Medical Travel: How To Prepare For Your Trip Abroad

Considering medical travel? Let’s talk about how to prepare

Knowing what you want

An estimated 11 million patients worldwide cross borders each year for a medical treatment. In 2016, more than 200,000 Brits and are expected to leave the UK for medical purposes as well as over a million Americans. Why is this important? Because you are not alone. Medical travel is a multi-billion dollar global healthcare market and people are choosing to go abroad for a number of reasons including better quality, shorter wait times,and lower-costs.

An estimated 12 million patients worldwide cross borders each year seeking medical treatments that are not accessible or affordable in their home countries.

An estimated 12 million patients travel abroad each year seeking medical treatments that are not accessible or affordable in their home countries.

If you are one of the millions who have decided to go abroad for medical travel (or are thinking about it) then it is important to prepare. Firstly, what do you want done? This is obvious, but medical travel covers a full spectrum of medical services. Most popular is cosmetic surgery. Typically not covered by insurance, cosmetic surgery ranges from cosmetic dentistry and hair transplants to breast augmentation, rhinoplasty and liposuction. Other non-cosmetic treatments include LASIK eye surgery, fertility treatment (IVF), bariatric surgery, and orthopedic surgery. In the early stages it is also important to:

  • Talk to your local physician/healthcare provider
  • Ask people who have travelled abroad for medical treatment about their experiences (positive and negative)
  • Read patient reviews and testimonials
  • Look for medical tourism in the media and press

Find Out Why More Brits Are Choosing Medical Travel 

Once you know what you want, the next question is- where? Choosing the right country can seem daunting , but it doesn’t have to be. Start by asking yourself, how long do you want to be away from home? How far are you prepared to travel? How flexible is your work schedule? Will you have to travel alone, or will a close friend or family member be able to join you?

Selecting your medical travel destination

On average, medical travel saves patients 30-80% on the cost of their medical procedure or treatment. So ask yourself, what is your main priority? Is it finding the lowest price and saving the most money? Or is it finding the highest quality? For most, the goal is to find the best price without compromising the quality of care.

Standards, costs, and areas of expertise vary by country. In Central Europe, countries like the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary have excellent reputations for low cost dentistry and LASIK eye surgery. In Western Europe, Spain is popular for its specialized and affordable IVF treatments, whereas Belgium is known for obesity surgery. For patients travelling from the UK, Canada or the United States, Europe still offers the quickest, cheapest flights and accommodation. In Southeast Asia, Thailand and Malaysia are popular destinations amongst travellers from Australia and New Zealand. Regardless if you prefer a nearby European city, or enjoy the idea of recovering in an exotic destination, the appeal of a destination should never outweigh the importance of quality and safety. Each country has its advantages and drawbacks. Other important questions to consider include:

  • Is your treatment or procedure available in that country
  • Is English widely spoken?
  • What are the health safety standards and how strictly are they enforced?
  • Where can I find the best prices without compromising quality of care?
  • What are the average flight and accommodation prices?
  • Is there a best time of year to go? (consider the weather, high tourist season, cheapest flights)
Full service platforms save time and act as an advisor and intermediary, putting you in direct contact with the clinics, dentists, and surgeons.

Full service platforms save time and act as an advisor and intermediary, putting you in direct contact with the clinics, dentists, and surgeons.

Finding the right clinic for you

After deciding on the right country, the next step is selecting the right clinic. This is when research is key. Everything from treatment costs and convenience, to credentials and experience of the staff. If this seems overwhelming- that’s because it can be. Although some patients decide to go this step alone, millions use an online medical travel platform or agency to help. This saves valuable time during the decision-making process and elevates the headache and stress of doing research on your own. Services like this do not stand as a middleman, but rather act as a resource, putting you in direct contact with the clinics, dentists, and surgeons, allowing your questions and concerns to be answered by the professionals. What questions should you ask your potential dentist or surgeon?

  • What is their educational and professional background? How many years have they been in practice?
  • What professional memberships and qualifications do they hold?
  • How often do they perform your procedure, do they specialize in a particular area?
  • What is the expected recovery time, and how soon after can you fly home?

