Posted by: adventuressetravels | August 3, 2010

Medical Tourism

Hurry up and wait.  It seems to be the way of doctors’ offices the world over.  I hadn’t seen much of the country this trip.  Seemed like all I did was go from one doctor’s office to another.  Tests, photos, measurements… I had been in and out of medical facilities for days.  The white hygienic walls made it seem like weeks.

“That girl has got to be worth at least 5 million,” D said under her breath as we sat in the waiting room.

My forehead puckered, and I turned my head questioningly. “5 million?”

“At least. Look at her!  She’s had her boobs done, quite a bit of liposuction, butt implants, probably some work on face…”  I gaped at her as she told me that yeah, most women in Colombia had some sort of work done.  In fact, the most popular present for a girl’s sweet 16 was a boob job.

People came from all over the world to get plastic or corrective surgeries in Colombia.  It is cheaper, the quality was excellent, facilities up to date, and doctors highly skilled.  With the costs of elective medical procedures in the US going up even with the downturn in the economy it only makes sense.

At first I thought she was just teasing me for spending so much time in doctor’s offices.  Then I googled it… as it happens medical tourism is a booming industry worldwide. Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia were the leaders in South America, but people fly all over the world for surgeries.

When I looked a little further I found that there is even a non-for-profit association of medical tourism.  Its aim is to help educate, regulate, and promote this burgeoning industry.  Though I do not have personal experience with it myself this organization seems to be doing a wonderful public service for world health care.  Offering unbiased information on hospitals they cull out the disreputable hospitals and doctors from the skilled ones.   Even  better, they give detailed information on recoveries and what to expect easing the wayward medical tourist’s mind immeasurably.

Thankfully, though I did not know about the Medical Tourism Association, I had the support of my good friend D.  As much as I love adventure I can be a bit cautious. D encouraged me to get the procedure done, helped me through it, and let stay with her.  Not only is D a good friend, but she and almost everyone else in her family had gotten the eye surgery.  She talked me through it before I even set foot in the clinic, helped translate the disclaimers, and tried to calm my nerves before the procedure.

But try as she might, I was still on edge when I walked into the doctor’s office for my last exam before I went under the laser…


  1. Hope all goes well with your surgery! If you can, take lots of vitamin C before and after. Vitamin C is known to promote faster healing. I recommend this to all my patients!

    • Thanks for the well wishes and advice! It’s going really well 🙂

  2. doctors are entitle to save life.

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