surgery abroad


Almost all of us have been to the doctor at some point or the other in our lives. One of the common things you would have noted in your meetings with your doctor is him scribbling down notes. But, have you wondered what he writes in such notes? Do you think you should be allowed to see those notes? And, are you prepared to see what your doctor might have written about your meeting and your physiological and psychological conditions?

A lot of what’s in that note is objective stuff about your blood pressure, weight and blood count. But often your doctor puts down subjective impressions.

Did you seem down? Anxious? Angry? Drinking too much? Not so mentally sharp? Physicians also may speculate about a tentative diagnosis – maybe a scary one – they haven’t shared with you.

What do you think doctors would feel about letting patients see their notes? As you would guess, there are mixed opinions. Some feel comfortable while others don’t. It ranges from ‘Well, transparency is here, this will be good for patients, they’ll be more actively involved in their care, this is a terrific idea,‘ to ‘This is the worst thing I’ve ever heard of.

Doctors’ notes are not really secret anyway. Other doctors see them. Insurance companies and lawyers do. And under a 1996 federal law called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, patients have every right to see their complete medical records. But as Dr. Tom Delbanco of Harvard Medical School (HMS) puts it, “You can get it but we do everything in the world to make sure you don’t get it. The medical record has traditionally been viewed by the medical establishment as something that they own. They think: ‘It’s my private notes. This is my stuff.'”

Check out below for some other kinds of opinions that different doctors share:

  • “Information should be accessible, but that will mean more work for doctors who may need to explain their notes to patients.”
  • “My hope is that it will be a method of communicating with patients, so patients can see what we’re thinking, where our head is, what our plans are, why we’re suggesting what we do.”
  • “We may be less candid. We may not as accurately describe the mood of the patient, the tenor of the encounter, for fear that we may get someone perhaps already a little angry during the encounter – more so after they log on and read the note that I just finished.”
  • “Physicians are scared of this kind of thing. But the big, broad directions are clear. Which is: Patients have to be at the center of their care more and more. That doesn’t mean patients call the shots. But patients really have to be a team member. To be a team member, they’ve got to see the playbook. And doctors will have to learn to be respectful in the way they write their notes in some situation.”
  • “If there’s some delicate problem, doctors shouldn’t dodge that topic, and patients should be prepared to see some things which may be a little painful for them to confront too.”

Your doctor’s reservations to this idea are understandable:

  • It will be more work for them, because patients will call up wanting to know what something means, or demanding corrections.
  • It might lead to more lawsuits.
  • It might scare the hell out of patients.

Source: Adapted from the NPR story – “Doctors Don’t Agree On Letting Patients See Notes” by Richard Knox

For affordable and quality medical care in the United States, check out domestic medical tourism. For surgery abroad, check out medical tourism.

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Whether you are 18 years old or 74 years old, living with a bad set of teeth is like going through a living hell. But, thanks to the miracles of modern dentistry, now dental patients can turn their horrible experiences into life-changing ones – and that too at an affordable price.

Examples of some commonly sought dental treatments include:

  • dental crowns – examples, porcelain fused to metal or PFM, full porcelain, etc.
  • full dentures
  • partial dentures – upper partial dentures and lower partial dentures
  • root canals
  • dental bridges
  • dental implants
  • etc.

These dental works can be done as individual treatments or be part of a complete makeover.

See below for before and after photos of some of Healthbase dental patients from the US whom we assisted to get their dental treatment overseas in Costa Rica at an affordable price.

Below are before and after pictures of Claude V, a 74-year old dental patient from Florida. He had extensive dental work done in Costa Rica, facilitated by Healthbase
Before dental treatment in Costa Rica

Claude, after his dental treatment in Costa Rica

Following are before and after photos of an 18-year old dental patient from Texas who had a complete makeover with 24 porcelain crowns in Costa Rica, coordinated by Healthbase

Before his dental work in Costa Rica

After his dental work in Costa Rica

For more information about affordable medical and dental treatments in the United States or abroad, check out medical tourism and dental tourism.


