What Exactly Is Medical Tourism?

Last year, more than 900,000 Americans packed their bags and headed overseas for nearly every imaginable type of medical treatment: tummy tucks in Brazil, heart valve replacements in Thailand, hip resurfacing surgeries in India, addiction recovery in Antigua, fertility diagnosis and treatments in South Africa, thalassotherapy in Hungary, or restorative dentistry in Mexico.

Currently, more than 30 countries on four continents cater to the international health traveler, with more than eight million patients visiting hospitals and clinics each year in countries other than their own. The roster of treatments is as varied as the travelers.

If the notion of complex medical procedures in far-flung lands seems intimidating, don’t feel alone. That’s why I wrote this book, drawing from the varied experiences of hundreds of patients who, for dozens of reasons, have beaten a well-worn path to successful treatments abroad.

—Excerpted from Patients Beyond Borders World Edition

Last updated on 13 November 2013