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Recent advancements in the field of organ transplantation have remarkably improved the success rates of transplant surgery. However, the cost of transplant operation still remains quite high in countries such as the United States. Patients without the means to pay for the high costs of transplant surgery are, therefore, increasingly looking towards affordable medical tourism in countries such as India, Singapore, Thailand and Turkey to meet their healthcare needs.

Organ transplantation is the surgical replacement of one of your vital or non-vital body organs which has failed or is damaged as a result of injury or illness.

Latest advancements in the field of transplantation and regenerative medicine (stem cell therapy) have greatly improved the success rates of transplant surgery. However, lack of available donor organs and tissues continue to result in increasing number of loss of lives of those needing transplants. Currently there are more than 100,000 patients in the United States alone waiting for an organ transplant. And, thousands more get added to the list each month.

Organs that can be possibly transplanted are vital organs such as heart, intestine, kidney, pancreas, liver, lung, bone marrow, etc. or non-vital ones such as hair.

TRANSPLANTATION TOURISM

The high cost of transplant operation in the United States and several other countries is driving many patients to seek affordable care in more affordable countries such as India, Singapore, Thailand and Turkey where the price differential is remarkable.

Medical tourism, also known as transplantation tourism in this case, is increasingly becoming popular with transplant patients who have been able to find a suitable donor like a relative. Transplant surgeries overseas in India or Singapore cost as low as 20% of what they cost in the US whereas quality wise they are on par with what is available in the United States.

GUIDELINES FOR TRANSPLANTATION TOURISM

When you have professionally established the need for an organ transplant and are considering a transplant surgery abroad, you must do your due diligence before setting your foot in the foreign land. Following are some of the guidelines that will help you.

Provider related: Do proper research to ascertain that the provider you settle on offers top quality of care. Thus, consider the transplant hospital‘s quality data and statistics such as success rate, quality measures, patient rating, etc. A hospital’s quality standards, such as being accredited by Joint Commission International, ensure that the quality of care offered will be top notch. Also, if possible, make sure that the facilities, equipments, technology, etc. being used by the provider are cutting edge.

Surgeon related: Make sure that your foreign transplant surgeon and his team are highly qualified and experienced in the specific kind of organ transplantation that you are seeking. A look at the surgeon’s resume or profile should give you a pretty good idea of his qualifications.

Aftercare related: Aftercare of an organ transplantation surgery is as important as the operation itself. Therefore, you must find out what support your foreign provider will give after you have returned to your home country. You must keep your local provider informed about your decision of going abroad to seek care.

Law related: Last but not the least, the legal aspect of organ transplantation plays an important role when seeking a transplant surgery. Every country – home or foreign – has some or the other organ transplant laws in order to protect its citizens from potential exploitation, organ trafficking, and other such illegal acts. As such, different countries have different policies as to who is allowed to donate to whom. So, learn about the transplant policies that apply in the host country where you are seeking treatment.

Seeking organ transplantation surgery overseas is not a simple process. However, by working with a specialized medical tourism facilitator you are relieved of the complications involved. For an accurate transplant surgery cost estimate and arrangement of organ transplant surgery abroad, check out Healthbase.com.

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Healthbase looks to expanding its medical travel services to Jordan adding more internationally accredited hospitals to its already wide and rich network of healthcare and dental care providers in the United States and overseas.

Press Release — July 22, 2009

Healthbase , the leading US-based medical tourism facilitator , is gearing up to connect patients to top-notch internationally accredited healthcare providers in Jordan. This comes consequently after the recent familiarization tour (Fam Tour) of Jordan and of its world-class hospitals, an effort that was co-arranged by Private Hospitals Association of Jordan (PHA), Jordan Tourism Board, the Jordanian government and Medical Tourism Association (MTA).

According to Saroja Mohanasundaram, CEO of Healthbase, “We are grateful to the organizers for recognizing us as a pioneer and leader in the medical tourism industry and inviting us to the Fam Tour. Through this visit we look forward to establishing partnerships with several health care providers in Jordan. The Jordan Fam Tour has allowed us the opportunity to minutely evaluate the Jordanian healthcare so we can put on offer what’s best for our customers.”

Medical tourism in Jordan is ranked first in the Southwest Asian region and fifth in the world, according to one study by medical tourism experts at the World Bank (WB). The Jordanian government has also implemented processes to make immigration for inbound medical tourists quick and easy.

“Jordan has quite an advanced health care system and highly educated hospital workforce. Hospital staffs consider English as their second language. Furthermore, the country has several Joint Commission International accredited (JCI accredited) private hospitals which prove that the quality of care offered to international patients is on par with what is provided by their American counterparts,” added Mohanasundaram.

