08 Jun Things to Consider Before Booking Surgery Overseas
It’s a typical thing among friends, family and co-workers to talk about the extraneous cost of healthcare around the world, namely in high-income countries like Australia and the United States. Although travelling to these lower income countries that offer lower cost surgical procedures may seem like a good idea at first glance, but it may cost you more than you think in other ways than simply the dollar value. Dr Morris Ritz encourages every client that comes to him for consultation to understand the serious repercussions of international medical care; they should be completely aware of all the risks and dangers involved—beware of international travel for surgical procedures and we will tell you all you need to know.
Types of Healthcare Coverage
We are given Medicare to cover most medical costs we would need yearly, but high-cost physicians that don’t provide a sliding scale option for surgical procedures. Elective surgery is not usually covered by medical insurance unless there is some medical issue concurring with this cosmetic or other surgical procedure. Excluding cosmetic procedure, people have the option to use their Medicare rebate or elect to use their private insurance, should the procedure not be covered. There is always a solution to help clients remain in the country for supervised and safe surgery.
Waiting Lists and First Opinions
Many people have been to a physician that has told them they require a specified surgical procedure for medical reasons, and it wouldn’t be covered, or the first opinion they received for their procedure was too high-cost. Once they’ve all received second opinions to confirm the costs they can manage, they’re faced with long waitlists or long waited rebates. Waiting lists can be up to a year or more after all the necessary steps are taken, or patients have paid their dues required by the insurance.
These are some of the many reasons people look to international healthcare as it cuts waitlists in half. Unfortunately travelling for international surgery can cut your rate of success significantly more than half. Thankfully for cosmetic procedures, waitlists are never that long and finding the right physician that will take care of you from start to finish is the best chance you have for success. Travelling for surgical care is a bad idea since follow-up care can take up to a month and most overseas surgeons will not be responsible for retreating mistakes. Stick with your home surgeon that can monitor your recovery—always.
Acting before asking isn’t such a good idea.
Often, people know what they want and assume they wouldn’t find an affordable option with their current surgeons. This means that they have no prior medical opinion or advice before their international surgical expeditions. This happens with cosmetic surgical procedures all the time, usually with patients looking to have breast augmentations, tummy tucks, breast lifts and more. Cosmetic procedures are increasingly sought out in Thailand, Jordan and Malaysia since the costs are low, but beware if you’re a foreigner.
For those patients that choose to book a flight to Thailand, Jordan, Malaysia and other countries known to attract medical tourists, the first mistake is to travel without knowledge of what you need or procedure you should have done. In the last ten years, statistics have shown a record high of nearly 60+ billion dollars spent on international surgical procedures—that’s an insane amount of money spent elsewhere on iffy outcomes.
Of these procedures, more than half of cosmetic surgeries are not performed up to our current medical standard. Patients are given care that is supervised, regulated and performed for patient comfort and optimal health. Many of the patients that come to see Dr Morris Ritz are remedy patients that have sought out procedures in other countries that have gone wrong or not done to their specifications; these people end up paying double of the costs plus travel. You’ll be saving money and your health when you stick to domestic surgeons.
Risks of infections and proper cleanliness of the facility is a concern when looking abroad for surgical procedures. Because many of these countries are not regulated like Australia, surgical equipment, surgical operating rooms and the environment may not be conducive to a safe surgery. We worry about cleanliness and proper protocol with surgical equipment because of the rampant spread of blood born diseases like HIV, hepatitis and slews of other bacterias those travelling from other countries may not be previously exposed. Many patients don’t realise that these things could be a factor when carefully deciding to have cosmetic procedures.
Raised risk of infection also brings about the idea that the availability of blood, should you require transfusion in case of lost blood or infection is low. Unlike developed countries, under-regulated medical facilities are not always stocked with the proper amount of blood, antibiotics or the necessary medications, including anaesthetic for pain or pain management. Should you require blood transfusions, they may not have enough of the blood type you need to be treated. This is just another thing to add to the list of concerns and should deter some patients from taking this route since you never know what’s running rampant in these areas.
Communication—English Isn’t Always the Base Language
English is one of the most dominant languages spoken all over the world because of the plethora of international business transactions and international travel for those from English-speaking countries. Unfortunately, the physician you choose to perform the procedure may not be completely fluent. Unless you speak the language of that particular country, you should think twice before electing to have surgery there.
During your procedure, any miscommunication between you and the physician can result in serious medical and cosmetic repercussions. Many people fail to realise that misinterpreting allergies or preferences can drastically reduce the quality of care they were hoping to receive. Educate yourself before you think about this, especially if you only speak one language. Dr Morris Ritz offers a series of affordable and quality options that can work with your current situation to help minimise the dangerous health risks that come with international surgery.
Travel After Surgery
After breast augmentation with implants or any surgical procedure that requires rest and limited travel, patients should carefully consider recovery and travel risks before even thinking about travelling for surgery. Because flying increases pressure within and around the body during flight, blood pressure and the internal pressure of any foreign implant or tool could be altered significantly. Altitude could lead to some serious blood-related issues should you fly without following medical advice.
Do not risk flying after surgery. More often than not, you will need rest and time for recovery. We’ve seen serious conditions and infections develop from those travelling against medical advice. Dr Morris Ritz will keep you on the ground and follow-up with you to make sure your recovery is smooth and comfortable.
These are just some things to think about regarding the dangers and risks of international surgery. Meeting with your physician and working out all the technical, financial and preferential concerns, could help you get the best outcome medically and aesthetically right here at home. Call Dr Morris Ritz on 03 8692 5566 to schedule your consultation for all of your body contouring, breast augmentation, liposuction and lift needs.