Patient Related FAQs

Patient Related FAQs

What does my doctor need to know?

It is wise to let your primary care physician know your plans to receive medical treatment overseas. It is common for doctors to be a little skeptical of the idea, however, it is best to share materials about international hospitals accredited by U.S. standards and the overseas physicians credentials and procedure cost.

Do I need to bring documents or records?

All pertinent laboratory and radiological examinations, plus a list of present medication.

Should I bring my medical records?

The more medical history information you can bring the better. Remember, you will be meeting a new doctor who may know precious little about your condition except for what you’ve told him or from what you may have sent. The extent of information you should bring will depend on your condition and the type of procedure you will be undergoing. Therefore it is best to check with your primary and international physicians for their advice and requirements.

Do I need to get any tests prior to traveling internationally for medical tourism?

As mentioned before, you will require certain preoperative exams before your surgery. Depending on your age, health, and the type of procedure you are undergoing, you may require simple tests like a blood exam and an electrocardiogram, or more in-depth analyses that could include a thorax X-ray, ultrasound, gastroscopy and an evaluation by a psychologist among other things.

Ideally you should try to get your tests done before leaving for your Medical Tourism Trip. This will allow your overseas physician to be absolutely sure that you are fit for your surgery. Finding out that you’re not a candidate for a hip replacement – after flying half way around the world, can be an emotionally devastating experience. The truth of the matter, however, is that many medical tourism patients will opt for the convenience and lower cost of getting their preoperative exams done at the international hospital.

Should I make sure my doctor at home will provide aftercare for me once I return?

That is the ideal situation, unfortunately it is not always possible due to the stigma that medical tourism has for some doctors. As mentioned earlier, making your doctor an active participant in the medical tourism process is the best way to get him or her involved in your after care once you have returned home.

What if in the pre-surgery consultation the physician decides that I cannot undergo the treatment?

Physicians will order pre-operative tests prior to travel to the destination. If surgery is not approved (and unfortunately the surgeons do reject some cases that they don’t consider safe according to their standards for Medical Tourism) you will be entitled to a refund of your initial deposit.

What should I bring with me on my Medical Tourism Trip?

What you need to bring will be dependent on your destination (weather), accommodations and other variables associated with a normal trip or vacation. However, traveling for surgery does require some important extras:

  • Your medical information and/or lab tests
  • Copy/originals of all medical reports and medication details
  • CD copies of any scans like MRI/CT/ECHO
  • Any referral notes from your doctor
  • Passport
  • Eye Glasses/Contact lens equipment
  • International Calling Cards Credit Cards
  • Contact Information for friends, family, hotels, physicians, embassies, and airlines

Should I bring a companion on my Medical Tourism Trip?

Yes, by all means do so if at all possible. The moral and physical support of a family member or a friend can do wonders for your spirit and probably even help speed up your recuperation time as well. For more invasive procedures such as heart surgery and hip and knee replacements, it would be ill advised not to.

Most international hospitals can provide various levels of assistance depending on your surgery and your particular needs. Moreover, a companion is not absolutely necessary for every type of procedure, and depending on your level of independence you can, in certain instances, get along fine without one. Make sure to check with your hospital liaison or medical tourism facilitator in order to see the type of assistance you will be receiving before and after your surgery and whether or not they believe you will require someone to accompany you. If in doubt, bring someone along.

Can I bring my children?

You can but you probably shouldn’t. The level of stress you will be under is already great enough without throwing children into the mix. Of course, if your spouse is with you and your children are well behaved – or of a reasonable age to be well behaved, then this could be an option for you. Your destination and the type of activities available will also play into your decision. Do keep in mind that a hospital room is not a playground and you will need to find ways to keep your young ones occupied. Again, check with your hospital liaison to see their recommendation.

Should I bring a laptop with me on my medical tourism trip?

This is usually a good idea if you don’t mind lugging one around from place to place. Most hotels and hospitals catering to overseas guests will offer free or cheap internet access. This may take the form of a non descript room with computer terminals, a full-fledged business center, or possibly even wireless internet access throughout the hotel or hospital facility. Either way, a laptop will at least offer you some entertainment options if not a convenient way to stay in touch with friends, family, and business associates.

Will I need to pay extra to have a family member accompany me overnight in my hospital room?

Many international hospitals allow companions to stay overnight free of charge. However, check with your particular provider for details such as if meals will be included or not.

Where should I stay before and after surgery (hotels / recovery retreats)? Most international hospitals and some clinics will provide you with a list of accommodation options suited to your needs as a surgery patient, sometimes referred to as recovery resorts or recovery retreat. Hospitals with good international patient programs may go so far as arranging your lodging for you.

What Happens if Something Goes Wrong?

This is an extremely common question and there is no one answer. Things can \"go wrong\" with any medical care, procedure or surgery, regardless of the quality of a facility and the skill of a doctor or surgeon.

Patients should query their surgeons on what their policies are for less than satisfactory results. Some plastic surgeons will offer free revisions, for example. In the event of a truly terrible outcome of a surgery resulting in disfigurement, incapacity, disability or death, a medical tourist must be aware, going in, that legal recourse will not be as straightforward as it would be in the United States and might be substantially limited even in the event that malpractice could be proven. If your primary concern in going to a doctor, surgeon or dentist is whether or not you\'re going to have legal recourse if you don\'t like the work you get, you probably shouldn\'t be a medical tourist.

What happens if I need to sue for malpractice?

We only work with an hand-picked Board Certified Surgeons. However, no one regardless of where you are can guarantee malpractice will never occur. If for any unforeseeable reason, you need to seek legal recourse, we suggest that you seek advice from a local professional attorney and to pursue legal proceedings according to applicable local law.