining its guidelines that women in their 40s be screened every one to two years and women age 50 and older get annual exams, according to a statement issued by the group on Monday.

Researchers and physicians know that results from the X- rays aren’t as reliable in younger women as in older women. Women in their 40s typically have denser breast tissue, making it more difficult for technicians to determine if an image is normal or cancerous.

After women enter menopause, typically about age 50, the breast tissue becomes less dense and more fat, and the X-rays can be more accurately interpreted, said Susan Love, president and medical director of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation in Santa Monica, California.

‘Long Overdue’

The panel’s suggestions for women ages 40 to 49 are “long overdue,” said Love in a telephone interview. “Most countries in the world do not do mammography screening until age 50.”

“There is a lot of anxiety created when someone tells you that there is something that showed up in a test,” said Karla Kerlikowske, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, Medical Center who wrote an editorial accompanying the task force report.

Subsequent exams expose women to more radiation, and although biopsies are “low risk,” some patients develop infections or experience pain and bruises, she said.

Screening women ages 50 to 74 every two years “achieves most of the benefit of annual screening with less harm,” the task force said. Now women in the older age group get a mammogram, on average, every 14 months, according to the report.

In forming its guidelines, the task force’s “biggest concern” was that women would be confused by conflicting advice from health experts or wrongly interpret the panel’s message as a blanket recommendation for those ages 40 to 49 to forego screening until they turn 50, Petitti said.

Risks, Preferences

Instead, decisions by women younger than 50 and their doctors should be based on “the risk for breast cancer and preferences about the benefits and harms” the task force wrote in the study.

Although the recommendations are “very clear and thoughtful,” women are likely to be confused by the different advice of health experts, Kerlikowske said.

It may be difficult to persuade many women in their 40s who have been told by their doctors for years that annual screenings are beneficial to accept the panel’s recommendations, said the cancer society’s Lichtenfeld.

“The task force is saying you can get 70 percent of the benefit if you get a mammogram every two years compared with every year,” Lichtenfeld said. “There will be women who say, ‘I want 100 percent of the benefit.’”

Source: Bloomberg

FREE cost estimate for surgery in any of the 18 countries supported by Healthbase

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Vermont leads the nation in the delivery of its health care, while Mississippi is rated the worst, according to a non-partisan study that compares all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Vermont, Hawaii, Iowa, Minnesota, Maine and New Hampshire ranked 1 to 5 in 38 indicators of health care.

At the bottom were Mississippi, along with Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Nevada and Texas.

The Commonwealth Fund Commission’s “Scorecard on Health System Performance,” rated the states on access, quality, costs and health outcomes in a follow up to their 2007 report.

Overall, the states which did best on the Commonwealth scorecard were in New England and the upper Midwest, and the worst states were in the South.

Vermont, with only 640,000 residents, has nearly universal health care coverage with 93 percent insured. Its innovative “Blue Print for Health” focuses on prevention of chronic diseases.

“We’re small. There are 19 cities larger than the state of Vermont,” said Susan Besio, director for health care reform and Medicaid for Vermont.

“But I believe there is something unique about Vermont in terms of its culture,” she told ABCNews.com. “We want to take care of each other and we are a healthy state.”

In Mississippi, however, about 20 percent are uninsured despite having some of the highest rates of hypertension, diabetes and asthma.

According to the report, only 35.7 percent of adults 50 or over in Mississippi receive recommended screening and preventive care.

“When you compare Mississippi on almost any socio-economic profile, we are a struggling population that has a large percentage of low-income individuals, high unemployment rates, low rate of education,” said Robert Pugh, director of the Mississippi Primary Health Care Association.

The scorecard “paints a picture of health care systems under stress, with deteriorating health insurance coverage for adults and rising health care costs,” according to co-author Cathy Schoen, who is senior vice president of the commission.

“Where you live matters for access, quality of care and whether you live a long and healthy life. These wide and persistent gaps among states highlight the need for national reforms and federal action to support states.”

For example, 32 percent of working-age adults in Texas are uninsured, compared to only 7 percent in Massachusetts in the most recent survey.

“It’s very hard to have a high performing health care system and hospitals that do well for everyone if you have a high rate of uninsured in the state,” said Schoen.

