Surgery is a big step. Getting on a plane and flying 16 hours to the other side of the planet for surgery is a really big step. Are you ready? Ask yourself…
- Can I afford this?
Chances are if you are having surgery overseas than you are getting it at a great discount. Most Americans pay up to 80% more for medical procedures due to the high cost of malpractice insurance. Furthermore, the cost of health insurance is increasing while its overage, deductibles and co-pays are decreasing. Keep in mind that medical tourism involves paying cash out-of-pocket, usually a percentage up front, when an appointment is scheduled and the remainder shortly before surgery.
- Is this healthy?
Medical procedures overseas often involve either procedures or medicines that have not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Research well online and make educated decisions about your care. Just because something is not yet acceptable in the United States does not mean that it is in any way an inferior product. In fact, the F.D.A is notoriously slow to approve things.
- Am I having this surgery for me?
Cosmetic surgeries and dental procedures beg the question, “Are you having this procedure to make yourself happy?” You should never alter your physical appearance to please someone else. If you are self-conscious about your teeth or really want to get rid of some excess fat around your mid-section then, by all means, jump on the medical tourism bandwagon.
- Is this a safe procedure?
Online research is really an amazing tool when you need answers to your questions. Learn as much as you can about your procedure, the risks and the rewards. Investigate your hospital, doctor and post-operative care center. Ask your medical tourism travel agency if they have any additional materials to give you to increase your understanding. Chances are you are not the first person to ask these questions and they are prepared.
- Am I comfortable with the risks?
There are inherent risks with any surgery. In fact, even American hospitals make you sign a waiver that you know there are risks. Medical tourism has added factors involved. Make sure you know all the risks and are comfortable with them.
- Will I be happy with the results?
You should know, in advance, that no plastic surgeon can make you look like J Lo or Britney Spears. No cosmetic dentistry specialist can give you Julia Roberts smile. Be honest with yourself and your doctor or dentist about the results you expect before moving forward. If you are still happy with your answer, then go buy your plane ticket.
In any event, do consult your doctor or medical practitioner before you take the final plunge.