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Medical Tourism Facilitator and International Insurer Partner to Provide New Protection for Medical Tourists

Press Release
January 28, 2009

Seven Corners, one of the industry’s most experienced specialty travel insurance underwriters, announces a new partnership with award-winning medical tourism facilitator, Healthbase Online, Inc. By combining Seven Corners’ experience in underwriting and administering specialty travel insurance plans, and Healthbase’s expertise in matching medical tourism patients with a world-class network of internationally accredited hospitals, the companies have developed the industry’s first custom benefits package covering medical complications to be provided to all Healthbase clients.

The strategic alliance between Seven Corners and Healthbase is founded on a shared vision to unify patients seeking medical treatments abroad with relevant medical insurance benefits specifically designed for medical tourists. By engaging the companies’ unique and expert competencies in their respective markets, the alliance will allow both companies to better serve the unique needs of medical tourists — ultimately transforming the medical tourism business by reducing patients’ medical costs before, during and after treatments abroad.

“We are the only medical travel facilitator to provide a custom insurance program to our clients as a further commitment to providing high quality medical travel services at an affordable cost,” said Saroja Mohanasundaram, CEO of Healthbase. “The insurance program enhances our clients’ satisfaction in the economic delivery of quality healthcare; whether they are seeking minor procedures like hernia surgery, or major procedures like knee replacement or spinal surgeries.”

The insurance plan provides Healthbase patients coverage for the treatment of common surgical complications such as adverse reactions to anesthesia, stroke, myocardial infarction, deep vein thrombosis, infections and other medical complications incurred during and after their treatment abroad. The insurance plan provides first dollar coverage for medical complications, which further reduces follow-up care and unexpected medical expenses for an uninsured or underinsured patient.

“The cost of the insurance plan is a fraction of the overall cost of the treatment, which in and of itself, is significantly less than the expense of treatment in the United States,” said Jim Krampen, executive officer of Seven Corners. “The medical complication benefits we designed for Healthbase clients will provide peace of mind and cover the cost to treat medical complications abroad and when they return home.”

About Healthbase:

Healthbase is a one-stop source for global medical and dental choices, connecting patients to internationally accredited providers in 14 countries including India, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, Panama, Costa Rica and Mexico. 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. More information at http://www.healthbase.com.

About Seven Corners

Seven Corners is one of the industry’s most experienced international travel, expatriate health insurance and trip cancellation providers. For more than 15 years, Seven Corners has served the medical insurance needs of U.S. citizens traveling abroad and foreign nationals visiting the United States.

Seven Corners is a licensed Third Party Administrator as required in certain jurisdictions of the United States. Seven Corners is a Lloyd’s of London Coverholder and also enjoys underwriting authority from key AM Best “A” rated carriers, such as Nationwide Insurance Company, The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania (AIG) and Fairmont Specialty Group.

Seven Corners is a member of the U.S. Travel Insurance Association (UStiA), the Medical Tourism Association (MTA) and the International Medical Travel Association (IMTA). More information at http://www.SevenCorners.com.

Cost of surgery 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

Urinary diversion and reconstruction surgery

Urinary diversion is a way of surgically rerouting or diverting urine flow from its normal pathway in order to treat the condition of diseased or defective ureters, bladder or urethra, either temporarily or permanently. Using the surgical method of urinary reconstruction and diversion a new way is created for the patient to pass urine.

There are three main types of urinary diversion surgeries
• Ileal Conduit Urinary Diversion
• Indiana Pouch Reservoir
• Neobladder to Urethra Diversion

For all of these procedures, a portion of the small and/or large bowel is disconnected from the fecal stream and used for reconstruction.

Ileal Conduit Urinary Diversion: The ileal conduit urinary diversion surgery is used in patients who have had their bladder removed and is usually used in conjunction with radical cystectomy in order to control invasive bladder cancer. In this procedure, the ureters are surgically unattached from the bladder and a ureteroenteric anastomosis is made in order to drain the urine into a detached section of ileum (a part of the small intestine). The end of the ileum is then brought out through an opening (a stoma) in the abdominal wall. The urine is collected through a bag that attaches on the outside of the body over the stoma. The bag must be periodically emptied of urine.