In 1999-00, there were only two states with 23 percent or more of adults uninsured. But by 2007-2008 there were nine.

Children fared much better, due in large part to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) under Medicaid. The number of states with 16 percent or more of children uninsured dropped from nine to three during the same time period.

Other findings of the report were that in a, costs rose and quality improved in areas where outcomes were reported to the public.

Vermont’s ‘Blue Print For Health’ A Model

The Green Mountain state was cited for its model “Blue Print” program. Launched by Republican Gov. Jim Douglas, it covers everything from teaching children healthy eating to helping seniors stay in their homes rather than going to costly nursing homes.

“You betcha, I feel good about the reforms we put in place,” Douglas told ABCNews.com. “It’s centered on quality and containing costs. Care shouldn’t start in the emergency room.”

All Vermonters are encouraged to have yearly exams and adults are notified when they are due for check-ups.

Douglas talks to children about “getting off the couch” and set an example just this week by joining elementary students on a walk to school.

With the second oldest population in the nation, Vermont subsizes care for seniors and the disabled to defray the costs of home care. Nursing home beds were reduced by 200 last year.

In one pilot program, electronic medical records can avert expensive tests like MRIs and x-rays. One emergency room doctor seeing a woman with stomach pains discovered in her online medication history that she had not filled her prescription for ulcer medicine.

“It takes time and so a lot of the fruits come from years of work and planning and cooperation,” said Douglas.

Health Care Affects a State’s Economy

But Mississippi, with the highest infant mortality and low birth rates in the nation, makes access to these Medicaid programs more difficult, according to Roy Mitchell, director of the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program (MHAP).

“I am not at all surprised we were 51st on the list,” he told ABCNews.com. “We are last on several health indicators. Our policy makers work hard at being last.”

Despite one of the highest matches of federal to state dollars in Medicaid funding, the state mandates “face-to-face” eligibility, requiring all new applicants and those reapplying for benefits to come in for an interview.

“As a direct result, 65,000 children have fallen off the rolls,” Mitchell said.

“Mississippi does virtually no outreach at all. They don’t publish where these face to face stations are and what times,” he said. “It’s a bureaucratic maze even to find out where to go. And when they get there they don’t have a certain document.”

Of those, about 77 percent would be eligible, he said. “It’s touted as fraud prevention.”

These disparities between the highest and lowest ranked states could be alleviated with national reform, according to Commonwealth.

The report emphasizes the need for insurance reform that rewards good outcomes, payment reform with an emphasis on prevention and advanced information systems that travel with the patient from physician to physician, saving time, money and preventing errors.

“What the scorecard is showing is that we have a system under stress, no matter where we live,” said co-author Schoen. “The costs are rising more than people’s incomes. We need to act.”

Schoen said she has hope for reform. “There is real leadership and people are taking reform seriously.”

Source: ABC News

Log on to Healthbase to learn about medical tourism or to get a FREE quote for any surgery in the United States or abroad.

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Today, medical tourism is a widely accepted and proven formula for top quality care at low cost. Given the manifold increase in the number of patients traveling overseas for medical and surgical care from the US, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) has recognized that surgical care has become more readily available in a wider global market, and that this phenomenon is here to stay. So, the College recently developed an official “Statement on Medical and Surgical Tourism”, which according to ACS are “consistent with the College’s longstanding advocacy position of promoting an environment of optimal care for the surgical patient”.

The College has developed several key principles (listed below) for those who choose to seek surgical care abroad. The College:

