You Considering Lasik Surgery Outside the U.S ?
with the ready availability of LASIK surgery in the United States,
few patients have considered seeking it elsewhere, but the growing
popularity of these advanced refractive surgeries has led to a
global boom in this field, and LASIK surgery is now available
virtually worldwide. While it would seem counter-intuitive to
travel abroad for a surgery you can receive in the nearest city,
many LASIK patients are doing just that to take advantage of the
significantly lower costs offered by foreign surgeons.
The concept of traveling overseas for surgeries and other medical
procedures is not a new one. This practice is called medical tourism.
While some medical tourists travel to take advantage of technology
not yet available in the United States, others go abroad for the
heavily discounted rates. This trend is growing as travel becomes
more accessible and foreign technology improves to the point of
being comparable to, or sometimes even better than, American medical
Because LASIK is still considered an elective surgery by most
American insurance providers, it is rarely covered by patients’
health care packages. This makes the reduced costs offered by
surgeons overseas that much more appealing. The countries medical
tourists most commonly seek refractive surgery in are Canada,
India, and Thailand.
These countries and many more are actually advertising their services
in America now to take advantage of the growing trend. They frequently
promote the procedure as an opportunity to take a vacation at
the same time. In fact, many patients considering this option
can purchase a package that includes not only the price of the
surgery but of airfare and a hotel.
Supporters of the medical tourism movement say that American operations
are over-priced, and the quality offered by foreign surgeons is
comparable, making off shore operations an obvious choice for
Detractors argue that domestic patients cannot have a proper follow-up
with their foreign doctors and that the strain of travel might
stress the patient and their eyes, thereby increasing the risk
of complications. Despite these arguments, medical tourism continues
If medical tourism appeals to you make sure you do your research
before you travel? Get credentials and references on any surgeons
you are considering. Be sure that the doctor and their facility
are accredited or affiliated with a regional association for quality
control. Ask for references from other American patients.
Even once you have arrived, be sure to inspect the place where
you will be receiving your operation in advance. Speak at length
with your surgeon, and insist on a proper screening. You should
plan to stay long enough to have an initial follow-up with your
surgeon, and should receive detailed instructions on how to handle
There are good and bad doctors everywhere, even in the United
States. Whether you choose to have the operation here or abroad,
doing your research is the best way to find one you can trust.