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MEDICAL TRAVEL ADVISOR

The five  most important things  you need to know before you travel.

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What will happen after my surgery?

You’re Surgeon and his medical staff will be in close contact with you during your recovery. After surgery you will be given specific instructions to follow to insure your speedy recovery.

What kind of care will I receive after my surgery?

In many ways the medical tourism process is very similar to what you may be used to at home. If your surgery is an inpatient procedure, expect to be taken to back to your room for recovery and for monitoring by the hospital nursing staff. Different hospitals will display varying post-surgery care protocols, however, expect the standards of care to be just as rigorous – if not more so, than at many North American hospitals. Don’t be surprised if your care is highly personalized either, as many international hospitals will have a higher nurse to patient ratio than you will normally find in the U.S or Canada.

The traditions and culture of your medical tourism destination will also play a role in the type of care you receive. The people of many third world, developing nations often exude a sense of warmth and friendliness that goes way above what you may be used to at home. By this I don’t mean to say that nurses in first world nations are cold or unfriendly, it’s simply that one’s behavior and mannerisms are often dictated by your cultural background and traditions. Those of us from Anglo-Saxon and Germanic descent, tend to be a little more aloof and rigid than many of our Latin American or Asian brethren.

Some international hospitals may even have an area dedicated to international patients, where you will be cared for by an English speaking nursing staff experienced in attending to medical tourism patients like yourself. Whereas surgeon visits in North America tend to be few and far between, expect your overseas surgeon to check up on your progress quite often. Rehabilitation therapy will also be available if you’ve undergone a procedure that requires scheduled therapy.

What will the aftercare be like overseas after my surgery? Depending on your particular hospital and or surgery package, you will either spend most of your recovery time at the hospital, or more likely, you will transfer to a hotel or a recovery facility for the remainder of your stay. This only makes sense as a night in the hospital may cost two or three times more than one at a hotel or recovery retreat. Studies also suggest that longer hospital stays increase your risk of infection or contracting an illness. Bottom line, if your doctor says you are good to go – then go.

Will rehabilitation therapy be included in my medical tourism procedure package?

Again, this will depend on the particular hospital you choose. Orthopedic procedures such as hip and knee replacements will require extensive rehabilitation therapy, so make sure to ask if this will be included as part of your procedure package.

What about post-operative care and convalescence?

Anyone going overseas for medical care should be prepared to extend their stay abroad if recommended by a doctor. Not everyone heals at the same rate. The risk of complications after surgery increases substantially for patients who do not have medical clearance to travel.

Medical tourists should make arrangements with their doctor at home for diagnostic and aftercare where possible.

Will I have to pay for hotel costs after surgery?

This will depend on the medical tourism procedure package you purchase through your international hospital or medical tourism facilitator. Even if your package does include the cost of post surgery lodging, it doesn’t hurt to check and see if you can save money by purchasing your lodging separately.

What if a complication happens while I am overseas?

In the event of a medical tourism complication, your international hospital and physician will arrange for proper action to be taken. It is therefore important to have a list of hospital contacts with you while you are recovering at your hotel. Some medical tourism complications may be very minor and require nothing more than a short doctor or nursing visit to your hotel. Other complications may require that you be interned again in the hospital.

What do I do if I have complications upon returning home?

The ideal scenario is to have an aftercare protocol arranged with your doctor before you leave for your surgery trip. Some international hospitals may offer aftercare options. If you have traveled under a medical tourism program with your insurance carrier or employer, then your primary doctor will be the first person to call. He will then arrange to speak to your international doctor if he requires more information about your condition. If you have initiated your Medical Tourism Trip on your own, or through a facilitator, and do not have a primary doctor at home, then, you will want to contact your overseas physician and hospital for their recommendations (assuming the complication is not life threatening in which case you should immediately seek local emergency care).

Can I speak to my international provider after I come home?

Many international providers will follow-up with you periodically to make sure you are doing well. They should also provide you with a contact in case you have any questions or concerns. This may be someone from the hospital’s internationals office or even your overseas physician.

What about follow up care in the U.S.?

We strongly urge you to be in close communications with your physician back home before and after your trip. Our physicians will coordinate any follow up care with your doctor in the U.S. if needed.