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Medical Tourism Gone Right: 6 Patients Share Stories That Didn’t End Poorly

Medical work is costly in the U.S., leaving some patients to seek health care overseas. Although that comes with risks, these medical tourism stories may reassure Americans thinking about getting medical care done abroad.

1: Permanently Pink Lips

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A car accident left one woman with a sizable amount of dental work. After years of costly procedures in the States, she set her sights on Costa Rica.

Once there, she was given temporary bridges and told to return the following week for her final appointment. She spent the next seven days traveling to Lake Arenal, ziplining, and staying in a house above the rainforest. The best part? She saved $14,000 on dental work and added a pink cosmetic lip tattoo to her treatment.  

2: Doctor-Patient Confidentiality

Man at the dentist.
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A dental emergency led one medical tourist to Thailand, where they were surprised to see how accommodating and modern the dental office was. 

Once in the dental chair, they were given something exciting to watch. What, you may ask? Their own dental procedure. 

Cheers to doctor-patient confidentiality. 

3: Unexpected Driver

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Transportation is a hurdle most must consider when looking at medical treatment abroad. For one individual who traveled to Mexico for bariatric surgery, the visit came with a surprising add-on. A driver. The chauffeur? Their doctor’s mother. 

4: A Bad Case of Chicken Wings

Man eating a chicken wing.
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Eight years after losing two front teeth in an altercation, one man lost them again while enjoying a chicken wing. The solution? A move to Colombia, where treatment was 75% cheaper for dental crowns. 

5: Lucky Days With Lincoln

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One traveler hit the tourist jackpot when they found a dental professional in Thailand that specialized in dental implants for less than $2,000 and a masseuse who provided massages for only five dollars. 

Talk about a package deal.

6: Lost in Translation 

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For one man, an obligatory physical in France led to a very cold examination. While in an exam room, a nurse gave the medical tourist instructions in French, a language he barely knew. Moments later, he heard a scream. He wasn’t supposed to remove all of his clothes. 

The incident resulted in a PA system announcement, made in 12 languages, asking everyone to keep their clothes on as they were only there to have their chest x-rayed. That’s one way to seize the moment.

Treatment in the United States

Man holding up hands as a doctor gives him a receipt.

As the United States establishes itself as one of the costliest destinations for healthcare, more Americans are looking elsewhere. It’s no wonder medical tourism has become increasingly popular. 

Package Deal 

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Many Americans would agree that medical tourism comes with its perks. For most medical tourists, the experience consists of knowledgeable professionals, a well-needed vacation, and a small(er) dent in their savings account. 

Do Your Homework 

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It’s important to remember that most medical tourism stories are successful because of research. 

Before considering medical work abroad, thoroughly fact-check your professionals via reviews, referrals, and official websites to ensure legitimacy. 

Butterflies in Your Stomach

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It is not uncommon to feel alone in your search. For most medical tourists, talking to friends and families that have visited their possible destination eases nerves. Remember that nerves are completely reasonable and expected, especially when it comes to one’s health. 

Where To Look

Church in Mexico City.
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Tourists who need medical procedures often look at locations like Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean. These destinations have become increasingly popular for treatments like dental crowns and dental bridges.

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Photo Credit: DisobeyArt via Adobe Stock.

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