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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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ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a localized dilatation of the abdominal aorta, that exceeds the normal diameter by more than 50%. The normal diameter of the infrarenal aorta is 2 cm. The aneurysm can extend to include one or both of the iliac arteries. AAA is caused by a degenerative process of the aortic wall.

Possible symptoms of AAA include low back pain, flank pain, abdominal pain, groin pain or pulsating abdominal mass. However, as most of the AAAs are asymptomatic, their presence is usually revealed during an abdominal examination for another reason – the most common being abdominal ultrasonography. It is recommended that men aged 65 to 75 years who have ever smoked have one-time screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm by ultrasonography. A physician may also detect the presence of an AAA by abdominal palpation.

ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM TREATMENT

An aneurysm is usually considered to be present if the measured outer aortic diameter is over 3 cm (normal diameter of aorta is around 2 cm). For aneurysms under 5 cm, the risk of rupture is low, so surgery is not recommended. Such aneurysms are therefore usually kept under surveillance until such time as they become large enough to warrant repair, or develop symptoms.

Surgery is considered for aneurysms larger than 5 cm.

AAA can be repaired in two ways:
Open aneurysm repair (OR): Open repair (operation) is indicated in young patients as an elective procedure, or in growing or large, symptomatic or ruptured aneurysms.
Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR): It is generally indicated in older, high-risk patients or patients unfit for open repair. However, endovascular repair is feasible for only a proportion of AAA’s, depending on the morphology of the aneurysm. The main advantage over open repair is that the peri-operative period has less impact on the patient i.e. less time in intensive care, less time in hospital overall, earlier return to normal activity.

ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM COST AND AVAILABILITY

In the US, abdominal 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 abdominal aortic aneurysm repair surgery overseas at an affordable price.

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

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MIS 2-INCISION HIP REPLACEMENT

Zimmer MIS 2-Incision Hip Replacement is a minimally invasive alternative to the traditional hip replacement surgery. The minimally invasive surgery is done by making two small incisions about 1½ to 2 inches each to separate the muscles and tendons to access the hip joint as opposed to the traditional hip replacement surgery which typically involves a 10- to 12-inch incision and cutting of those tissues. For the MIS 2-Incision surgery, orthopedic surgeons trained in minimally invasive surgical techniques use specialized instruments to perform the surgery.

The MIS 2-Incision Hip Replacement technique considerably reduces the recovery time as muscles and tendons around the hip joint are not generally cut as they are in the traditional hip replacement surgery. So there is less tissue trauma involved in this minimally invasive approach resulting in faster and less painful rehabilitation of the patient which in turn results in quicker return to work and daily activities. Also, because smaller incisions are made, the surgery leaves smaller scars. Other benefits of this surgery are shorter hosptial stay and reduced blood loss compared to traditional hip replacement surgery.

Performance-wise, the hip replaced through MIS 2-Incision Hip Replacement performs the same as that through the traditinal approach. Also, the replacement hip – comprised of a stem, ball and socket – is the same high quality, clinically proven prosthesis that is used in traditional surgery.

Anybody who is a right candidate for traditional hip replacement surgery is also a right candidate for MIS 2-Incision Hip Replacement except those who are extremely overweight, are very muscular, have recently had a blood clot or an unstable medication that places them at higher risk for complications, or those who have already had hip replacement surgery on the same hip.

Read here for information about a more bone-conserving approach to hip replacement called Birmingham hip resurfacing surgery or BHR.

Cost and Availability of MIS 2-Incision Hip Replacement

In the US, MIS 2-Incision Hip Replacement surgery can be very costly. If you are uninsured or underinsured then this could translate into a substantial out-of-pocket expense for your orthopedic treatment.

Healthbase offers a large network of international partner hospitals which offer the best MIS 2-Incision Hip Replacement surgery overseas at an affordable price.

Register or login to get your FREE personalized quote for a cheap Hip Replacement surgery abroad (MIS 2-Incision hip replacement surgery or traditional hip replacement surgery).

