Saving Big on Top 7 Medical Procedures Overseas

Travelers are globe-trotting these days to destinations around the world are increasingly popular for seven types of medical care, driven by excellent care, lower costs, beautiful and unforgettable locations and faster health care services.

Highly qualified and experienced doctors and physicians working in internationally accredited and certified hospitals and clinics in all specialties provide high standards in quality of care to individuals around the world. Individuals around the globe seeking affordable and accessible healthcare services are increasingly looking beyond domestic borders for such care.

Rising Health Care Costs Driving Global Medical Tourism

Rising health care costs in the U.S., coupled with the uncertainty of new health care legislation prompts growing numbers of Americans to travel abroad for cheaper medical procedures and surgery. Surgery costs abroad are less expensive than the U.S. because, for the most part, due to lower medical malpractice insurance costs.

The cost of medical care in the U.S. has increased substantially, in conjunction with the need for medical care providers to carry increasingly high levels of such insurance, which in turn drives up the care for everything from a wellness check to heart valve replacement surgery.

Lack of accessibility to quality medical care and choices in medical care is driving inhabitants around the Middle East, Africa, and Central Europe beyond their own borders in search of options when it comes to their health and wellness.

A handful of procedures continue to rank high in popularity with travelers seeking the best in care in destinations from Costa Rica and Panama to South Korea, Croatia and Jordan. Tourism destination favorites such as Singapore and Thailand continue to offer world-class treatments and procedures, but other countries and their world-class facilities are fast catching up.

7 Most Popular Medical Procedures Abroad

A handful of the most popular procedures sought after by travelers offers big savings, effective treatments and optimal prognosis and results in a variety of fields, including:

Bariatric Surgery – Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass is generally performed using a technique called Roux-en-Y, a procedure that reduces the size of the stomach to create a pouch that accepts no more than an ounce or so of food at a time. In Great Britain and the U.S., costs for bariatric surgery can cost up to $25,000. The same technique performed in India costs roughly $9,500, while South American destination costs hover around $10,000.

Orthopedic Procedures – Hip replacement

Conventional hip replacement surgery involves large incisions made around the hip joint. Muscles are detached, the ball joint of the hip removed and replaced with a prosthesis or artificial joint. The artificial joint is attached to the thighbone with materials that allow bone to reattach to the new joint or by using a cement-like product.

Minimally invasive surgery involves a one or two incision technique where the length of the incisions are half those that are commonly used for the conventional hip replacement surgeries. Other than the size of the incision, the technique for the actual replacement of the ball joint is the same as that in the conventional surgery.

Patients from Iraq, Nigeria and locations throughout east-central Europe traveling to India, Singapore and Thailand benefit from hip replacement surgical procedures that cost about $12,000. In India, costs range around $9,000-$10,000.

Infertility Treatments – IVF

Eggs and sperm are collected outside of the body and placed together in a laboratory dish to form into an embryo or embryos in a lab environment. After fertilization, they are then placed into the uterus of a female recipient. In vitro fertilization is an option for any couple who have been unsuccessful with other methods.

In the United States, the average cost of one cycle of IVF may average $12,400. The same procedure in the Argentina costs around $4,000, while Thailand facilities offer the same procedures for about $4,500.

Cardiac Surgery – Heart Valve Replacement

Heart valve replacement surgery replaces heart valves that have narrowed and obstructed blood flow into or out of the heart. Heart valve replacement surgeries are often indicated for those suffering from congenital heart valve diseases or those suffering from heart conditions such as rheumatic valve disease, coronary artery disease, heart attack damage, cardiomyopathy or heart muscle disease.

Heart valve replacement or repair in the United States costs an average of $25,000 per valve. Mitral valve replacement may cost around $14,000 to $20,000, depending on hospital location. Multiple valve replacement surgical procedures may cost up to $100,000.

Medical travelers to India, Jordan and Singapore receive quality of service at greater savings, with single valve replacements generally costing around $9,500 and double valve replacements costing around $11,500.

Cosmetic Surgery – Face Lifts to Breast Implants

Advanced techniques offer multiple surgical procedures including but not limited to breast augmentation or reduction, facelifts, nose surgery and tummy tucks. Liposuction in the U.S., Great Britain and in France or Germany can cost nearly $4,000 per area of the body, while liposuction on two or more areas may cost as much as $8,000. Liposuction in India costs one tenth of what it costs in the United States. In Argentina, the breast lift, augmentation or reduction procedures cost roughly $3,500, and even a bit less in exotic locales like Thailand.

Stem Cell Research and Procedures

Today, stem cell research offers potential treatments for the future that may cure many disease processes, enable people with spinal cord injuries to walk again, and perhaps even see an end to cognitive impairment diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.

Stem cell therapies today involve the use of embryonic stem cells, adult stem cell therapy and research, and umbilical cord or placenta stem cell therapy methodologies. The cost of placenta stem cell therapies in the U.S. in the future are projected to be $25,000-$30,000 depending on the number of implants, though placenta stem cell treatments in Mexico are approximately $15,000. Costs in other locations are competitive.


Traditional dental techniques as well as cosmetic dental procedures are becoming increasingly popular. Some of the most popular dental procedures include but are not limited to dental implants, crowns and bridges.

Travelers to South American destinations may average a 50% to 75% savings for the same procedure. The cost of a crown will vary by the type of crown chosen, but may range between $800 and $1,000. In central Europe and Asian dental facilities, crowns average about $125 to $300. Bonding can run between $300 and $600 a tooth.