Indiana Pouch Reservoir: The Indiana pouch surgery is used for patients who have had their urinary bladders removed as a result of bladder cancer, pelvic exenteration, bladder exstrophy or who are not continent due to a congenital, neurogenic bladder. In this procedure, a reservoir, or pouch, is created out of approximately two feet of the ascending colon and a portiom of the ileum (a part of the small intestine). The ureters are surgically removed from the bladder and repositioned to drain into the pouch. A piece of small intestine is brought out through a small opening in the abdominal wall called a stoma. Since a segment including the large and small intestines are utilized, also included is the ileal-ceceal valve. This is a one-way valve located between the small and large intestines which normally prevents the passage of bacteria and digested matter from re-entering the small intestine. After a period of several weeks, the body adjusts to the absence of this valve by absorbing more liquids and nutrients. Unlike other urinary diversion and reconstruction techniques, the Indiana pouch has the advantage of not using an external pouch adhered to the abdomen to store urine.

Neobladder to Urethra Diversion: With the Neobladder to Urethra Diversion procedure, the intent is to create a new bladder that mimics the storage function of a normal urinary bladder. The surgery makes a reservoir or pouch by utilizing a small part of the small intestine and connects the pouch to the urethra. The ureters are repositioned to drain into this pouch. As in normal urinary system, urine is able to pass from the kidney, to the ureters, to the pouch, and through the urethra out of the body.

For information about affordable urinary diversion and reconstruction surgery, check out 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

ORTHOGNATHIC SURGERY

Orthognathic surgery is surgery to reposition the maxilla (upper jaw or jawbone), the mandible (the lower jaw or jawbone), and the dentoalveolar segments (teeth and their sockets) to achieve facial and occlusal balance. One or more segments of the jaw(s) can be simultaneously repositioned to treat various types of malocclusions (bad bite) and jaw deformities. It is also used in treatment of congenital conditions like cleft palate. Bones can be cut and re-aligned, held in place with either screws or plates and screws.

Relationship between the maxilla and mandible

Orthognathic surgery is performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon almost always in collaboration with orthodontic treatment, often including braces before and after surgery, and retainers after the final removal of braces. Orthognathic surgery is often needed after reconstruction of cleft palate or other major craniofacial anomalies.

Unless medical conditions necessitate that the surgery be performed earlier, orthognathic surgery is often delayed until after all of the permanent teeth have erupted. To improve the aesthetic results, orthognathic surgery can be combined with soft tissue contouring in adult patients.

TYPES OF ORTHOGNATHIC PROCEDURES
•  Mandibular Sagittal Split Osteotomy
•  Maxillary osteotomy surgery or Le Fort Osteotomy (Le Fort I osteotomy, Le Fort II osteotomy and Le Fort III ostetomy)
•  Genioplasty (chin surgery)

DETAILS OF THE PROCEDURE
Usually surgery is performed under general anaesthetic and using nasal tube for intubation. The surgery might involve one jaw or both the jaws during the same procedure. The modification is done by making cuts in the bones of the mandible and / or maxilla and repositioning the cut pieces in the desired alignment. The surgeon is often able to go through the inside of the mouth without having to cut the skin.

Cutting the bone is called osteotomy and in case of performing the surgery on the two jaws at the same time it is called a bi-maxillary osteotomy (two jaws bone cutting) or a maxillomandibular advancement. The bone cutting is traditionally done using special electrical saws and burs, and manual chisels, and most recently by using ultra-sound waves (though not used on a wide scale). The maxilla can be adjusted using a ” Lefort I” level osteotomy. Sometimes the midface can be mobilised as well by using a Lefort II, or Lefort III osteotomy. These techniques are utilized extensively for children suffering from certain craniofacial abnormalities such as Crouzon syndrome.

The jaws will be wired together (inter-maxillary fixation) using stainless steel wires during the surgery to insure the correct re-positioning of the bones. This in most cases is released before the patient wakes up after the surgery.

COST OF ORTHOGNATHIC SURGERY
Register to Healhtbase to request a FREE quote for affordable orthognathic surgery overseas.