Much of this information is readily available on a trusted medical platform, as well as clinic licensing and accreditation. If you are unsure, memberships and associations to look for include the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), and European Association of Plastic Surgeons (EURAPS). If a cosmetic surgeon is trained in the UK they are likely members of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) or the General Medical Council (GMC). If trained in the USA, look for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Although accreditation is important, it does not guarantee the clinic adheres to the national and international standards, or the surgeon’s quality of work.

You may also want to ask: what is the clinics success rate? Can you be put in touch with past patients? How long is your estimated recovery time and what are your limitations after the surgery? Is it recommended that  a friend or family accompany you?

Ultimately, you should feel trust, understanding and a good chemistry between yourself and your surgeon or dentist. No question or concern should be left unanswered before making a commitment.

The Final Steps

Medical travellers often take advantage of being abroad, adding several days to the beginning or end of their trip to enjoy the country.

Medical travellers are taking advantage of being abroad and adding several days to the beginning or end of their trip to enjoy the country.

Once you’ve spoken to your surgeon or dentist and decided on a clinic, the final step is to book a date. If you go through a medical platform, they will help you arrange your flights, accommodation and transportation upon arrival. For patients getting cosmetic dentistry or LASIK surgery, recovery time is often 48 hours or less. For patients getting bariatric surgery or breast augmentation, recovery time can be weeks. This is important when deciding how long you want to (need to) stay in the country vs. how much recovery time you’d like to spend recovering at home. A recent medical traveller gave this advice after her breast augmentation in Prague, Czech Republic:

“Regardless of your surgery, take at least a day to be a tourist and enjoy yourself, and an additional 2-3 days (depending on your procedure) of recovery and make your travel back home more comfortable.”

It is perfectly normal to take advantage of what the country has to offer. This may include sightseeing, leisure activities and exploring the local culture and history. Whether your travelling alone or with someone, you may want to allow yourself some time pre or post surgery to relax and enjoy the experience of being abroad.

Start Your Search For The Perfect Clinic. Click To Compare Prices Today 

 

Resource: Treatment Guide: TreatmentAbroad.com

Cosmetic Surgery: Is It Normal?

Is getting cosmetic surgery normal? The numbers might surprise you.

What is normal really?

Always dreamt of larger, perkier breasts? What about a flatter tummy? Straighter nose? Smoother skin? Join the crowd. Most people have thought about cosmetic surgery before (or at least what it would be like). You can practice radical self-love and yoga until you’re blue in the face, but that does not always free us from the desire to improve our bodies. You also have full permission to turn your medicine cabinet into a department store display case of make-up, diet-pills and expensive anti-aging creams- but are you wasting your money?

In 2014,  20 million people decided to undergo a surgical or non-surgical cosmetic procedure, according to the latest figures from The International Society of Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), the leading international society for aesthetic plastic surgery with board-certified plastic surgeons in 95 countries. Although procedure trends tend to vary by country and culture, an emphasis of health and beauty remains universal.

As you might expect, it was revealed that more than 17 million patients were women, accounting for 86.3% of the total. Breast augmentation, opted for by 1.4 million women, was the preferred surgical procedure. Other favorites included Liposuction “Lipo” (1.2 million) Eyelid Lift (1.1 million), Fat Grafting (809,428). Abdominoplasty “Tummy Tuck” (636,447).

On The Fence About Getting Breast Augmentation? One Woman’s Story You Need To Read. 

And it’s not just women getting cosmetic surgery. An increasing number of men have been choosing to improve and enhance their looks. In 2014, over 2.5 million men underwent a cosmetic procedure- 13.7% of the total. What were the most popular surgeries for men? Eyelid Lift (295,131) Rhinoplasty “Nose Job” (234,995) Liposuction “Lipo” (175,021) Gynecomastia (172,048) Fat Grafting (156,300)

1.37 million men and women get lipo each year, making it the second most popular cosmetic surgery worldwide.

1.37 million men and women get liposuction each year, making it the second most popular cosmetic surgery worldwide.

