Private Surgery Success
There are numerous reasons to travel outside one’s local area to receive medical treatment. A procedure may not be available where you live, the wait for it is too long, or the price is too high. In dealing with COVID for the past 18 months, wait times have gotten far worse. People are becoming desperate to be treated for non-urgent surgeries and/or diagnostic tests. Many non-urgent surgeries should be considered urgent, especially if it impacts your livelihood. Unfortunately that is not the case.
If you find yourself in this position and decide to pursue private options, consider some of the following tips to make sure you have a successful outcome.
Communicate and be transparent with your local medical professional – family physician or specialist
First and foremost, we cannot emphasize the importance of communicating with your family doctor and/or specialist. It matters tremendously at all stages of your medical journey, but especially before and after. Before the travel, give your doctor an opportunity to voice all of his/her concerns with your plans. It will help you mitigate the risks associated with receiving medical care abroad. Remember, only your doctor will have the medical facts and necessary expertise to raise such concerns. You can ask for a second (or third) opinion, or do your own research, but it all starts with you and your doctor.
It also ends here. When you come back from your procedure, your doctor will not be surprised and unprepared to learn about your journey and if necessary, provide or advise post op care. In many, if not all surgeries, the recovery time and post op care are so important, that the success of the procedure largely depends on it and therefore, you need the medical support when you come back home. Talk to your family doctor 4-6 weeks or earlier before you go.
Do not make your provider selection based on the price only
The old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ completely applies here. There are many exceptional doctors out there. Pricing can vary from country to country and many may offer you low ball pricing. Why would you pay $28,000 for a hip replacement in Canada or the US when you could get it for $7,000 in India? Buyer beware if this is in a country outside the US and Canada. Not all countries and/or hospitals outside Canada and the US have to meet certain safety standards to practice. This is monitored in Canada and the US. If you choose a country outside of these countries, make sure you have done your due diligence. If the hospital is not a JCI accredited facility, your safety and ultimate outcome could be greatly compromised. Also check your surgeons background to make sure they are an appropriate surgeon for what you need to have done. It is not unusual to have a dentist perform plastic surgery for say, breast implants. You want to have a surgeon that is licensed and trained in the specific area you are having surgery on. This is not monitored and is allowed in other countries.
Have a plan B and be flexible
Have you thought about the fact that there is a chance after an on site physical examination, your doctor may advise a different treatment plan? There are cases of “change of treatment plans”. For example, a prior GYN client of ours was told she needed to have a specific surgery to address pain. After reviewing her records, the surgeon in the US felt like her pain was being caused by a whole other issue. They made an informed decision to take this surgeon’s recommendation. Turns out, this surgeon made the right call and she had a very successful surgery and outcome.
To prepare yourself, don’t be afraid to ask questions before you decide go. Work with your doctor on plan B before you leave. The more planning you do the less stressful your medical journey will be.
Also be prepared for changes to the requirements each state and province has regarding COVID rules and practices. This has changed almost daily in the past 18 months. Keep yourself informed and up to date so you are not blind sided by a requirement that has changed during your trip.
If you have any questions or concerns or would like to discuss any of the medical travel issues further, please reach out to us – we are here to listen and give you the best answer today! Health Vantis specializes in making your medical travel more enjoyable by giving you our most personal support and care along the way – start to finish.