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In vitro fertilization

What is fertility?
Fertility is the natural capability of giving life. As a measure, “Fertility Rate” is the number of children born per couple, person or population. Infertility is a deficient fertility.

Both women and men have hormonal cycles which determine both when a woman can achieve pregnancy and when a man is most fertile.

Women’s fertility peaks around the age of 23-24, and often deteriorates after 30. With a rise in women postponing pregnancy, this can create an infertility problem.

In vitro fertilization
The term in vitro is used to refer to any biological procedure that is performed outside the organism it would normally be occurring in.

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a technique in which egg cells are fertilised by sperm outside the woman’s womb, in vitro. IVF is a major treatment in infertility when other methods of assisted reproductive technology have failed. The process involves hormonally controlling the ovulatory process, removing ova (eggs) from the woman’s ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a fluid medium. The fertilised egg (zygote) is then transferred to the patient’s uterus with the intent to establish a successful pregnancy. Babies conceived as a result of IVF are also known as test tube babies.

For IVF to be successful, it requires healthy ova, sperm that can fertilise, and a uterus that can maintain a pregnancy. Cost considerations generally place IVF as a treatment when other less expensive options have failed.

Success rates
While the overall live birth rate via IVF in the U.S. is about 27% per cycle (33% pregnancy rate), the chances of a successful pregnancy via IVF vary widely based on the age of the woman (or, more precisely, on the age of the eggs involved). Where the woman’s own eggs are used as opposed to those of a donor, for women under 35, the pregnancy rate is commonly approximately 43% per cycle (36.5% live birth), while for women over 40, the rate falls drastically – to only 4% for women over 42.

Complications
The major complication of IVF is the risk of multiple births. This is directly related to the practice of transferring multiple embryos at embryo transfer. Multiple births are related to increased risk of pregnancy loss, obstetrical complications, prematurity, and neonatal morbidity with the potential for long term damage.

For affordable IVF treatment overseas, please contact Healthbase. Healthbase is a medical tourism expert connecting patients to leading healthcare facilities worldwide. Healthbase also offers medical tourism plans for self-insured businesses looking for affordable healthcare benefits for employees.

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MEDICAL TOURISM AND JCI HOSPITALS

With the growth in the number of medical tourism providers quality standards become all the more important. To demonstrate their commitment towards quality some international health care organizations choose to be accredited by the US-based Joint Commission Internationa (JCI). JCI accreditation has gained worldwide attention as an effective quality evaluation and management tool. A JCI hospital is an international hospital outside of the United States which has been accredited by the Joint Commission International. There are over 120 JCI hospitals worldwide and many more are in the process of receiving accreditation.

The JCI accreditation program was launched by the Joint Commission in 1999 in response to the growing interest in accreditation and quality improvement worldwide. Accreditation is usually voluntary. The health care organization interested in a JCI accreditation has to meet a set of standards requirements designed to improve quality of care. JCI accreditation standards are usually regarded as optimal and achievable. Accreditation provides a visible commitment by an organization to improve the quality of patient care, to ensure a safe environment and to continually work to reduce risks to patients and staff.

JCI makes sure accredited hospitals have state-of-the-art health care facilities and technology along with advanced transportation and communication systems. JCI accredited hospitals’ health care standards, professionalism and quality of their doctors are equivalent if not superior to those you find in the United States of America.

JCI ensure the quality of hospitals in its network using the following criteria:
• Coverage From Patient Entry to Discharge
• Assessment for All Aspects of Management
• Culture of Patient Safety
• Access to and continuity of care
• Assessment and care processes
• Education and rights of individuals
• Management of information and human resources
• Quality leadership
• Infection control
• Collaborative integrated
• Facility Management

The above is a partial list of assessment criteria. For details, refer to Medical Tourism FAQ.

For affordable overseas medical treatment at a JCI hospital, please contact Healthbase. Healthbase is a medical tourism expert connecting patients to leading healthcare facilities worldwide.

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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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