Non-surgical, or non-invasive, procedures have become the desired alternative to their invasive counterpart, with 10.6 million patients worldwide . Typically cheaper and with shorter recovery times, non-surgical procedures have given millions of people the option to go under the laser or beam instead of the knife. For both men and women, Botox was at the top of the list with more than 4.8 million patients. Other popular choices included Hyaluronic Acid “Dermal Fillers” (2.7 million) Hair Removal (1.3 million) Chemical Peel (493, 043) and Laser Skin Resurfacing (480,271).

Global trends in cosmetic surgery

The United States holds the title for the largest number of cosmetic procedures, with nearly 4 million each year (20.1% of total), and according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS),  it’s the global leader in breast augmentations (286,254), and Botox treatment (24.7% of the total).

Second to the U.S., Brazil is next in terms of worldwide procedures and home to the world-renowned “Brazilian butt-lift”, with over 319,960 performed in 2013 . This beauty infatuation has invaded pop culture across the globe, but in Brazil it is a cultural obsession. Tax deductions have even been made available to patients Brazil’s tax coordinator, Joaquim Adir, told Bloomberg in 2010:

“We concluded that cosmetic surgeries are also about health, physical and mental, and should be included in the list of deductible expenses.”

In the Middle East, surgeons have seen an influx of rhinoplasty, “nose jobs”. According to The Guardian, Iran has the highest rate of nose surgery in the world. Nearly 200,000 Iranians elect to have rhinoplasty each year, refining and reducing the bridge of the nose. Of these 200,000, most are women, and many desire more “doll-like” features, similar to those they have seen in Hollywood films and on western television.

Rhinoplasty "nose job" is an increasingly popular cosmetic surgery for both men and woman in the Middle East.

Rhinoplasty “nose job” is an increasingly popular cosmetic surgery for both men and woman in the Middle East.

In the East, South Korea now leads in plastic surgery per capital with over 980,000 operations recorded in 2014 according ISAPS. Seoul, South Korea, is the plastic surgery capital of the world, and many young men and women get Blepharoplasty, also known as a double eyelid lift. It involves removing excess skin above the eyelid, giving the eye a larger, wider look. 1.43 million patients worldwide have also made it the most popular cosmetic surgery in the world. It is also very controversial. According to TechInsider: “Critics say that the operation makes patients look “less Asian,” while proponents say that it’s simply a matter of beauty-bigger eyes equals more attractiveness, essentially.”

Other sought after Eastern trends include jaw reshaping, Botox, rhinoplasty. Further south, women in India are asking for liposuction, as some traditional dress include belly-barry midsections. In Germany, ISAPS figures expose that 2,786 men underwent penis enlargement treatments, which was significantly more than in any other country. Second was Venezuela with only 473 procedures.

Cosmetic surgery trends are strongly influenced by what’s available. In an interview with Raconteur, London plastic surgeon, Bryan Mayou, explains:

“There is a pattern and it changes not just on cultural grounds, but also on grounds of availability,” he says. “If a new procedure becomes available then people think they have a problem. For example, when it comes to using fillers in lips people didn’t realise they had small lips until there was a means of making them fuller.”

In 2014, nearly 107, 712 eyelid surgeries were performed in South Korea, the 4th leading country for cosmetic surgery worldwide

In 2014, nearly 107, 712 eyelid surgeries were performed in South Korea, the 4th leading country for cosmetic surgery worldwide. via Tech Insider http://til.ink/1TbD92T

The proof is in the numbers

So is cosmetic surgery normal? “Normal” is subjective, but if we look at the numbers- yes. Once “taboo” and only for the rich and glamorous, cosmetic surgery has become the new normal. More people are choosing to get a procedure each year than the total population of Romania (19.4 million) The Netherlands (17 million), or Cuba (11.4 million). In 2016, the numbers are expected to rise as cosmetic surgery becomes more affordable and medical travel becomes a more popular option. As of 2014, there were more than 40,000 surgeons worldwide. This number is also expected to rise within the medical field.