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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

MEDICAL OUTSOURCING

Dictionary.com defines outsourcing as “a practice used by different companies to reduce costs by transferring portions of work to outside suppliers rather than completing it internally”. The term which has been generally associated with the automobile industry was popularized during the past decade by the computer or IT industry. But when it is the health industry in question, how does outsourcing work there? What is outsourced and how?

If you are thinking it’s the drug manufacturing that is outsourced, you are wrong. Nor is it the bookkeeping that is outsourced. What is outsourced is the patient himself or rather he chooses to have his treatment done offshore. The driving cause is the high cost of health care in his home country. Or in certain other cases, the long waits before he can get the needed treatment.

So, medical outsourcing or offshore medical which is also commonly known as medical tourism is the practice of seeking health care abroad. But, who provides these outsourcing services?

There are lots of offshore health care providers in the form of hospitals and clinics participating in this business. Some of them can be found on the other side of the border while others may be a few oceans across. Examples include those in India, Singapore, Thailand, Mexico, Turkey, Panama, Costa Rica, Brazil, Argentina, Belgium, and so on. Some of them give excellent service – even superior to what you can get at home using the latest technology and by world-renowned surgeons – while others may not be as great. To show their commitment towards top quality, many providers also have international accreditations like JCI, JACHO, ISO, etc. Some have strategic alliances with well-known US health care providers like Cleveland Clinic, Harvard Medical International and Johns Hopkins.

International health care providers are able to provide you with high quality treatment at an affordable cost mainly because of low labor cost, low administrative cost, low malpractice cost and low living cost in their country. That’s the same reason why IT companies started outsourcing.

Now the obvious question arises – how do you find the right provider for your needs? The answer is do research. There are lots of resources available – news, articles, blogs, forums, testimonials, etc. Many people find it useful to work with a health tourism facilitator or medical tourism facilitator like Healthbase (http://www.healthbase.com). They are specialized facilitators who carefully screen and partner with international healthcare providers that meet up to the high standards of patients from the US, the UK, Canada, etc. They also help patients with all the logistics involved in getting a surgery abroad.

There are a few other things that you will need to do for a successful experience in getting your surgery overseas. Getting into the details of all of them is beyond the scope of this article. Here are some of them: doing a thorough research on the surgery in question to establish your suitability for it as well as for medical tourism, getting to learn about your medical travel destination, arranging all your medical records and sending them to the international hospital, securing passport and visa, booking tickets, and more. You may want to start here: http://www.healthbase.com/resources/medical-tourism/medical-tourism-information.

Earlier, people would go abroad mostly for elective cosmetic procedures which were not covered by insurances. Today, people outsource their orthopedic procedures as well as cardiac surgeries as well as organ transplants. It’s not just individuals who are interested in this trend to save money. Medical outsourcing has also received attention from health insurance companies who have started offering overseas treatment plans to expand their customer base, and from employers who have included it as a benefit to their employees.

At the time of writing this article, neither Merriam Webster nor Dictionary.com had an entry for “medical outsourcing”. But given the speed with which the trend is spreading, pretty soon they will have to update their dictionaries.

You can learn more about medical outsourcing, the details of the process, international healthcare providers and arrange your surgery 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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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

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO MEDICAL TOURISM

Going overseas for surgical treatment can be overwhelming for anybody. After all, it’s not like going to a hospital down the road where you have been to before and know all the doctors and nurses. To be successful in your pursuit of low cost high quality medical treatment , there is a step by step process that you must follow to gain confidence in your decision, get the right care and save money.

STEP 1: FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THE TREND OF MEDICAL TOURISM

Find out why everybody is raving about it and why they are willing to travel half the world for it. Learn from the experience of others . Read news , blogs and articles on the subject. Check out the frequently asked questions that medical tourists have at https://www.healthbase.com/hb/pages/medical-tourism-faq.jsp.

STEP 2: RESEARCH ON THE MEDICAL PROCEDURE

Find out all you can about the medical procedure in question – problems it solves, follow-up care needed, physical therapy required, etc. This will help you clear 3 doubts: is the procedure right for your condition; are you the right candidate for the procedure; and should you go abroad for it.

