Healthbase has helped an uninsured American patient get double hip resurfacing surgeries in India. The high cost of Birmingham hip resurfacing surgery in the United States plus the lack of expertise in this procedure in the country continues to drive scores of Americans to India.

Nov. 21, 2008, Boston, MA. Healthbase Online Inc., an award-winning medical tourism facilitator based in Boston, Massachusetts, helps an Arizona-based former ballet dancer treat her hip osteoarthritis in India. 53-year old Katharine Frey who had arthritis in both her hips traveled to Apollo Hospitals, Chennai to have her hips resurfaced and availed of the 85% discount on the cost of the surgery.

“I have appreciated everything we have experienced and received at the Apollo Hospitals . Everyone has been very kind, supportive and helpful,” says Katharine after her hip resurfacing surgery last winter. She was so happy with the quality of care she received at her overseas hospital that she went back a few months later to have her second hip resurfaced.

Being uninsured, the $60,000 required to have a single hip resurfaced in the US seemed out of reach for Katharine. This led her into researching her other option – surgery overseas – and contacting Healthbase who coordinated both her surgeries in India for $8,000 each. The price included doctor’s fees, physical therapy and a week in the hospital.

According to Saroja Mohanasundaram, CEO of Healthbase , “Our clients prefer going abroad for Birmingham hip resurfacing because it is a fairly new procedure in the US but has been in use, say, in India, for many years. Being a major procedure it demands years of practice on the surgeon’s part to gain proficiency. The fact that Katharine went back to have her other hip resurfaced in India speaks volumes about the high level of satisfaction with our service and that of our partner hospitals and surgeons.”

Katharine Frey taking off on a paragliding flight just weeks after her hip resurfaicng surgery in India
Katharine Frey taking off on a paragliding flight just weeks after her hip resurfacing surgery in India

Katharine returned to work merely two and a half weeks post operation and to teaching ballet twenty days post operation. Katharine actively participates in swimming, yoga, hiking, paragliding, and cross-country road trips. “She has no pain in her hips and is moving and functioning like a normal human. I am so grateful and am enjoying watching Katharine return to life,” remarks Scott Martin, Katharine’s husband.

Katharine was operated upon by Dr. Vijay Bose and his team. Dr. Bose, a specialist in Birmingham Hip Resurfacing, Joint Replacement and Sports Medicine, has over a thousand BHR surgeries under his belt.
“Beyond the cost savings, the attention given was remarkable. Dr. Bose and his qualified staff will always be remembered for this,” adds Katharine.

Impressed by the high quality of care in India, even Scott, who accompanied Katharine to India addressed some of his periodontal issues through dental scaling and crowns at Apollo Hospitals while Katharine recuperated after her second Birmingham hip resurfacing surgery.

“It has been a positive life changing process for both of us. Thank you, Healthbase, for being so receptive, supportive and professional,” acknowledge Katharine and Scott.

Healthbase connects patients from across the globe to health care facilities in India, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, Philippines, Turkey, Belgium, Hungary, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Mexico and United States. Healthbase has over 45 providers on its network.

About Healthbase Online Inc.:

Healthbase, an award-winning Boston-based medical tourism and dental tourism facilitator, is a one-stop source for global medical and dental choices, connecting patients to leading healthcare providers around the world. 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. Healthbase’s partner healthcare facilities are located in Thailand, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Turkey, Belgium, Hungary, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Mexico and USA, and are expanding to Canada, UK, Jordan, Taiwan, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, El Salvador and Guatemala. To ensure that patients receive the best care possible, Healthbase works mainly with hospitals that have international accreditations like JCI, JCAHO and ISO. Healthbase caters to the needs of individual consumers, self-funded businesses, insurance carriers, benefit consultants, insurance agents, and third party administrators seeking affordable medical travel and dental travel options. To learn more, call 1-888-691-4584, email info.hb @ healthbase.com or visit http://www.healthbase.com.

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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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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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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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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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MEDICAL TOURISM TIPS: WHAT A MEDICAL TOURIST SHOULD KNOW AND DO

It’s easy to hop on a plane and catch the next flight to your surgical destination. But before you do so, there are a number of things you should know and do to make your medical tourism trip safe and successful. Here is a list that will assist you in planning…

DO PROPER RESEARCH
Research is the first step to successful medical travel. Make sure that you do your research on the following:

1. The procedure: Find out about the procedure and compare your expectations with what’s achievable by the surgery. Also inquire about follow-up care needed, time required for recovery, physical therapy, etc.
2. The hospital: When selecting the international hospital that’s right for your needs, you should consider the hospital’s accreditation, awards and recognitions, facility and equipments, statistics like success rates, etc.
3. The surgeon: Check the certifications, training and repute of the surgeon who will be treating you.
4. The destination country: You should base your country selection on: quality, distance and cost.

KEEP YOUR LOCAL DOCTOR INFORMED
Always work with your local doctor and inform him about your decision to travel overseas for treatment. You may need his assistance prior to the surgery for furnishing the health records required by the international hospital and post surgery for any follow-up checks that may be required.

HAVE ALL YOUR IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS IN ORDER
Bring the following documents with you. For each document, make copies and leave one set of copies at a safe place at home.
1. Medical records: Medical records like X-Rays, MRI’s, health histories, photographs, immunization records, prescriptions, and any other health records relevant to the surgery. Remember to carry all these medical reports and any medicines in your carry-on luggage.
2. Passport and visa: You will need a passport for yourself and your travel companion (if any). Depending upon the country you are traveling to, you may or may not need a visa. Check with the destination country’s embassy for the same.
3. Credit cards, debit cards and travelers checks: Bring some local currency, travelers checks and one or two major credit cards and debit cards.
4. Driver’s license: Carry your driver’s license and make sure it will remain valid while you’re traveling.

KEEP IMPORTANT CONTACT INFORMATION HANDY
Keep the following contact information handy:
1. Emergency contacts like relatives and friends
2. Destination embassy
3. Hospital
4. Hotel
5. Local surgeon / doctor
6. Employer

BE PREPARED TO STAY LONGER/SHORTER THAN EXPECTED
You should allow ample time for recovery after your surgery before you travel back home. So be prepared to stay longer as advised by your doctor. In some other cases you may not need to stay for as long as was expected.

WORK WITH A MEDICAL TOURISM COMPANY
Last but not the least, work with a medical tourism provider like Healthbase. They are specialized facilitators that connect you with the hospital of your choice while providing all or some other 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.

Due research and planning are vital to happy, safe and successful medical travel. Therefore, you must follow the above medical travel tips and do your homework before boarding the plane.

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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