Compare Prices And Consult With A Clinic: Click Here To Get Started Today

But what happened to self-acceptance? Is cosmetic surgery a “quick fix” for deeper issues? To answer yes or no would be a large assumption. People choose cosmetic surgery for a multitude of reasons. What is “normal” to one may be unusual for another. What might persuade one woman to get a breast augmentation in Los Angeles may not appeal to a woman in Tokyo. This is obvious by looking at global trends. The idea is that with over 20 million patients per year, cosmetic surgery is quite common. Health and beauty will always be important, for some more than others, and cosmetic surgery is an option that is widely accepted.

I Got Breast Augmentation And Saved Money Doing It

A journey to breast augmentation without breaking the bank

When life gives you lemons- not watermelons

Would you ever get a boob job? “No way,” my seventeen-year-old self would firmly say to my group of girlfriends. “I like my body. Plus, I don’t want to look fake.” Half of this was true. I had seen my fair share of Playboy and Penthouse covers by that age, and while I admired these women’s uninhibited sexuality I also knew I did not want two watermelon-sized breasts on my small frame. However, I did not particularly like my body.

Puberty my friend, was not my friend. While I watched my classmates’ girlhood blossom into beautiful, womanly breasts, my tiny flat chest remained- well tiny and flat. By high school I felt like an impostor wearing padded bras to school and actively avoiding coed pool parties where my secret might be reveled. I specifically remember a family holiday in Barbados when I was eighteen where per my request, no bikini-clad photos were to be taken of me. Fortunately growing up I had many good friends who never teased me, and a boyfriend who never seemed to care, or notice for that matter. I excelled in sports and academics and this continued throughout University, where I met my now husband, and graduated with honors and a reasonably paid marketing job waiting for me in Leicester. However, breast augmentation did not seem realistic at the time.

Young sad girl sitting alone in an empty room

1.4 million women have breast augmentation each year. It is the leading cosmetic surgery for women worldwide.

Starting the conversation

By twenty-seven I was married with a promising career and living – by most twenty-something standards- a successful life. Yet, every time I stood topless in front of the mirror I still felt the same stinging insecurities as my teenage self. I liked my petite figure and athletic body, but I couldn’t help but imagine that same body with proper breasts to match.

It took nearly three more years for the idea of a breast augmentation to become a real conversation. My friends told me I was perfect how I am. My mother said not to change what God gave me. And my husband, bless his heart, said he would love my body the same- surgery or no surgery. Ultimately the decision was up to me. What do I want? What will finally help me to finally feel comfortable with my body? When I could confidently answer those questions a whole new series of obvious questions arose. Is this safe? What clinic should I go to? How much will this cost? What can I afford?

Finding the perfect fit

It did not take long to figure out that cosmetic surgery of this nature would not be covered by health insurance, the National Health Service (NHS), and that a private clinic in the UK was outside of my budget. My first consultation was in London. Patient reviews praised the clinic for high quality and exceptional results, yet oddly they all  forgot to mention the price. My surgery- anesthesia, recovery time, and cost of each silicon implant not included- was estimated at £4,800-£5,000. After paying a hefty consultation fee, I moved on to a smaller private clinic in Birmingham. Once again, my surgery was estimated at £4,500-4,750, other costs not included. Was I going to have to sell my apartment for new breasts? Feeling discouraged I reached out to a friend. “Have you ever considered travelling outside of the UK?” she asked. “To have your breast augmentation abroad?”

Is Cosmetic Surgery Normal? The Numbers May Surprise You. 

Immediately my mind flooded with horrible images of some jungle hospital with dirt floors and no running water. Certainly I could wrap my head around the idea of it being cheaper, but what about the quality? What about the results? Didn’t I read something in the news several years ago about a botched boob job in Mexico or something? I expressed my concerns.

“You’re being ridiculous Anne!” my friend replied. “A colleague of mine just travelled to Prague several months ago for a breast enlargement and she had a wonderful experience. She said the clinics were state-of-the art, everyone spoke fluent English and the cost was nearly half of what it would have been in the UK- and her breasts look amazing.”