STEP 3: FIND OUT IF MEDICAL TOURISM IS WHAT YOU WANT

Medical tourism is not always a good choice for non-emergency medical treatments. Sometimes transportation costs may outweigh the possible savings achievable by going abroad. In some cases, the time required for the surgery abroad may be too much for you to spare. Or, the surgery you need may not be available abroad with a reputable health care provider.

STEP 4: LEARN ABOUT MEDICAL TOURISM DESTINATIONS

Some countries have the reputation for top-quality cardiac surgery while others for world-class orthopedics and yet others for cosmetic procedures. So make your selection wisely. Sometimes distance can also play an important role in your decision-making, like in the case of small dental jobs. You should also prepare yourself for culture differences.

STEP 5: LEARN ABOUT INTERNATIONAL FACILITIES AND SURGEONS

When researching on any health care provider try to find answers to the following:

Does the hospital or clinic employ the latest equipments and technology? Do they have expertise in the medical procedure you are seeking? What accreditations and awards do they have? Are the surgeons qualified enough? Where did they receive their education and training?

Answering these questions will give you a fair idea of the standard of quality of the provider.

STEP 6: ARRANGE ALL YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS

You will need them at the time of pre-consultation with your overseas surgeon as well as when you go abroad for surgery. Depending upon the condition you are treating, medical records you may need are: X-Rays, X-Ray reports, MRI’s, health histories, photographs, immunization record, prescriptions, etc..

STEP 7: REQUEST AND COMPARE QUOTES

Costs of health care vary from country to country and provider to provider. So request for quotes and compare them. Your selection of a particular provider and country should be based not just on low cost but also on quality as well as distance.

STEP 8: CHECK WITH YOUR INSURANCE FOR COVERAGE

With the numerous benefits that medical tourism offers, today some insurance companies have medical tourism plans. So, if you are covered under an overseas medical treatment plan, your insurer might cover your medical tourism expenses in full or in part. So check with your health insurance company for coverage details.

STEP 9: ACQUIRE YOUR PASSPORT AND VISA

If you and/or your travel companion (if any) do not have a passport, you will need to acquire it. Some countries may require you to have a visa for entry. Check visa requirements and apply for it.

STEP 10: PLAN YOUR ITINERARY

When planning your itinerary, allow ample time for recovery. Be prepared to stay longer/shorter than expected. If you have travel or tourism on mind, allow time for that as well.

STEP 11: BOOK TICKETS AND ROOMS

Book tickets for yourself and your companion. After your surgery, you can choose to relax at a resort or in a hotel or go traveling in the foreign country. So if possible, make arrangements beforehand.

STEP 12: APPLY FOR TRAVEL INSURANCE PLAN

Consider purchasing one of the short-term health and emergency assistance policies designed for travelers. Travel insurance gives medical tourists coverage for unforeseen problems, from a canceled flight to a serious illness.

STEP 13: APPLY FOR MEDICAL FINANCE LOAN

If you do not have enough money for your medical treatment overseas, you may consider applying for medical loan or dental loan. Loan processing companies provide patient payment plans for plastic surgery, dental procedures, bariatric procedures, dermatology treatments, hospital, etc.

STEP 14: PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR RECOVERY

In certain cases, you may need to prepare your home for recovery. For example, if you are seeking affordable hip resurfacing surgery abroad , you may want to rearrange furniture in your house in advance before you leave to aid during the recovery stages.

STEP 15: PACK YOUR BAGS AND TAKE THE TRIP

Ensure that you have packed comfortable clothing. Bring some local currency, travelers checks, and one or two major credit cards. Keep important contact information handy. Bring all the required medical records. Remember to carry all your medical reports as well as any medicines in your carry-on luggage. Finally, take your well-planned medical trip and return home happy and healthy!

The above step by step medical tourism guide will help you with most aspects of medical tourism. To make your medical travel easy you may want to use a medical tourism provider to help you with all the logistics of medical tourism. Medical tourism providers like Healthbase (http://www.healthbase.com ) connect you with the hospital of your choice while providing many other related valuable services.

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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