If you suffer from leaking bladder accidents when you cough or laugh or sneeze, or if you have the urge of going to the bathroom all the time, you are not alone. Millions of people across all ages, both genders and all races are affected by this common problem that is termed urinary incontinence (UI), a loss of bladder control. The good news is that the underlying medical condition causing urinary incontinence is almost always treatable and today it is possible to get affordable treatment overseas through medical tourism.

URINARY INCONTINENCE TYPES AND TREATMENTS
Though urinary incontinence can be classified into several types, its three main types are: stress, urge and overflow.
Stress incontinence occurs during certain activities like coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercise, and is most commonly caused by weak pelvic floor muscles.

Urge incontinence or overactive incontinence involves a sudden urge to urinate followed by instant bladder contraction and involuntary loss of urine, and occurs regardless of the amount of urine that is in the bladder.

Overflow incontinence is the constant dribbling of urine usually associated with urinating frequently and in small amounts, and may be caused by weak bladder muscles or a blocked urethra.

Depending on the cause, type and severity of urinary incontinence as well as your lifestyle, treatment approaches available to you may include weight loss, exercises, medications, bladder retraining (timed voiding), biofeedback, electrical stimulation, and if all else fails, then surgery.

MEDICAL TOURISM
Medical tourism is the act of traveling from one city to another within your country (domestic medical tourism) or to another country by crossing international borders (overseas medical tourism) to obtain medical care that is either not available or not affordable at your local provider. The popularity of medical tourism is largely due to the availability of high quality care at a highly discounted price.

Healthcare providers participating in medical tourism boast of modern facilities with state-of-the-art equipments and technologies, and surgeons who are trained or educated in the US or Europe – all this at a cost that’s 60% to 90% cheaper compared to typical US hospital rates.

SURGICAL TREATMENT OF INCONTINENCE ABROAD
Several procedures are offered abroad for the surgical treatment of all types of incontinence – stress, urge, overflow, mixed, etc.

For curing stress incontinence in women, sling procedures such as Tension-free transvaginal (TVT) sling, Transobturator tape (TOT) sling and Mini-sling procedure are available overseas. Another type of procedure for stress incontinence treatment offered abroad is bladder neck suspension procedure which includes Marshall-Marchetti-Krantz procedure (MMK procedure) or a variant of it called Burch procedure.

To treat severe urge incontinence, procedures offered overseas include augmentation cystoplasty or a newer procedure called sacral nerve stimulation.

For the treatment of urinary incontinence in men, some of the procedures available abroad include artificial urinary sphincter, male sling, and urinary diversion.

MEDICAL TOURISM DESTINATIONS FOR INCONTINENCE SURGERY
Some of the most popular countries that patients from the United States travel to for urinary incontinence procedures are Mexico, India, Singapore and Thailand.

Apart from the considerably lower cost of surgery, Mexico is preferred for another obvious reason – its close proximity to the United States. This means shorter travel times and more convenience for the medical tourist.

Singapore‘s high quality of care along with the large concentration of internationally accredited hospitals in the country play a major role in its demand in the medical tourism market for incontinence surgery. Furthermore, English being the official language of the country makes communication with your international provider easy.

But, if you want the best value for your money then India is the answer. The medical tourism hotspot offers prices on procedures that are unbeatable. For instance, a TVT or a TOT procedure, inclusive of the hospital charges and the doctor’s fees, costs approximately USD2,500*.

Also note that urinary incontinence surgery abroad typically involves a 2-3 day stay at the hospital followed by a 3-6 day of recuperation or rehab at a nearby hotel before returning home.

So, if an incontinence surgery is what your local doctor has recommended and treatment abroad is what you wish to seek, then get your local doctor’s report along with any and all reports of diagnostic tests and then call upon a reputed medical tourism company such as Healthbase for a consultation with an overseas incontinence specialist of your choice.

*Note: The price mentioned is for rough planning purposes only. The actual price charged may vary based on your specific medical condition, the provider chosen, currency fluctuations or for any other reason. Transportation, hotel accommodation and food are not included in the price.

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