The Most Popular Medical Tourism Procedures in 2018

Medical tourism is on the rise. This is driven in part by the long waits for optional procedures like joint replacements in nations with socialized medicine, which rely on waiting lists to save money and ration care. It is also driven by adults who pay for specialized procedures and need to look for more affordable options. Let’s look at the most popular medical tourism procedures in 2018.

Joint Replacements

Hip and knee replacements are among the most popular procedures done by medical tourists. The significantly lower cost for the surgery, such as under ten thousand dollars in locations like Thailand, often allows patients to stay in top-notch physical rehabilitation facilities for several weeks before returning home. Patients can spend one to three months both having the surgery and recovering from it for the price of the procedure alone at home. And if they live in a nation with socialized medicine, they’ve had the procedure months or even years before they’d have qualified for it at home.

Nor will foreign facilities discriminate against patients on the basis of age, tobacco use, or weight, as is sometimes the case in countries such as the UK. This trend is generating record profits for medical product engineering companies, among others. You can find out more about hip replacement Thailand by clicking the link.

In Vitro Fertilization

In vitro fertilization is increasingly occurring internationally, though the reasons why are more diverse than the standard medical tourism reasons. For example, IVF procedures are illegal in several European nations, but they don’t force the returning pregnant woman to terminate the pregnancy nor discriminate against the resulting child. If the family wants to use a surrogate, some nations force them to go international, though the number of hoops they have to jump through to bring the baby home vary by country. Price is also a factor. In vitro fertilization in India, including travel, is cheaper than a single round of IVF in the UK.

Dental Work

Dental work tends to be something you can plan on having done abroad, which makes it perfect for medical tourism. Mexico is fast becoming a popular destination. Medical tourism facilitators can arrange for you to stay in a four-star resort while you recover, instead of a dentist sending you home to collapse on the couch. If you want cosmetic dentistry performed, such as having multiple veneers put in, the trip can save you a lot of money so long as the total cost is several thousand dollars. If the planned work is less than this threshold, travel costs aren’t worth it unless you’re planning on visiting that nation for a vacation. For example, if you need at least six dental implants put in, it becomes cheaper to book a flight to Hungary and have the dental work done there than to stay home. If you need four implants, you can have it done while taking that European holiday you always wanted.


Elective procedures like a gastric bypass and joint replacement are commonly performed on medical tourists because of the lower cost and shorter wait for those that travel abroad for care. In the case of IVF and other advanced fertility treatments, you may have to travel internationally simply to have that option. Dental work is often done overseas when the cost of extensive dental work plus travel becomes cheaper than having it done at home.

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