  • encourages patients to seek care of the highest quality and supports their rights to select their surgeons and health care institutions without restriction.
  • encourages its Fellows to assist all patients in reaching informed decisions concerning medical care, whether at home or abroad.
  • advises patients to consider the medical, social, cultural, and legal implications of seeking medical treatment abroad prior to deciding on a venue of care.
  • encourages patients electing to receive treatment abroad to seek care at health care institutions that have met the standards for accreditation established by recognized accrediting organizations.
  • encourages patients electing treatment abroad to seek care from surgeons and anesthesiologists certified in their specialties through a process equivalent to that established by the member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties.
  • encourages patients receiving treatment abroad to obtain a complete set of medical records prior to returning home so that the details of their care are immediately available to their physicians and surgeons in the U.S. Follow-up care at home should be organized prior to travel whenever possible.
  • encourages patients contemplating medical tourism to understand the special risks of combining long international flights and certain vacation activities with anesthesia and surgical procedures.
  • opposes the imposition of provisions for mandatory referral of patients by insurers to health care institutions outside the U.S., unless such provisions are clearly and explicitly stated in the insurance contract and accepted by the subscriber.
  • supports the view that payors referring patients for mandatory treatment abroad should be responsible for the coordination and reimbursement of follow-up care in the U.S., including the management of postoperative complications, readmissions, rehabilitation, and long-term care.

Source: Statement on Medical and Surgical Tourism by ACS

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By Victoria Knight, Dow Jones Newswires

A post recently appeared in the Wall Street Journal Blog which talked about Healthbase, Healthbase’s customers and the latest trend in medical tourism or global healthcare – traveling from one state to another within the United States in search for cheaper prices for major surgeries. Healthbase is one company that has been helping American patients connect to affordable hospitals in the US for major surgeries. The author writes,

Uninsured Americans also are shopping around for surgery in the U.S. in record numbers, and using new services such as Healthbase Online Inc. , a Boston-based medical brokerage that arranges treatments for patients at health-care facilities worldwide. Rodney Larson, a self-employed electrician from Minnesota, used Healthbase Online to arrange a triple heart bypass at Galichia Heart Hospital in Wichita, Kansas. He paid $13,000 flat fee for the surgery, about $90,000 dollars less than the rate for uninsured patients in Minnesota.

The current economic conditions…

Worsening economic conditions have made employers and workers more inventive in dealing with ever-rising health-care costs. Some are taking advantage of new health services that offer fixed rates for surgery to patients willing to travel to get care.

The financial benefits of domestic and international medical tourism cannot be overlooked and some insurers have taken active steps to reduce the health care costs for their clients in this slowing economy by offering them medical tourism options. The author mentions about the forward thinking by some health insurers and writes,

It’s a strategy that giving some insurers food for thought. WellPoint Inc., the nation’s largest health insurer, is currently evaluating programs and benefits where customers can “elect to seek certain services at designated facilities for a fixed per-case rate ,” according to a spokeswoman, Jill Becher.

Others insurers aren’t sold on asking customers to travel for health care. Aetna Inc. says it already negotiates significant discounts with medical providers. Typically, it pays physicians within three days of submitting a claim, so up-front cash payments aren’t a strong incentive for achieving additional discounts, according to a company spokesperson.

Request FREE quote for affordable major surgery within US or overseas

More at: Wall Street Journal Blog

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Healthbase has helped an uninsured American patient get double hip resurfacing surgeries in India. The high cost of Birmingham hip resurfacing surgery in the United States plus the lack of expertise in this procedure in the country continues to drive scores of Americans to India.

Nov. 21, 2008, Boston, MA. Healthbase Online Inc., an award-winning medical tourism facilitator based in Boston, Massachusetts, helps an Arizona-based former ballet dancer treat her hip osteoarthritis in India. 53-year old Katharine Frey who had arthritis in both her hips traveled to Apollo Hospitals, Chennai to have her hips resurfaced and availed of the 85% discount on the cost of the surgery.

“I have appreciated everything we have experienced and received at the Apollo Hospitals . Everyone has been very kind, supportive and helpful,” says Katharine after her hip resurfacing surgery last winter. She was so happy with the quality of care she received at her overseas hospital that she went back a few months later to have her second hip resurfaced.

Being uninsured, the $60,000 required to have a single hip resurfaced in the US seemed out of reach for Katharine. This led her into researching her other option – surgery overseas – and contacting Healthbase who coordinated both her surgeries in India for $8,000 each. The price included doctor’s fees, physical therapy and a week in the hospital.

According to Saroja Mohanasundaram, CEO of Healthbase , “Our clients prefer going abroad for Birmingham hip resurfacing because it is a fairly new procedure in the US but has been in use, say, in India, for many years. Being a major procedure it demands years of practice on the surgeon’s part to gain proficiency. The fact that Katharine went back to have her other hip resurfaced in India speaks volumes about the high level of satisfaction with our service and that of our partner hospitals and surgeons.”

