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Most of us associate medical tourism with major surgery or procedures — traveling for a heart bypass, total joint replacement surgery, and bariatric (or weight-loss) surgery are some of the main drivers.
That said, the medical field of outpatient surgery is actually a major factor in the industry, constituting a large portion of medical travelers and a main feature of the medical tourism industry. Here are a few of the leading fields for which people frequently travel internationally for outpatient care:
Plastic Surgery – One of the main fields patients travel abroad for that no longer require overnight hospital stays are cosmetic reconstructive procedures. Patients can come in and undergo procedures such as liposuction, breast augmentation or reduction, eyelid or eyebrow lift and more and will typically only be kept for observation a few hours before being released.
Eye Surgery – Most eye procedures today are done on an outpatient basis. Laser surgery, cataract removal surgery and removal of chalazion (eyelid tumor) are three treatments patient travel for and do not have to stay in the clinic beyond receiving post-surgery instructions.
Orthopedic Surgery – There are many orthopedic operations that do not require a hospital stay anymore. An arthroscopy — in which the surgeon will examine and repair muscles, bones or joints through tiny incisions and a camera, carpal tunnel surgery and rotator cuff or labral repair surgery and Tennis Elbow Surgery are a few examples.
Dental Surgery – The dental surgery industry is a very successful medical tourism niche based solely on an outpatient care. Patients from all over the globe travel to have reconstructive oral repair surgeries, improving their external look with dental implants, bone grafting, jaw surgery and more.