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How Medical Tourism Spread

Medical tourism is now more popular than ever, with over 50 countries named as a hot destination and thousands of tourists flocking new places to visit and get treated. The concept is actually not a new one, since people from the ancient times used to move out of their place of origin to visit well-known healers and places in other countries. Today, you can get the advantages of getting the best medical help, plus a vacation to boot.

About the Concept

The first documented occasion of medical tourism was thousands of years ago when Greek pilgrims moved all throughout the Mediterranean towards Epidauria, a minor territory in the Saronic Gulf. The place was considered as the home of Asklepios, the god of healing. Epidauria was visited by thousands of people each year, for cases like fever, bone problems, heart ailments, skin disease and many more. It was the first travel destination of medical tourism.

Over the years, sanitariums and spa towns were also built and became the early types of medical tourism. Patients visited the spa towns during the 1700s to get mineral water that is believed to boost health and treat problems like bronchitis, gout and liver conditions.

Becoming Popular

Several factors triggered the vast popularity of medical tourism. Primarily the increasing cost of health care had people asking if there were other places where they can receive the same kind of treatment without the huge expense. The next was the very long waiting periods and several requirements before they can be treated or even diagnosed. Modern medical tourism destinations provide patients only a fraction of the cost they expect to pay at their local hospital.

They can also enjoy other state-of-the-art and quality accommodations, and get their dream vacation at the same time. Some destinations are known for treating patients like royalty, so everything will be taken care of. You will be provided with a complete schedule of activities, so you do not waste your time waiting in line or running everywhere to get the needed documents for the procedure.

More Reasons

Medical tourism continued to spread as the cost of international travel became much cheaper. The technology and care standards in several countries, especially in Asia have improved significantly in the past decade, making the institutions highly competitive against the best in the United States. Medical tourists usually come from the United States, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries, because individuals from these places usually have more money to spend when visiting third world countries.

Medical tourism is expected to grow ten times more from 2007 to 2017. In the United States alone, over 750,000 people traveled abroad to get treated in 2007. Experts calculated 1.5 million Americans traveling in 2008 to get treatment abroad. The United Kingdom currently advertises more about medical tourism compared to the United States. Canadians preferred the very fast medical waiting period in other destinations. Some procedures are even more convenient when done outside the United States or Europe.


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Gastric Bypass: What You Need to Know Before You Go

Gastric Bypass: What You Need to Know Before You Go Under the Knife

Tired of all your weight loss methods that dont work? Surgery may be your only lifesaver. In fact, some overweight people go to greater lengths by going under the knife to be able to lose weight fast. You might want to consider gastric bypass surgery to eliminate those unwanted bulges and flabs. In essence, it lowers the volume of the stomach by as much as 30 ml. This procedure, which is sometimes referred to as bariatric surgery, is the most preferred weight loss surgery by surgeons in the United States.

It is because this type of bariatric surgery is much safer and less risky than other weight-loss procedures. Compared with the other type of bariatric surgery (gastric banding surgery), this procedure does not easily lead to weight gain. And with consistent changes in a patients lifestyle and behavior, the surgery can result in a long-term and immediate weight loss, as well as other health benefits such as treatment of sleep apnea and type II diabetes.

How safe it is?

The technology used in the weight loss surgery makes the operation much safer than before. Majority of bariatric procedures take advantage of the new laparoscopic technology, which uses a tiny video camera and other instruments to make very small incisions on the abdomen. Whereas before, surgeries of the stomach involved creating large incisions that usually caused intense pain and inflammation to patients. Smaller incisions using the laparoscopic technique leads to less pain, less swelling, fewer scars, and faster recovery rate.

How does it work?

Usually performed within two hours, the surgery involves making the stomach smaller by creating a line of staples that is joined to an end of the small bowel.

Is this surgery right for you?

It depends on your body mass index (BMI). You are a candidate for the surgery if your BMI is not less than 40. But if you have any serious disease such as pneumonia, bronchitis, or diabetes, your BMI must be at least 35 in order to undergo a weight-loss surgery. Otherwise, the surgeon may not allow you to go through the procedure because of the complications. Aside from the right physical condition, you must be emotionally and mentally prepared for the surgery. For the operation to be successful, you should be properly motivated and aware of the risks or complications that may arise. Also, surgery should always be the last resortmeaning you use it only after you have tried dieting and exercise but to no avail.

What are the risks?

Of course, any kind of surgery entails some risks due to the incisions involved in the operation. Deaths resulting from the surgery are very rare (about 0.1 to 2 percent). The complications of the surgery are bleeding, respiratory dysfunction, stenosis or the obstruction of stomach, and leaking due to the staples.

How to find the right surgeon?

Choosing the best surgeon is one of the most important decisions to make when it comes to weight-loss surgery. The surgeon is the only person to entrust your life and limb with, so to speak. So he or she must not only be competent, but also a person whom youre comfortable dealing with. Also, look for a surgeon with a vast experience in gastric bypass surgery, preferably someone who has performed hundreds of operations. That way, you can be sure that your surgery is safe and effective.


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