Katharine Frey taking off on a paragliding flight just weeks after her hip resurfaicng surgery in India
Katharine Frey taking off on a paragliding flight just weeks after her hip resurfacing surgery in India

Katharine returned to work merely two and a half weeks post operation and to teaching ballet twenty days post operation. Katharine actively participates in swimming, yoga, hiking, paragliding, and cross-country road trips. “She has no pain in her hips and is moving and functioning like a normal human. I am so grateful and am enjoying watching Katharine return to life,” remarks Scott Martin, Katharine’s husband.

Katharine was operated upon by Dr. Vijay Bose and his team. Dr. Bose, a specialist in Birmingham Hip Resurfacing, Joint Replacement and Sports Medicine, has over a thousand BHR surgeries under his belt.
“Beyond the cost savings, the attention given was remarkable. Dr. Bose and his qualified staff will always be remembered for this,” adds Katharine.

Impressed by the high quality of care in India, even Scott, who accompanied Katharine to India addressed some of his periodontal issues through dental scaling and crowns at Apollo Hospitals while Katharine recuperated after her second Birmingham hip resurfacing surgery.

“It has been a positive life changing process for both of us. Thank you, Healthbase, for being so receptive, supportive and professional,” acknowledge Katharine and Scott.

Healthbase connects patients from across the globe to health care facilities in India, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, Philippines, Turkey, Belgium, Hungary, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Mexico and United States. Healthbase has over 45 providers on its network.

About Healthbase Online Inc.:

Healthbase, an award-winning Boston-based medical tourism and dental tourism facilitator, is a one-stop source for global medical and dental choices, connecting patients to leading healthcare providers around the world. Healthbase coordinates over 200 procedures in various categories like orthopedic, spinal , cardiac, bariatric, urology , oncology , dental , cosmetic and general surgery . Some of the common procedures offered are Birmingham hip resurfacing , total hip replacement , knee replacement , ACL repair , rotator cuff surgery , spinal fusion , spinal disk replacement, heart bypass surgery , lap band , gastric bypass , cancer treatment , liposuction, dental implants, crowns, bridges, etc. for a fraction of the cost in the US with equal or superior outcomes. Healthbase’s partner healthcare facilities are located in Thailand, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Turkey, Belgium, Hungary, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Mexico and USA, and are expanding to Canada, UK, Jordan, Taiwan, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, El Salvador and Guatemala. To ensure that patients receive the best care possible, Healthbase works mainly with hospitals that have international accreditations like JCI, JCAHO and ISO. Healthbase caters to the needs of individual consumers, self-funded businesses, insurance carriers, benefit consultants, insurance agents, and third party administrators seeking affordable medical travel and dental travel options. To learn more, call 1-888-691-4584, email info.hb @ healthbase.com or visit http://www.healthbase.com.

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What is a total hip replacement?
A total hip replacement surgery or THR (also known as total hip arthroplasty, full hip replacement and complete hip replacement) is a procedure performed in order to treat:
• osteoarthritis of the hip joint (bone on bone)
• severe pain in hip joint
• loss of motion in hip joint
• deformity of the hip joint
• hip injuries
• rheumatoid arthritis
• bone tumor
• bone loss due to insufficient blood supply (avascular necrosis – AVN)

What are the components of a hip implant in a total hip replacement?
total hip replacement surgery implant photo xrayIn a total hip replacement surgery, the painful parts of the damaged hip are replaced with artificial hip parts called a prosthesis, a device that substitutes or supplements a joint. The prosthesis consists of steel components: a socket, ball, and stem.

The outer shell of the socket is usually made of metal and the inner shell consists of plastic, or the entire socket may be plastic. When the metal ball is joined with the socket, the new hip can allow for smooth, nearly frictionless movement.

What are the different hip replacement implant options available?
The materials used in the implant depend on several factors, including the age of the patient, the activity level of the patient, and the surgeon’s preference.
Below are brief generic descriptions of some of the most commonly used hip replacement implants.