Central Europe? I had never thought of that before. And Prague? Well that was only a two hour flight from London. With this information I decided to start looking into clinics and prices online. The months that followed were quite unpleasant.

As expected, researching treatments in a country other than your own is a headache. While I could immediately tell that the savings were attractive, I spent hours comparing prices, waiting for clinics to respond to my emails and answer my questions, checking flights, looking into nearby accommodation, etc. I did come across several medical travel websites, but each was lacking either in information or did not provide an end-to-end service. It felt like more trouble than it was worth. That was until I came across a full-service online platform that changed everything.

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Only a 2-hour flight from London, Prague, Czech Republic is a convenient destination for patients from the UK and Western Europe.

Where the other sites lacked, this platform facilitated treatments abroad and provided the prospective patient with end-to-end service and the opportunity to directly compare services and costs. It allowed me to speak directly to the surgeons who would be performing my surgery, compare their qualifications and specialties, and have all of my questions and concerns answered by a professional . This provided me comfort and peace of mind and allowed me to get a feel for the chemistry between each surgeon and myself. Furthermore, I was pleased to find out that the surgery price, £2,040 (made entirely transparent) included the necessary anesthesia for the surgery, the actual implants, as well as the post-surgery recovery time at the clinic. After adding airfare and 5 nights accommodation, the total cost was £2,573. Within 7 days of discovering the platform I had selected a clinic, surgeon, selected a date for my breast augmentation, and booked a return ticket to Prague, the Czech Republic.

My breast augmentation  journey

When my husband and I arrived in Prague we were warmly welcomed and transported to a pre-arranged hotel, and on the same day toured the clinic, met my surgeon and had my consultation. As we had discussed before my arrival, my surgeon and I agreed on a natural looking, full-B cup. The watermelon look still didn’t fancy me. The following day I was transferred to the clinic where my surgery was successfully performed, lasting about two hours, and then it was off to recovery.

Breast Implants: How To Pick The Right Size For Your Body

Originally I had planned to only stay one night at the clinic following my procedure, but at my surgeons request I stayed two. Throughout the entire stay I felt that the staff truly had my best interest in mind. As you know, this feeling is not always obvious in some hospitals and clinics. The quality and professionalism was equal to or beyond anything I had ever experienced in the UK.

At the same time, a representative from the full-service platform was checking in with me and assuring that I was receiving the best care possible. They also went out of there way to make sure my husband was relaxed and enjoying his stay in Prague. Although we were in another country, both of us agree that we never once felt uncomfortable or alone.

Returning home

Now fully recovered, I am very pleased with the results. Now when I look in the mirror I do not feel that seventeen-year old girl who was never quite happy with her breasts. When my friends, several of which have since gone abroad for cosmetic surgery, ask me if I would ever get another procedure done, my answer is no. Breast Augmentation was never about trying to achieve perfection, but about feeling 100%  confident in my skin. It was a decision I had waited my entire life to make, and I am so happy I did.

As for travelling abroad, it was a wonderful experience. From the online platform to the clinic and surgeon, the entire process was made simple and comfortable. I was always well-informed and looked after from the moment I stepped off the plane to the moment I flew home. The quality was exceptional and the savings have allowed my husband and I to finally take a long-awaited holiday. We are going to Barbados, my first time back in nearly fifteen years. And this time, I will be encouraging loads of photos.

Compare Prices And Consult With A Clinic Today! Click Here To Get Started

 

How I Got My Jacked Up Teeth Fixed Quickly And On The Cheap

A rugby player’s journey to a winning smile

Even a brute like me needs help sometimes, and cosmetic dental surgery changed my life. I know- not the first thing you’d expect to hear from a member of the Greene King IPA Championship. And I’ll admit, it would be much easier for me to talk about rugby or relive last years semi-final game against Bristol, but that is for another time.

My journey to cosmetic dentistry started long, long ago, when I was just a lad. My two brothers and I always used to fool around, beating up on each other in the yard, driving my poor mother mad. By the time we reached year five each of us had broken an arm or leg, or chipped a tooth or two-or three. I grew up in a working class town in the West Midlands, so trips to the dentist were few and far between. Regular cleanings and braces, let alone cosmetic dentistry were far beyond our means. Unfortunate for mum and dad, the injuries only increased after we all started playing rugby. Had they known then I’d make a career out of it, I think they would have ran for the hills.

