Organ Transplantation and Medical Tourism
Recent advancements in the field of organ transplantation have remarkably improved the success
rates of transplant surgery. However, the cost of transplant operation still remains quite high in
countries such as the United States. Patients without the means to pay for the high costs of
transplant surgery are, therefore, increasingly looking towards affordable medical tourism in
countries such as India, Singapore, Thailand and Turkey to meet their healthcare needs.
Organ transplantation is the surgical replacement of one of your vital or non-vital body organs which
has failed or is damaged as a result of injury or illness.
Latest advancements in the field of transplantation and regenerative medicine (stem cell therapy)
have greatly improved the success rates of transplant surgery. However, lack of available donor
organs and tissues continue to result in increasing number of loss of lives of those needing
transplants. Currently there are more than 100,000 patients in the United States alone waiting for an
organ transplant. And, thousands more get added to the list each month.
Organs that can be possibly transplanted are vital organs such as heart, intestine, kidney, pancreas,
liver, lung, bone marrow, etc. or non-vital ones such as hair.
The high cost of transplant operation in the United States and several other countries is driving
many patients to seek affordable care in more affordable countries such as India, Singapore,
Thailand and Turkey where the price differential is remarkable.
Medical tourism, also known as transplantation tourism in this case, is increasingly becoming
popular with transplant patients who have been able to find a suitable donor like a relative.
Transplant surgeries overseas in India or Singapore cost as low as 20% of what they cost in the US
whereas quality wise they are on par with what is available in the United States.
GUIDELINES FOR TRANSPLANTATION TOURISM
When you have professionally established the need for an organ transplant and are considering a
transplant surgery abroad, you must do your due diligence before setting your foot in the foreign
land. Following are some of the guidelines that will help you.
Provider related: Do proper research to ascertain that the provider you settle on offers top quality
of care. Thus, consider the transplant hospital's quality data and statistics such as success rate,
quality measures, patient rating, etc. A hospital's quality standards, such as being accredited by Joint
Commission International, ensure that the quality of care offered will be top notch. Also, if possible,
make sure that the facilities, equipments, technology, etc. being used by the provider are cutting
Surgeon related: Make sure that your foreign transplant surgeon and his team are highly qualified
and experienced in the specific kind of organ transplantation that you are seeking. A look at the
surgeon's resume or profile should give you a pretty good idea of his qualifications.
Aftercare related: Aftercare of an organ transplantation surgery is as important as the operation
itself. Therefore, you must find out what support your foreign provider will give after you have
returned to your home country. You must keep your local provider informed about your decision of
going abroad to seek care.
Law related: Last but not the least, the legal aspect of organ transplantation plays an important role
when seeking a transplant surgery. Every country - home or foreign - has some or the other organ
transplant laws in order to protect its citizens from potential exploitation, organ trafficking, and
other such illegal acts. As such, different countries have different policies as to who is allowed to
donate to whom. So, learn about the transplant policies that apply in the host country where you
are seeking treatment.
Seeking organ transplantation surgery overseas is not a simple process. However, by working with a
specialized medical tourism facilitator you are relieved of the complications involved. For an
accurate transplant surgery cost estimate and arrangement of organ transplant surgery abroad,
check out the Healthbase website.
About the author:
The author works for Healthbase (www.healthbase.com), a medical tourism facilitator that connects
patients to high quality healthcare in USA and abroad for a fraction of the typical cost of care in US,
Canada and UK.