• Metal and Plastic Implant
These are the most commonly used hip replacement implants. Both the ball and the socket of the hip joint are replaced with a metal prosthesis, and a plastic spacer is placed in between. The metals used include titanium, stainless steel, and cobalt chrome. The plastic is called polyethylene.

• Metal-on-Metal Implant
In this case there is no plastic piece inserted in between. Metal-on-metal implants do not wear out as quickly as the metal and plastic materials.

• Ceramic-on-Ceramic Implant
Ceramic bearings are available in 2 configurations: a ceramic femoral head (ball) with a polyethylene liner, or a ceramic femoral head (ball) with a ceramic liner. These are designed to be the most resistant to wear of all available hip replacement implants and they wear even less than the metal-on-metal implants. Ceramics are more scratch resistant and smoother than any of these other implant materials.

• Metal and Highly Crosslinked Polyethylene
One of the more commonly used implants are new types of plastic that are designed to be more resistant to wearing out. These so-called highly crosslinked plastics are manufactured in a way that they wear out less quickly than the traditional plastics. However, since these implants have been available only for a few years, no long-term data is present to establish how well they work compared to the traditional plastic implants.

How is the implant affixed in the body?
This is achieved in one of three ways:
• Bone Cement: A special type of bone acrylic cement may be used to secure some or all of the implant components to the bone. If used, the bone cement takes about 15 minutes to set.
• Press-Fit or Cementless: The implants may be “press-fit” into the bone. Press-fit components may have a special porous coating that allows bone tissue to grow up to it for fixation.
• Combination: Depending upon the implant components and condition of the pelvic and thigh bone, a combination of cement and press-fit attachment may be used.

Who are some of the hip replacement implant manufacturers?
Some of the hip replacement implants manufacturers are:
Johnson & Johnson DePuy
Stryker
Biomet
Zimmer
Smith & Nephew

What activities can I do or not do after receiving a hip joint replacement?
• Typically, patients are advised to avoid high impact sports such as jogging, basketball, racquetball, gymnastics, etc.
• Safer activities may include walking, golf, swimming, and bicycling.

What is the MIS (minimally invasive surgery) approach in total hip replacement surgery? What are its benefits?
The MIS approach (also known as “keyhole surgery”) in total hip replacement (THR) is an alternative to the traditional total hip replacement surgery. Traditional surgery involves a long incision and the surgeon has to cut muscles, tendons and ligaments to access the hip joint. The more tissues that are cut, the longer it usually takes patients to heal. The MIS approach is a less invasive approach of doing a hip replacement surgery in which the size of the cut is reduced. Newer surgical techniques and tools allow MIS surgeons to place the same hip implant in a manner that allows muscles and tendons to be avoided or separated, rather than cut. This makes rehabilitation faster and less painful and causes less scarring.

Some of the potential patient benefits of the MIS procedure are:
• A single, smaller incision
• Less tissue trauma
• Spares muscles and tendons, allowing for the possibility of a faster recovery
• Faster and less painful rehabilitation
• Shorter hospital stay
• Smaller scar
• Reduced blood loss and less need for pre-surgery blood donation
• Faster return to work and daily activities

Is there an alternative to total hip replacement?
Hip replacement is usually considered for patients who are older than 60. For younger active patients, a different surgery called Birmingham hip resurfacing is a better alternative. Compare hip replacement with hip resurfacing.

How much does a total hip replacement surgery cost?
Check out:
Hip replacement in India
Hip replacement in Belgium
Hip replacement in Mexico

Who are some of the well-known surgeons who perform the hip replacement surgery?
Dr. Vijay C. Bose
Dr. Kaushal Malhan
Dr. Yash Gulati
Dr. Raju Vaishya
Dr. Sanjiv KS Marya
Dr. Koen De Smet
Dr. Dario Garin

Check out patient stories here.

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Now you can get medical tourism type price and quality for procedures received in the US.

How is that possible?
Because Healthbase has partnered with several US healthcare providers that offer procedures at very competitive prices that are comparable to what American-accredited foreign providers offer.

So now affordable high quality medical care is made available closer to home for patients from the US, Canada and Mexico. Patients from European countries and other nations looking for top quality care in the United States also stand to benefit from this partnership.