As a forward I have received my fair of bumps and bruises over the years. From dislocated shoulders and fingers, to bum knees and concussions, I’ve pretty must run the gauntlet. And while these all healed, thanks to our team trainers and therapist, my chipped and broken teeth did not. As I am sure you can imagine, quite a few more teeth have been knocked around since my childhood. Even with a mouthguard it is hard to avoid all damage. On the field I didn’t think twice about my gnarly grin, but off the field- it was a nightmare. Even nights at the pub I could feel myself losing face anytime a pretty young lady said hello. Not to mention, years of poor dental hygiene had left my teeth discolored are far from the pearly whites most women dream of. I was a grown man and I had to do something to fix this. Immediately. 

Finding a cosmetic dentistry clinic

Swallowing my pride I approached one of my trainers an afternoon after practice and asked for some advice. I felt her eyes go straight to my broken smile. “Have you ever considered cosmetic dentistry. You know, veneers?” 

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Of course I had considered it, but that was all I had done. I had absolutely no information and didn’t even know what kind of treatment I needed. From the little research I had done, there seemed to be an overwhelming amount of options and I was not tech savvy enough to start some internet witch-hunt for answers. That sounded like a major headache and I didn’t have time. Instead I decided to take a recommendation from my trainer and visit a clinic in Liverpool. Blinding walking into the clinic I was given a warmish welcome and immediately asked to take a seat in the waiting room. Nearly thirty-five minutes later a dental assistant lead me to a consultation room. There I waited another twenty-five minutes until my surgeon casually arrived and greeted me. About time. Ten minutes later I was walking out of the front door.

Click Here For Your: Full Cosmetic Dentistry Treatment Guide

The surgeon recommended that I have six of my top front teeth covered fitted with ceramic veneers. Estimated price? £450 per tooth. I’ll do the math for you-that’s  £2,700. Not only that, but to create the molds and fit the veneers it would take between 2-3 weeks. For that money I’d expect the veneers magically appear. I don’t know any Brit who’d pay the money.

Next stop-London. I had a feeling the price would not be much better but there were significantly more clinics to choose from, and some that offered CEREC® Veneers. I learned about CEREC® from my trainer, (short for CEramic REConstructions), the most advanced technology for robotic dentistry which allowed dentists to create the perfect set of veneers in one short session. This sounded too good to be true. When I arrived at the consultation I was greeted by the dentist in the first five minutes. Good sign. I followed him to the examining room where we chatted about the rugby season and weather. Another good sign. He checked out my teeth and said it would be an easy quick fix. Yet again. And then he mentioned the price- £825 per tooth. Thats £4,950 for a surgery he promised would take less than two hours. Not a chance.

After trying several more clinics in the London area, to no avail, I decided to direct my focus elsewhere. It was not uncommon among professional athletes to leave the UK for treatment. Throughout the years I  had several teammates travel to France or other European countries for major surgery, all of which returned safe and sound. I started to wonder if cosmetic dentistry abroad was a possibility as well? I then did what all intelligent men of the 21st century do- I Googled Best Veneers Abroad.

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To my luck and surprise, when I searched for Best Veneers Abroad, the results were endless. Heaps of clinics seemed to be looking for patients just like myself. I narrowed my search to cosmetic dentistry clinics in Europe and began comparing prices. It was madness. I spent the next three weeks individually comparing clinics, dentists, treatments and prices- which were often not listed. I made dozens of phone calls and sent dozens of emails before deciding that there must be a better way to do this.

Click Here To Find The Best Veneers Abroad 

That is when I found it. An end-to-end, full service platform that allowed me to instantly compare clinics on multiple levels. It listed everything from prices, clinic technology and equipment to each dentists individual profile and languages spoken, all completely transparent and accessible. I found a clinic in Prague, Czech Republic, and was immediately able to contact the dentist directly. It was reassuring to have all of my questions and concerned answered by the professional who would be performing the procedure. The platform also assisted in arranging flights, accommodation and transportation, all while acting as s personal advocate throughout the trip. Brilliant. 

