LASIK In Other Countries

Lasik Worldwide

Refractive surgery including LASIK has long been popular in the United States. But what about other countries? It seems refractive surgery is now all the rage in other countries, including India.

In fact, some people including those living in the United States are traveling to India and other distant locations to have surgical procedures, including LASIK, performed for half the cost of what they might pay in the United States. But are such practices safe?

Medical Tourism and LASIK
The practice of traveling abroad to receive surgical procedures or other medical procedures at discounted rates is referred to as medical tourism. The practice of medical tourism is rapidly growing and expanding as new technology becomes available in other countries.

Many consumers who don't have health insurance or those who want procedures typically not covered by medical insurance (like refractive surgery) frequently travel to countries including India, Thailand and Canada to have their surgery performed for a fraction of the cost.

Many countries in fact, are now advertising their services, encouraging customers to come for a vacation and have their surgery all in one convenient, low cost package. It is true, many packages include hotel stays, a vacation near a beach and the surgical procedure including recovery for less than the surgery itself in the United States.

Proponents of medical tourism say that prices are inflated in the United States, and top-notch physicians are as available abroad as they are in the United States.

Opponents of such practices feel that it is safer if patients follow up with the same doctor that performs their procedure. This may not be possible in countries where the patient is only able to stay for a week, then must fly back to the United States and continue post operative care with a new doctor.

Still, despite any hesitation on the part of the FDA or medical field, more patients than ever are looking abroad to have many elective surgeries, including plastic surgery, cosmetic surgery and LASIK eye surgery performed.

What To Look For
If you do plan on having your surgeries abroad, you should make sure you are working with a competent and well-credentialed doctor and physician. Make sure the hospital or medical facility you plan to use is accredited or monitored by some international standards. If they do have a special medical tourism plan, ask for references from people that have traveled abroad to have their surgeries done.

Make sure you have time to inspect the facility for cleanliness. One last point. Cheaper is not always better. Make sure you are working with a competent physician, one with a lot of experience performing LASIK surgeries. There are many competent physicians abroad well-trained in refractive surgery. There are also many ill-informed doctors, just as there are in the United States.

As long as you do your homework, you should be able to find a physician worth working with.

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