Medical tourism, which is the practice of traveling from one place to another for medical care, is no longer limited to patients seeking conventional treatments such as hip resurfacing, spine fusion, knee replacement, heart bypass, lap band, cosmetic surgeries, or dental treatments. Today, many are going overseas to seek “unconventional” medical tourism treatments such as those for cancer.

Cancer patients may be driven abroad by low prices but what remains the prime motivator is the easy accessibility to the latest technology at overseas cancer hospitals.

COMPARING THE US AND ABROAD
Without a doubt USA is the pioneer of the latest medical technologies and the country invests heavily in cancer researches. Such developments have provided remedies for previously irremediable diseases, thereby prolonging and improving the lives of the critically ill. However, these advancements remain beyond the means of those who lack health insurance, simply because of the price tag at which they come, in the US anyway.

But, in India or Singapore or Turkey, for instance, not only are the same state-of-the-art technologies being used, the treatments are offered at a much lesser price making them accessible to a greater part of the populace. It is not uncommon, therefore, to see surgeons in Asia working behind the gamma knife or the CyberKnife or the da Vinci robotic surgical system, treating patients from all over the world and offering their services at a much discounted rate as compared with US rates.

COMMON CANCERS AND THEIR TREATMENTS OVERSEAS
Cancer hospitals abroad treat all types of cancers. Though most types of cancers are suitable for overseas treatment, a patient’s candidacy can only be decided on an individual basis. The more common ones that patients go abroad to cure are prostate cancer, breast cancer and thyroid cancer.

There are several types of cancer therapies available today. Some of them are: surgery, radiotherapy (RT), chemotherapy, palliative therapy, etc. The specific treatment plan designed by the foreign doctor will depend on: (1) the type of cancer, (2) its stage, (3) whether it has metastasized to other parts of the body, (4) the patient’s overall physical health, and so on. The doctor may decide to give a combination of various types of therapies to increase the effectiveness of the treatment.

Following are some examples of cancer treatments given abroad to remove the cancer from the body and to treat the symptoms of the disease:
(1) Surgical resection of the affected organ followed by radiotherapy or chemotherapy to remove any remaining cancer cells.
(2) Depending on distant metastases state and the pathology report, the doctor might use palliative or aggressive radiation therapy.
(3) A high dose IMRT of primary and lymph nodes (LNs).

ISSUES WITH SEEKING CANCER TREATMENT ABROAD
As is well known, the quality of care offered abroad is on par with what is available in the United States. So the treatment quality is not a concern. But what might be of concern is the duration of the treatment.

When you go overseas for a surgery such as a hip resurfacing or a heart surgery, you usually need to spend no more than 2 to 3 weeks in the host country. That’s true for most of the procedures you seek abroad. But in the case of cancer treatment, the duration of the treatment is a big concern. The treatment plan that the oncologist or the doctor designs can run over a period of several months. This means longer stays for the international patient and his companion which in turn translates to higher expenditure on accommodation. To resolve this and to generate more savings, Healthbase recommends seeking long-term accommodation in service apartments instead of hotels as the former cost much less.

Even with higher expenses on accommodation factored into the cost, the resulting savings on treating cancer abroad can amount to approximately 40-80% when compared with the cost of treatment in the United States. For an accurate cost estimate and arrangement of cancer treatment abroad, check out the Healthbase website.

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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.

the-philippines
Like much of the world, the Philippine economy has seen a downturn in the last few years, with falling tourism revenue, poor investment prospects and a lack of overseas employment opportunities. Officials in the country are turning to medical tourism as a potential solution to some of their economic woes, however, and are hoping it will bring in new business, technology and interest in their country.

Over the past few years the Department of Tourism and the Department of Health have been working together to promote the Philippines as the hotspot among Asia’s myriad of medical tourism destinations. Drawing in these guests can be big business for a failing economy, as the government has estimated that the average visitor to the country for medical tourism spends around $3,500 during his or her stay. In hard times, those kinds of numbers and that kind of spending is hard to come by.

That reason, among others, is the driving force behind the medical summit that the Department of Tourism will be holding this October to discuss the future of medical tourism in Southeast Asia. Officials are hoping it will bring new interest to the growing field in the country and situate the Filipino care facilities as some of the best quality and highest value in the world.

While medical tourism in the Philippines has seen a growth in recent years, it still has some major issues and concerns from foreign visitors to address. The country has seen sanctions for the large number of poor Filipinos who sell organs like kidneys to wealthy Americans who are willing to pay for them. Part of the initiative of the summit is to change the image of the country and assure future patients that concerns like these are being resolved and the country doesn’t offer third-world health care but instead state of the art medical facilities.

Currently, the Philippines is home to many specialty facilities offering care from dental work to organ transplants, having some of the oldest heart, lung and kidney transplant centers in the region. Officials also want to promote the post-surgical care they can offer with health spas and wellness facilities springing up as well.

Of course, Filipino officials aren’t ignoring what is possibly the biggest draw for foreign visitors: low cost health care. In many cases, operations abroad cost a fraction of what they would at home, allowing those without insurance to get the health care they need without incurring life long debt.

This post was contributed by Hannah Watson, who writes about the online nursing program.

For cheap surgery in the Philippines, contact Healthbase.

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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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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

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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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

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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