Treatment expenses in Jordan are only 25% or less compared to the cost in the United States of America, the amount being inclusive of airfare, patient’s stay as well as sightseeing tours.

“Although the primary reason why our patients travel abroad is to receive affordable top quality medical care, the complete medical plus tourism package that Jordan offers cannot be ignored,” noted Mohanasundaram.

Jordan, which is a popular tourism destination, received over 6 million arrivals in 2008. Tourist attractions in the country range from ancient historical places like Petra to unique desert sightseeing, and natural locations such as the Dead Sea to cultural and religious sites.

With its soon-to-be-announced venture into Jordan medical tourism , Healthbase is poised to continue to offer the most extensive network of healthcare providers covering every continent on the globe. Healthbase clients can currently choose their medical tourism destination from India, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, New Zealand, Turkey, Hungary, Belgium, Spain, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Mexico, and USA for their low cost high quality medical and dental care needs. Healthbase expects soon to expand its services to include Jordan, Taiwan, South Africa, Canada, UK, Poland, Czech Republic, Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Australia.

About Healthbase:

Healthbase, an award-winning US-based medical tourism and dental tourism facilitator, is a one-stop source for global medical and dental choices, connecting patients to leading internationally accredited healthcare providers in 16 countries including India, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico and USA. Healthbase caters to individual consumers, self-funded businesses, insurers, benefits plan consultants, third party administrators and those using Consumer Directed Healthcare Plans (CDHPs) or voluntary benefit plans. 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. To ensure that patients receive the best care possible, Healthbase works mainly with hospitals that have international accreditations like JCI, JCAHO and ISO. To learn more, call 1-888-691-4584, email info.hb @ healthbase.com or visit http://www.healthbase.com.

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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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SURGICAL TOURISM

Surgery isn’t the first or even the last thing that comes to mind when you think tourism and vice versa. As misnomered as it may sound, but surgical tourism is what is happening in the health care industry today. Surgical tourism, also known as medical tourism, medical travel, health travel and health tourism , is traveling abroad for surgery.

 

So why would someone choose to go overseas for surgery?

The number one reason is because they can get huge discounts when compared to the price tags on surgeries at home. Surgical tourists claim to have saved from 50% to over 90%. Another reason revolves around the long wait-lists in countries like Canada and UK with public health care system. Some go for elective surgeries not covered by insurance.

 

Does low cost mean poor quality?

Check out pictures of some of the international hospitals catering to foreign patients at https://www.healthbase.com/hb/pages/hospitals_pl.jsp and you will notice how immaculate their 5-star hotel type facilities are. Their accreditations include those like JCI, JCAHO and ISO. Patients vouch for the personalized service they get. It’s not uncommon to see world-renowned surgeons at these international hospitals playing finger-magic behind the latest billion-dollar robotic machines.

 

Exactly how is such a miracle possible?

Well, that’s because in some countries like India, Thailand, Singapore, Turkey, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and others, the cost of labor when compared to the US, UK or Canada is lower. Plus, administrative costs and malpractice costs are also lower. These are the countries that are hot surgical tourism destinations.

 

Some of the surgeries that patients go overseas for…

Range from breast augmentation to Birmingham hip resurfacing surgery , and from lap band to triple cardiac bypass surgery. And it’s not just surgeries that people seek. Some go for therapeutic treatments and others for cancer treatments. Restorative and reparative treatments like LASIK are common and so are preventive check-ups and simple dental fix-ups .

 

Where is tourism in the picture?

While the primary motivation for most surgical tourists is affordable surgery, the opportunity to visit exotic destinations is an additional draw for some. You can plan to have a holiday during your visit to the foreign country before the surgery if your health permits or after the surgery if your surgeon permits.

 

How do I go about arranging my surgery abroad?

Getting surgery overseas is not even closely related to getting surgery at your local hospital but it can save you a ton of money. However, it involves careful research and planning. Begin by collecting more information about the trend of surgical tourism. You may start here: http://www.healthbase.com/resources/medical-tourism/medical-tourism-information . Read what others are saying about it. Educate yourself about the surgery desired. Do your due diligence in researching the various international hospitals and surgeons at the surgical destination you are interested in. Compare quotes from various providers and finalize one.

Many people find it useful to work with a surgical tourism provider that helps them with all the logistics of surgical tourism. Surgical tourism providers like Healthbase (http://www.healthbase.com) connect you with the hospital of your choice while providing many other related valuable services like detailed information about various procedures, detailed hospital profiles and surgeon profiles, medical records transfer, free surgery quote, pre- and post-consultation with the overseas hospital, feedback and testimonials from previous patients, medical and dental loan financing, passport and visa, airport pick-up and drop-off, hospital escort, tickets, travel insurance, hotel booking, tourism services in the destination country, etc.

