MedRetreat – Medical Tourism

April 10, 2009

Hip Replacement Overseas

First performed in 1962, the hip replacement has become a very safe and common procedure.  According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), approximately 200,000 to 300,000 hip replacements procedures are performed every year in the U.S.  Many experts claim that this number is expected to rise to roughly 600,000 annual procedures within 5 years. 

Without insurance coverage, the average cost of a hip replacement in the U.S. is about $50,000.  However, the same procedure performed at many state-of-the-art hospitals overseas is approximately $11,000, a potential savings of $20,000 to $30,000, even after factoring in the flights, extended hotel stay and all other travel essentials. 

Most Americans may not be familiar with the concept and growth of medical tourism in the past few years, and if they are, they most likely conjure images of a dental implant or a nip-and-tuck on a tropical island.  They would probably be surprised to learn that un-insured and under-insured North Americans are routinely traveling in droves to exotic places like Malaysia, Thailand, or India, to undergo hip replacements and knee replacements, spinal fusions, artificial disc replacements, and hysterectomies

To understand why this trend is growing in such a fashion, it is important to look beyond the obvious cost savings of such a venture.  The savings have always been there, but what has transpired over the past decade has been the globalization of medical care. 

  • Medical device companies aggressively market and sell their latest prosthesis and high-tech instruments to a global market. 
  • Surgeons are educated, trained, and board certified throughout the world and by similar standards.
  • The Joint Commission on the Accreditations of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), which accredits the quality and safety of American hospitals, established the Joint Commission International (JCI) to accredit foreign hospitals on their quality and safety.  
  • The Internet has placed global options at the fingertips of individual consumers. 

These combined developments have leveled the competitive “playing field” in the global market for surgical procedures such as the hip replacement. 

So if you are living in pain due to a lack of appropriate insurance coverage, you many want to seriously consider pursuing your hip replacement overseas as a valid and safe alternative.  If you decide that this option is right for you, the safest way to go about it is to work with a reputable medical tourism facilitation agency like MedRetreat.  Such an agency can immediately bridge the communications, lingual, cultural, and time zone gaps and provide you with invaluable information about the doctors, hospitals, and destinations.  They will also manage all the planning and logistics of your surgery date, hospital check-in and out, hotel arrangements, ground transportation, and much more so that all you have to focus on is your hip replacement and recovery.

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