My Journey to Prague

Shortly after speaking with my dentist, I had a round trip ticket booked for Prague. Thanks to the CEREC® technology I would be flying out of London on a Tuesday, getting my scan (digital molds) and veneers the same day, and returning on Wednesday. I did not have to miss a single training or practice. When I arrived after my short two hour flight, I was greeted at the airport and taken to my hotel in the heart of Prague. In awe of the city’s beauty and culture I started to think I should have made this visit a proper holiday. When I arrived at the clinic my dentist, who I had spoken with prior to arriving, immediately greeted me as I walked in. It was modern, impeccably clean and everyone spoke fluent English. If I didn’t know, I’d have sworn I was back in the . In the next 90 minutes a digital scan was taken of my teeth, the CEREC® veneers prepared, and the veneers applied and fitted.

Throughout the procedure my dentist and the staff gave me their full attention and focus, which I know from my frequent trips to the hospital is not always a certainty. The price was also quite handsome. The cost of each individual veneer was only £380- £2,280 total. Including my airfare, and one nights stay in the centre of Prague, the entire journey cost approximately £2,500. Once again for those who don’t enjoy maththat is nearly a 50% savings of £2,45o.

The Final Score

When I arrived home it was amazing to see the reactions of my teammates, friends and family. The changes were subtle, but the compliments I received quickly confirmed I had made the right decision. No longer did I feel self-conscious introducing myself to someone or smiling at a pretty lady. My mum and dad are certain that grand-babies are in their near future due to my new smile. We’ll see about that. 

As an athlete I understand the importance of setting expectations and following them through. Both the end-to-end online platform and my dentist and staff were stunning examples of professionalism and dedication to their work. Not once did I feel uncomfortable, mislead or that quality was being sacrificed. With each step I had the guidance, information and support I needed. As an athlete I also like to win, and without a doubt my cosmetic dentistry journey and new smile were a victory.

4 Brilliant Reasons to Make Prague Your Next Stop For Medical Treatment Abroad

Discover Europe’s hottest spot for medical travel

Did you know 6 out of every 10 people in the developed world wear glasses, contact lenses, or have undergone corrective eye surgery? In the United States alone, over 30 million people wear contact lenses daily. In the UK this number is nearing 4 million and steadily rising. Do you know where the first contact lenses were invited? In the Czech Republic by a chemistry professor named Otto Wichterle.

Prof. Otto Wichterle of Czech Republic

In 1963, Wichterle, a professor at the University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague, finished developing a HEMA gel and production process. Two years later the National Patent Development Corporation signed a license contract in Prague, which later became the Flexible Contact Lens Corporation. Their sublicense partner was Bausch & Lomb, who to this day remains one of the global leaders in contact lens manufacturing. This little known fact is just one of many medical and scientific achievements the world can thank the Czech Republic for. Other noteworthy feats include the first full face transplant, which was performed in 2011 by a team of surgeons in Boston, Massachusetts and lead by Dr. Pomahac, a Czech plastic surgeon.

Medical Travel: A Birds-Eye View

Medical achievements and scientific discoveries have captured the world’s attention and imagination throughout history. During the past several decades, medical travel has done the same. Originally a market dominated by Latin American countries such as Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and Brazil as well as countries in Southeast Asia including Thailand, Malaysia and India, medical travel has become an option for those seeking timely, efficient and affordable treatments. While the concept may still seem far-fetched, and even dangerous to some, the more recent Central European market, including the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, has started providing solutions and new opportunities for the wary patient. While the savings remain drastic, up to 80% in some cases, clinics and doctors understand that quality always takes priority over quantity. In addition to its regular tourist crowds, the Czech Republic and its capital city Prague, have recently emerged as a major destination for medical travellers seeking healthcare abroad.