You can learn more about the growing trend of medical tourism, international healthcare facilities and surgeons, and the details of the medical tourism process by logging on to http://www.healthbase.com. Healthbase.com is a medical tourism facilitator committed to providing low-cost high quality medical travel services to the global medical consumer.

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GASTRIC BYPASS SURGERY – WHAT CAN IT DO FOR YOU?

Some people have gastric bypass surgery and shed 100 pounds or more. What can this surgery do for you?

To answer this question, you will first need to know what gastric bypass surgery is and how it helps you lose weight.

A gastric bypass surgery also known as Roux en-Y surgery is a medical procedure that reduces the size of your stomach causing you to feel full when you have eaten only a small portion. What your surgeon will essentially do is divide your stomach into two sections – a small upper one and a much larger remnant one using surgical staples (which is why this procedure is also known as stomach stapling). The small top pouch is the one that will hold your food. Your surgeon will also re-arrange your small intestine such that both the stomach pouches remain connected to the intestines.

The reduction in the functional volume of your stomach reduces your food intake. Not only that, the re-arrangement of the small intestine causes food to by-pass the first part of the small intestine resulting in reduced calorie absorption. Both these factors help you lose weight.

But is gastric bypass surgery for everyone who needs to lose weight?

That’s a personal choice or your doctor may prescribe it for you. Generally, it is considered in only those individuals who have tried hard but failed to achieve weight loss through exercise and diet.

Obesity, which is a complex disease, leads to other diseases. Morbid obesity or the accumulation of too much body fat increases a person’s risk for developing other health problems or co-morbidities such as heart diseases, diabetes, etc.

But how much fat is too much fat?

That’s calculated by your body mass index or BMI which is a measure of your weight in relation to your height. In simple words, it tells you how much you should normally weigh for your height and if you exceed that normal weight then you are medically considered overweight. Reducing your weight and therefore, your BMI, helps you control the risk of developing obesity related health problems. (Use the BMI calculator to calculate your BMI.)

Like any other surgery there are risks associated with gastric bypass surgery as well. Some of the risks include gastritis (which is an inflammation of the stomach lining), development of gallstones (caused by significant weight loss in a short time), nausea, vomiting, bleeding, infections, and nutritional deficiency (which can be avoided through nutritional supplements). So, when deciding to have the surgery you should carefully weigh the risks associated with it and the problems that it can solve for you.

Variations of gastric bypass surgery are gastric bypass, Roux en-Y proximal; gastric bypass, Roux en-Y distal; and loop gastric bypass or mini-gastric bypass. Gastric bypass surgery is not the only bariatric surgery available for treating morbid obesity. Some people also consider gastric lap-band as an option.

The cost can be a major deciding factor when considering the surgery. Depending upon your specific medical conditions and insurance terms, your health insurance carrier may or may not cover the costs.

The high cost of healthcare has led some Americans to seek treatment in countries like India, Thailand, Singapore, Mexico and Turkey. This practice of going abroad, which is termed as medical tourism or medical travel or health tourism, is a way of getting low cost high quality medical care. But before you decide to outsource your health care it’s extremely important that you do your homework properly – research the facilities, the surgeons, compare the cost and quality offered by different hospitals, talk to people who have had their surgery overseas, etc.

You can learn more about the growing trend of medical tourism, gastric bypass surgery and other medical and dental procedures by logging on to http://www.healthbase.com.

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Know Your BMI

Body mass index or BMI is a measure of the weight of a person in relation to their height.

BMI is often times used to determine whether or not a person is obese. As BMI increases, the risk of some diseases increases. A BMI of 30 or above is considered obese in adults, which means a person is at a higher risk for certain diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease (CAD).

BMI can be calculated using either the BMI calculator or the following BMI chart.

BMI Chart

The following table provides information about the extent of the risk factors that may be associated with your calculated BMI. However, it should be noted that BMI is only one of many factors used to predict the risk of developing a disease.

BMI             CLASSIFICATION       HEALTH RISK 
Under 18.5      Underweight *        Minimal 
18.5 - 24.9     Normal Weight        Minimal 
25 - 29.9       Overweight           Increased 
30 - 34.9       Obese                High 
35 - 39.9       Severely Obese       Very High 
40 and over     Morbidly Obese       Extremely High

*Note: A BMI below 18.5 suggests you may be below the safety minimum.

