For patients in desperate need of an organ transplant, medical tourism may provide the only way for them to afford these expensive procedures. Traveling abroad for organ transplant surgery can save patients from North America and Europe a tremendous amount of money. For example, the cost of kidney transplant surgery in the U.S. can cost over $260,000, whereas in India it may only cost $20,000, the Philippines just $24,000 and Mexico only $47,000. The cost for a liver transplant in India will cost around $65,000, in Mexico about $102,000 and in the Philippines $135,000. In the U.S. a liver transplant can cost $500,000 or more. Some of the most popular medical tourism destinations for organ transplant surgery include Turkey, Thailand, Singapore and India.
Organ transplantation involves surgically replacing a body organ or tissue that has been damaged due to illness or injury or one that has failed. The success rate for transplant surgery has greatly improved due to advancements in stem cell therapy and transplantation. However, many patients are on a waiting list for a suitable donor, while others cannot afford the high price of organ transplantation. This is why more and more patients are turning to medical tourism to find more affordable alternatives for their surgery. Organ transplant surgery can be used to transplant such vital organs as bone marrow, lung, liver, pancreas, kidney, intestine and heart.
Medical Tourism and Organ Transplantation
Because organ transplant surgery is so expensive in the U.S. and other developed countries, many patients have turned to medical tourism to have their surgery performed abroad. Countries such as Turkey, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Mexico and India offer high quality medical care at greatly reduced prices. For patients who have a suitable donor such as a blood relative or spouse, having transplant surgery performed overseas in countries like Singapore or India can save as much as 80% in medical expenses compared to what it would cost in the U.S.
Transplantation Tourism Tips and Guidelines
Before seeking medical care abroad for an organ transplant, there are several important factors that must be considered and thoroughly researched. There are medical tourism companies and services that can help with finding qualified surgeons, medical facilities and can even help arrange travel plans and aftercare treatment following surgery.
It is very important that organ transplant surgery be performed in a state-of-the-art medical facility with all the latest medical equipment and technology, along with a highly trained medical staff. Look for a hospital that has JCI (Joint Commission International) accreditation, along with high patient ratings and a high success rate in terms of the type of operation that you will have performed.
The surgeon who will be performing your surgery should have plenty of experience with your specific type of organ transplant surgery, have patient references and have graduated from a well respected medical school. Many foreign surgeons do have medical degrees from U.S. medical schools.
In terms of recovery after organ transplant surgery, you will need to know what types of aftercare services will be provided in the host country where your surgery is performed as well as services that will be available to you once you return home.
There are also important legal considerations that must be taken into account when it comes to organ transplantation. Every country has their own set of organ transplant laws that have been put in place to protect its citizens as well as patients. Unfortunately, organ trafficking in addition to other illegal acts do take place in many countries. Therefore it is important to know and follow all laws in the country where your surgery will take place. Reputable medical facilities will almost always require that your organ donor accompany you for surgery.
The process of having organ transplant surgery performed overseas does require extra planning and due diligence. However, it is well worth considering if you are need of organ transplantation. You very well may be able to receive the same high quality of care that you would receive in the U.S. for a fraction of the cost by having your surgery done abroad.