Nestled in the heart of Europe, the Czech Republic, recently adopting the official name Czechia, has been a member of the EU since May 2004. For centuries, the capital city of Prague has been admired around the world for its breathtaking architecture, spectacular views and rich history. The “Jewel in the Crown” of Europe attracts over 7 million visitors each year and is one of the most popular tourist destinations around the world. Consequently, Prague has become progressively westernized and equally as developed as other western European cities. But why you ask? What makes Prague a sought after destination for medical travel? Let’s take a closer look.

1. Credibility

Ranked among the world’s TOP 50 cities on the Numbeo’s quality of life index, Prague has surpassed cities such as Zurich, Los Angeles, Amsterdam and Rome. One factor that sets Prague apart is its exceptional and affordable healthcare. Its high quality is largely attributed to the Czech Republic’s dedication and long-standing tradition of medical education. The first medical school was established when Charles IV, King of Bohemia, and the Holy Roman Empire, issued a charter founding the University of Prague (presently Charles University in Prague) with four faculties-  theology, liberal arts, law, and medicine. The year was 1348. According to the OECD Better Life index, Prague’s educational standards also surpass those of some economically stronger nations, such as the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland.

2. High Quality (Over Quantity)

How high you ask? On top of the country’s leading educational standards, there are strict state regulations and accreditation requirements for all healthcare facilities, both state-operated and private. Clinics undergo regular inspections and patients are encouraged to evaluate the quality of their care as well as participate in national surveys and quality watch programs to raise any criticisms. Not surprisingly, the road to becoming a medical professional in the Czech Republic is not a walk in the park. When medical students graduate from their accredited universities after a minimum of six years, they must pass a series of first level exams followed by a two years residency with an experienced practitioner. For example, a plastic surgeon must spend two years in general surgery and four years studying plastic surgery theory and gaining practical practice in state-certified clinic before ever having the opportunity to operate themselves.  Additionally, over the past two decades more and more western-style, privately owned clinics have opened in Prague, often run by Western trained doctors.

Find Out Why More Brits Are Choosing Medical Travel 

3. Affordability  

Ok, but why is the healthcare so affordable? There has to be a catch, right? Wrong. It is true that the Czech Republic’s average cost of living is much lower than other European countries, but it also means that salaries are lower than usual as well. For example, the best-paid doctors make around £13,000 per year whereas in neighboring Austria, salaries raise to £60,500. Due to the low cost of living, even top medical professionals in the Czech Republic expect much smaller salaries, allowing services to remain affordable while the quality remains high. For instance, the average silicon breast enlargement surgery in the UK costs £3,400 to £5,000.

Unfortunately, this usually does not include the price of preparation, anesthesia, compression garments or recovery time. In some circumstances the cost of the implants aren’t even included in the procedure price. The same surgery in Prague, all inclusive, including one to two nights’ recovery in a clinic, costs about £2,120. While the price savings are obvious, you can’t put a price on the headaches patients avoid having a package deal instead of paying a la carte.

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4. Peace of Mind

Travelling abroad, be it for a medical treatment or leisure, can be extremely stressful at times. Long flights, unexpected delays, language barriers, etc. Another reason the Czech Republic is so attractive is its close proximity to the UK and Western Europe. A direct flight from London to Prague averages less than two hours and prices can be as low as £37. English literacy is also significantly high in the Czech Republic, especially in Prague. Most medical professionals are fluent in English, and it is essential for those welcoming patients from abroad. Cultural differences are also minimal for those coming from western nations, lessening the anxiety of travelling to a new country. Prague can also be the perfect place to relax and recoup after a procedure, and a much needed break from hustle and bustle at home.

So Why Prague?

So why the Czech Republic? Why Prague? The better question for those considering treatment abroad is, why not? Medical tourism is a booming industry, and rightfully so. As the foundation of healthcare in the countries such as the United States and United Kingdom continue to crumble, their citizens must look for new and progressive options. Prague, as well as other cities in Central Europe, has become an answer for thousands of people who were skeptical of travelling abroad from medical treatments. The Czech Republic, specifically, has not only set the bar high for medical advancements but medical travel as well. If you are seeking high standards, exceptional quality, affordable costs and peace of mind, look no further.

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