Medical tourism is an affordable option to seek surgery to treat obesity. For more information about medical tourism and to get your free quote log on to Healthbase.

Healthbase is a medical tourism and dental tourism facilitator that connects patients to leading JCI/JCAHO/ISO accredited hospitals and dental offices overseas through a secure, high-tech, information-rich web portal. Healthbase provides a wide range of medical procedures through its partner hospital network. Over two hundred medical procedures are available in various categories: cosmetic and plastic, orthopedic, dental, cardiac, and many more. The savings are up to 80 percent from typical US prices even after adding up the travel costs, hospital stay and other related expenses. Healthbase offers more than just procedural availability; we also provide customers with extensive information on medical treatments, hospital and doctor profiles to help them make an educated decision regarding their treatment; travel planning and booking; applying for medical/dental loan and much more.

To learn more, visit http://www.healthbase.com and login to view our extensive hospital profiles including pictures of operating rooms, patient rooms, doctor qualifications, and lots more. Get a FREE quote now!!

Note: All information presented here has been obtained from publicly available medical resources and is here for reference purposes only. Healthbase does not claim to be a medical professional and does not provide any advice on any issues relating to medical treatment.

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All About Laminectomy

What is a laminectomy and why is it necessary?
Laminectomy is a surgical procedure for treating spinal stenosis by relieving pressure on the spinal cord. The spinal cord is made up of vertebrae. Laminectomy is performed to remove the part of the vertebra called the lamina. The removal or trimming of the vertebra widens the spinal canal to create more space for the spinal nerves thereby taking pressure off the nerves in either the back or the neck.

One of the most common reasons for laminectomy is a prolapsed or herniated intervertebral disc. If the herniated disc is in the lumbar region, this can cause sharp and continuing back pain, a weakening of the muscles in the leg, and some loss of sensation in the leg and foot. It may also be difficult to raise the leg when it is held in a straight position. A herniated disc in the neck region can cause symptoms including pain, numbness and weakness in the arm. A herniated disc may be triggered by, for example, twisting the back while lifting something heavy. The surgeon will attempt to relieve the pressure on nerves and nerve roots by removing the pulpy material that is protruding from the disc.

What are cervical and lumbar laminectomies?
Laminectomies are named depending upon the vertebrae involved. When the procedure is performed on the neck it is called cervical laminectomy as the cervical vertebrae are involved. Cervical laminectomy is most often performed for a trapped nerve (as may happen for example, in arthritis of the neck).

When it is performed on the lower back affecting the lumbar vertebrae, it is called a lumbar laminectomy. This procedure is often performed for disk protrusions, which may occur after a major accident but also sometimes occur after a quite minor twisting injury of the lower back.

Procedure Details of Laminectomy

What do I need to do before surgery?
The patient will have nothing to eat or drink for 6 to 10 hours prior to surgery and an enema will be given to empty the bowel. A pre-medication injection is usually given to promote drowsiness and to dry up some internal secretions. If you take a daily medication, ask if you should still take it the morning of surgery.

A number of tests are performed before the operation, which include blood tests, urine analysis and sometimes an electrical recording of the heart (electrocardiogram, ECG) and a chest X-ray.

Your surgeon should explain to you the nature of your operation, the reasons for it, the outcome and the possible risks involved. They should be able to tell you the approximate length of stay in hospital that will be required and the number of weeks you will need to recuperate before returning to work. Your anaesthetist will visit you to see how suitable you are for surgery.

What happens on the day of the procedure?
On the day of the surgery, your temperature, pulse, breathing, and blood pressure will be checked. An IV (intravenous) line may be started to provide fluids and medications needed during surgery.

What type of anesthesia will be used?
Laminectomy is usually performed under general anesthesia so you are fully asleep during the operation.

What happens during the surgery and how is it performed?
The patient is placed face-down on the operating table. The exact procedure depends on the location of the herniated disc; example, if the disc is located in the neck, the head is clamped to prevent movement. The skin is marked for incision.

During a laminectomy, the lamina (bone that forms the back of the spinal canal) is removed from the affected vertebra. If the operation is performed on the neck (a cervical laminectomy), it is usually performed through a vertical cut, three or four inches long, along the middle of the neck at the back. The surgeon exposes the bones of the neck beneath the skin and a small amount of bone is clipped away, which relieves the pressure on the nerves. Once the nerve is free of pressure, the incision is closed with stitches or surgical staples. An adhesive dressing is applied over the wound. Sometimes, a plastic drain is left in the wound for a few days after the operation to drain any blood that may have collected under the wound.