According to Saroja Mohanasundaram, CEO of Healthbase,

Majority of our clients from North America are drawn to medical tourism for the cost advantage it offers. However, some may not be able to take advantage of it due to the travel involved. So Healthbase has negotiated with US-based providers to offer the same top US-standard quality of care to our customers at a much reduced rate than what is prevailing. Hence, those who need quick access to top quality healthcare can avail of the low prices right here at home.

We all know that US providers charge a much higher rate to uninsured patients than they do to insured patients or insurers. But not anymore. A heart bypass tagged at over $100,000 (for uninsured patients) can now be had for an 85% discount. Such rates also closely match the lower foreign rates.

Mohanasundaram adds,

Our US providers offer a complete slew of services in all departments of medicine including cardiac (heart bypass, valve replacement, aneurysm repair), orthopedic (hip replacement, total knee replacement), general surgery, diagnostics, and so on

Who to contact for discounts on major procedures conducted within the US?
Healthbase

Further reading:
News release from Healthbase about this partnership

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Brought to you by Healthbase www.healthbase.com info.hb@healthbase.com 1-888-MY1-HLTH


Healthbase is the trusted source for global medical choices, connecting patients to leading hospitals around the world, through secure and information-rich web portal. To learn more, visit: http://www.healthbase.com Login to get FREE quote. Access is free.Healthbase Logo

UVULOPALATOPHARYNGOPLASTY

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, UPPP or UP3 is the surgical removal of tissue in the throat to widen the airway. It is a surgical procedure to cure problems such as snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. The following tissues may be removed through uvulopalatopharyngoplasty:
•  The uvula (small fingerlike piece of tissue that hangs down from the back of the roof of the mouth into the throat)
•  The soft palate (part of the roof of the mouth )
•  The tonsils (any collection of lymphoid tissue)
•  The adenoids (a mass of lymphoid tissue situated at the very back of the nose), and
•  The pharynx (the part of the neck and throat situated immediately posterior to the mouth and nasal cavity).

Another procedure to treat snoring is laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty.

Cost of Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty
Snoring is not always considered a medical problem, so insurance may not cover treatment. For affordable uvulopalatopharyngoplasty or laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty surgery overseas, register to Healthbase.

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Healthbase is the trusted source for global medical choices, connecting patients to leading hospitals around the world, through secure and information-rich web portal. To learn more, visit: http://www.healthbase.com Login to get FREE quote. Access is free.Healthbase Logo

007 TOP SECRETS OF MESSING UP YOUR MEDICAL CARE OVERSEAS

Ever heard of botched cosmetic jobs in Brazil or crappy dental work in Mexico? Such situations are very real. Here are the 007 top secrets of messing up your medical care overseas.

Top Secret # 001: Not doing research
Don’t do any research and you will successfully fail in your quest for achieving safe and healthy medical treatment overseas. However, if you do want to go abroad and get quality health care while saving some bucks then consider doing thorough homework and collecting enough information. Some sources of information are: websites offering medical tourism services like Healthbase, news, articlestestimonials, etc. Satisfied medical tourists claim proper research to be a sure-fire way of happy and healthy medical tourism.

Top Secret # 002: Going abroad for a wrong procedure
Your ambulance will not drive you to India during an emergency (or even otherwise). Reasonably, only non-emergency treatments can be considered for medical tourism but not all such treatments fit the criterion as sometimes the travel costs can outweigh the possible savings achievable by going abroad.

Top Secret # 003: Choosing the wrong place
How about going to Thailand for your half-yearly dental cleaning? Superb idea? Not exactly. How about going there for dental implants? Maybe. And for full mouth restoration? Definitely. Choose a wrong place and you will waste your money on medical tourism instead of saving some. Wise medical tourists consider travel cost, lodging cost and number of visits required for full treatment when calculating potential savings.

Top Secret # 004: Choosing an unqualified doctor
Thanks to the power of the Internet, it’s very easy to choose a doctor qualified at accomplishing botched jobs. If you wish to not fall prey to them, better do your homework properly. Check your doctor’s credentials, ask people around and get recommendations from reliable sources to avoid scheduling an appointment with “Dr. Quack”.

