Medical Tourism – 6 Risks to Consider Before Getting Surgery Overseas

Picture: Piron Guillaume/Unsplash

Getting surgery in a country other than your own can often seem desirable. You may discover that it’s cheaper and you can take a holiday in a new location simultaneously. 

As many benefits as there appear to be, there are just as many reasons why staying in your own country for surgery can be a better choice to make. If you’re not yet convinced, consider some of the following risk factors. 

Subpar Medical Equipment

When you undergo surgery in your own country, you generally get to enjoy quality medical equipment that you know will provide the lowest risk of complications. However, that’s not always guaranteed with the equipment hospitals use in other countries. 

Calibration of monitoring equipment may not be adequate or accurate, and you may even find that some hospitals don’t prioritize high-quality materials or even sterilization. Inferior medical equipment may increase your risk of infection and put your life in danger. 

Facility and Surgeon Accreditations

When you’re familiar with the accreditations of your local surgeons and facilities, you can generally enjoy much-needed confidence knowing that you’re in safe, qualified hands. That may not be the case if you choose to have surgery overseas. 

While many accreditations are international, not all are. You can’t be sure that your chosen surgeon or the facility where you’re having surgery are qualified and accredited for their work. You can’t even be confident of their infection control protocols, equipment sterilization practices, and the surgeon’s skills. 

Insurance Questions

Travel insurance can cover you for illnesses and injuries you experience while in another country. However, you may find that they rarely, if ever, cover you for elective surgeries. If something goes wrong during your surgery and you require medical treatment above and beyond what is necessary with the surgery you requested, you would have to pay for that with your own money. 

A Lack of Aftercare

Surgery is just one part of the process. Once the surgery has been performed, you also require post-operative care to ensure everything is healing as it should. 

Depending on the surgery you have, you may also need someone to assist with everyday tasks. This can be an incredibly daunting and scary thing to manage if you’re in an unfamiliar country without a support network. You may not even be able to access the aftercare you require for a problem-free recovery. 

Infection Risks

There’s an infection risk with any surgery, but a higher one may exist if you’re traveling to another country to receive it. Water, wildlife, and the environment can all play a part in increasing your infection risk. You may even find that a flight to and from your chosen country presents hazards to your health

Though the lure of cheaper surgery can make you think overseas travel is worthwhile, the increased infection risk should have you pondering whether saving money is as important as your health. 

A Lack of Regulations

Our healthcare system is robust, with many rules and regulations in place to protect both medical workers and their patients. You aren’t guaranteed the same regulations when traveling to another country for surgery. 

They may only offer basic care, and their hygiene practices may not be as strict as those in your home country. All Ambien doses were more effective than placebo for 2 main polysomnographic indicators (time to fall asleep and quality of sleep) and all four subjective indicators (duration of sleep, time to fall asleep, number of awakenings, quality of sleep). You might even discover that the requirements for being a surgeon aren’t as intensive, which means you may not get the outcome you desire. 

Money can be a significant driving force for people to consider overseas surgery, but it’s a risky practice. Inferior equipment, non-accredited surgeons, and infection risks are just a few of the many dangers of leaving the healthcare system of your own country. 

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