What happens after the surgery?
After surgery, you’ll be sent to the PACU (post-anesthesia care unit). When you are fully awake, you’ll be moved to your room. The nurses will give you medications to ease the pain and stiffness in your neck or back. You may have a catheter (small tube) in your bladder. You’ll also be shown how to keep your lungs clear.

Usually, after cervical laminectomy you are nursed up-right in bed for the first day and not allowed to lie flat to prevent excessive build-up of fluid under the wound. If a drain has been inserted into the wound, this is usually removed after two days. You may be allowed out of bed one or two days after a cervical laminectomy. The period of bed rest may be a few days longer for a lumbar laminectomy.

How long will I be in the hospital?
The average length of stay in hospital is two to three days, but this can vary somewhat, according to whether your operation was on the neck or back and on the size and exact nature of the operation performed.
While in the hospital, the patient is taught the proper method of rolling the body in order to maintain proper body alignment. This is most important for the first 48 hours or so. A physiotherapist gives specific instructions on how to get out of bed properly in order to avoid stress and strain on the wound site.

The patient is encouraged to walk, stand and sit for short periods. The patient is taught how to prevent twisting, flexing or hyperextending the back while moving around. Patient is later treated with ultrasound therapy to rehabilitate from this surgery.

What are the risks/complications associated with laminectomy?
Some of the possible complications of laminectomy include:

  • Infection of the wound
  • Blood clots in the legs
  • Splitting open of the wound (wound dehiscence)
  • Injury to the spinal cord
  • Paraplegia or quadriplegia (depending on the site and severity of the spinal cord injury)
  • Post-laminectomy syndrome, consisting of chronic back pain and spinal instability

What should I watch out for?
Once at home, call your doctor if you have any of the symptoms below:

  • Unusual redness, heat, or drainage at the incision site
  • Increasing pain, numbness, or weakness in your leg
  • Fever over 101.0°F

When can I expect to return to work and/or resume normal activities?
Most people need to be off work for between one and three weeks after leaving hospital, depending on the nature of their work. Work that is physically demanding or that involves lifting heavy objects may require a longer time off.

What are the post-operative recovery measures that I should take?
Although guided by a doctor, general suggestions include:

  • Continue taking your medications as advised, especially the full course of antibiotics.
  • If the operation was performed on your neck, you will need to wear a cervical collar for about six weeks.
  • Try to rest as much as possible for at least two weeks.
  • Avoid activities that strain the spine – such as sitting or standing for too long, flexing your spine, bending at the waist, climbing too many stairs or going for long trips in the car.
  • Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes.
  • Sleep on a firm mattress.
  • Continue with any exercises you were shown in the hospital.
  • Beware of heavy lifting for a long period.
  • After two weeks at home, try to have a 10 minute walk each day, unless advised otherwise by your doctor.
  • Report to your doctor any signs of infection, such as wound redness or drainage, elevated body temperature or persistent headaches.

Cost and Availability of Laminectomy

How much does it cost?
The cost of laminectomy surgery varies from surgeon to surgeon and hospital to hospital. The price may go up to tens of thousands of dollars and your insurance may or may not cover the costs. However, the same treatment in some countries is very cheap and costs a fraction of the price tag in the US.

Visit Healthbase to find details about affordable lumbar laminectomy, cervical laminectomy, etc. and get a free quote for your surgery.

Which countries/hospitals is it available in?
Check availability of Laminectomy at our overseas partner hospitals. View our extensive hospital profiles including pictures of operating rooms, patient rooms, doctor qualifications, and lots more. Get a FREE quote now!!

Healthbase is a medical tourism and dental tourism facilitator that connects patients to leading JCI/JCAHO/ISO accredited hospitals and dental offices overseas through a secure, high-tech, information-rich web portal. Healthbase provides a wide range of medical procedures through its partner hospital network. Over two hundred medical procedures are available in various categories: cosmetic and plastic, orthopedic, dental, cardiac, and many more. The savings are up to 80 percent from typical US prices even after adding up the travel costs, hospital stay and other related expenses. Healthbase offers more than just procedural availability; we also provide customers with extensive information on medical treatments, hospital and doctor profiles to help them make an educated decision regarding their treatment; travel planning and booking; applying for medical/dental loan and much more.

To learn more, visit http://www.healthbase.com and login to view our extensive hospital profiles including pictures of operating rooms, patient rooms, doctor qualifications, and lots more. Get a FREE quote now!!

Note: All information presented here has been obtained from publicly available medical resources and is here for reference purposes only. Healthbase does not claim to be a medical professional and does not provide any advice on any issues relating to medical treatment.

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