What is Medical Tourism, its benefits, and risks too

Medical tourism, also known as surgery abroad, surgical tourism, or international surgery, is the process of traveling to another country to have medical care.

Medical tourism considers as a worldwide, multibillion-dollar market that continues to grow. It brings in billions of dollars a year worldwide.

The most common medical tourism destinations for Americans include Mexico, Thailand, Cuba, and India.

What is the reason behind the use of the word “tourism” in the medical tourism concept?

The main reason is that many people stay in a foreign country after or before the medical procedure. In order to take advantage of their visit by taking day trips sightseeing, or participating in traditional tourism activities.

Actually, it seems logical to take advantage of the stay in a foreign country to have some fun!

Reasons to Choose Medical Tourism

Medical tourists engage in medical care abroad for several reasons such as:

Lower cost

The rise in health care costs pushes people to seek medical treatments abroad. In the United States, surgeries are so expensive. Especially for those who have a procedure that is not covered by insurance, like cosmetic surgery. Or for people who don’t have insurance. The difference can be enormous.

Unlike other countries such as India, Costa Rica, Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand are inexpensive.

The opportunity to combine medical care with a vacation destination

Many people may seek medical care abroad to enjoy a vacation along with treatment. It sounds wonderful to recover at a beautiful location like a beach! Especially if the cost of staying is inexpensive when compared to staying home.

The best destinations that come to mind are Thailand and Mexico because both of them have amazing beaches!

Treatment types

Different categories of treatments and their availability represent an important factor in the decision of traveling for medical tourism. This is why many people travel abroad to receive a procedure or medical service that is unavailable or illegal in the country of residence.

Types of procedures that patients pursue during medical tourism are also elective surgeries. Here are the most common procedures people undergo on medical tourism trips:

Cosmetic surgery


Organ transplantation

Cardiac surgery

Orthopaedic surgery.

Gender-reassignment operations.

The recommendation of family and friends.

This is a major reason why most people decide to go overseas for medical treatment.

Risks and Disadvantages

The benefits of medical tourism are well known, on the other hand, it is facing many challenges and issues. Some are following as:

Different Food

If your stomach is sensitive, you need to think hard about having surgery abroad. The food differs from your home and foreign hospitals. In some areas, there is a risk that even the water will be upsetting to your body. After surgery, you might suffer diarrhea or vomiting and postoperative nausea, all of that will be terrible, especially if it is made worse by the food you are eating.

Language Barrier

If you are having surgery in a country where you do not know its language. In this case, communication could be a challenge increasing the chance of misunderstandings that will arise about your care.

You will need to make preparations in order to be able to make your needs and wishes known to the surgeon and communicate with the staff and people around you.

The risk of blood clots after surgery

Flying after surgery, especially on a long-haul flight can increase the risk of blood clots. So, if the flight home is long, you have to plan on getting up and walking up and down the aisles each hour.

Also, avoid flying home in the days immediately after the surgery, because waiting a week can decrease the chances of developing a blood clot or any severe complication during the flight.

Medical tourism can be complicated.  So, have you ever travelled for medical treatment? If not, would you think about becoming a medical tourist?

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