Top Secret # 005: Not doing proper planning and preparation
Allowing time for surgery but not for recovery and recuperation? That will require you to modify your itinerary. As a medical tourist you should prepare yourself to stay longer/shorter than expected. If you have travel or tourism on mind, allow time for that as well. A word on arranging your essential documents: Put together your medical records and financial records, acquire passport and visa, and have the information of your important contacts handy. Also, book your travel tickets and hotel rooms well in advance.

Top Secret # 006: Working with a substandard medical tourism agency
There are new agencies cropping up each day. Some of them are there to genuinely help you while others are affiliated with “Dr. Quack”. A good medical tourism agency like Healthbase will have partners that are certified by international or domestic accrediting organizations. It will offer a variety of medical travel services, it will offer numerous medical procedures in many countries, it will have patient testimonials on its website, it will have been covered by media, and much more. Your research will help you identify the good ones.

Top Secret # 007: Failing to follow the right aftercare
Planning to play football the day after your total knee replacement surgery? Ouch, that will hurt! Physical therapy, rest, diet, medication, etc. are all as important as the surgery. Your local doctor might be able to help you with your aftercare so always keep him informed. You might also need his help, for example, for removing sutures or for taking X-Rays.

Remember to avoid the above 7 mistakes and your medical tourism abroad will be happy, healthy and successful.

Register to get your FREE personalized quote for any medical procedure abroad.

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Healthbase is the trusted source for global medical choices, connecting patients to leading hospitals around the world, through secure and information-rich web portal. To learn more, visit: http://www.healthbase.com Login to get FREE quote. Access is free.Healthbase Logo

THORACIC AORTIC ANEURYSM

Aneurysms involving the ascending aorta, aortic arch and descending thoracic aorta are termed thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAA). Thoracic aneurysms most often occur in the descending thoracic aorta. Others may appear in the ascending aorta or the aortic arch. The most common cause of a thoracic aortic aneyrysm is hardening of the arteries.

Most thoracic aneurysms are asymptomatic. Most patients have no symptoms until the aneurysm begins to leak or expand. Most non-leaking thoracic aortic aneurysms are detected by tests – usually a chest x-ray or a chest CT scan – run for other unrelated reasons. Chest or back pain may mean sudden widening or leakage of the aneurysm.

THORACIC AORTIC ANEURYSM TREATMENT

Once a TAA is diagnosed, routine, scheduled follow-up is necessary by an aortic specialist. Aneurysm size needs to be followed closely and surgery is warranted if there is rapid growth over a short period of time or if a critical size is reached. High death rate is associated with the rupture of a thoracic aortic aneurysm. Also, surgical repair of a ruptured thoracic aneurysm carries a 25-50% mortality as opposed to a 5-8% mortality when such aneurysms are treated electively.

The treatment of thoracic aortic aneurysm depends on the location of the aneurysm.

Surgery to repair an ascending aortic or arch aneurysm is indicated for patients with aneurysm larger than 5-6 centimeters. The surgery involves removing the aneurysmal portion of the aorta and replacing it with a fabric substitute. If the aortic arch is involved, a specialized technique called “circulatory arrest” – a period without blood circulation while on life support – may be necessary.

There are two options for patients with aneurysms of the descending thoracic aorta. If the aneurysm is larger than 6 centimeters, major surgery is done to replace the aorta with a fabric substitute. The other option is endovascular stenting, which is a less invasive option. A stent is a tiny metal or plastic tube that is used to hold an artery open. Stents can be placed into the body without cutting the chest. Instead, tiny, hollow tubes called catheters are inserted into the groin area. The stent is passed through the catheter and into the area of the aneurysm. Not all patients with descending thoracic aneurysms are candidates for stenting.

THORACIC AORTIC ANEURYSM COST AND AVAILABILITY

In the US, thoracic aortic aneurysm repair surgery can be very costly. If you are uninsured or underinsured then this could translate into a substantial out-of-pocket expense for your cardiac treatment.

Healthbase offers a large network of international hospitals which offer the best thoracic aortic aneurysm repair surgery overseas at an affordable price.

Register to get your FREE personalized quote for a cheap thoracic aortic aneurysm repair surgery abroad.

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