1. Beginning the Search
Patients seeking medical treatment abroad look for a doctor and practice that will give them confidence, offer a enjoyable experience, and most of all provide excellent care and results. Patients are increasingly empowered in their plastic surgery decisions through internet education sites, word of mouth, web and print based advertising, or contact with a medical tourism broker.
2. Researching Your Options
Research of the practice should inspire patient confidence in the doctor and their facilities. Most strong practices now have informative and attractive websites that define the practice, educate about plastic surgery procedures, discusses expected results, and provides information on the destination and services available. The resumes and credentials of practice surgeons are usually readily accessible.
3. Contacting the Plastic Surgery Office
If at the end result of your research you feel that you have found an attractive option for plastic surgery abroad, then a decision is made to contact the provider for more information about becoming a patient. Most modern offices accept contact requests by email, telephone, or through their web pages. Practices catering towards medical tourism have multilingual support teams that provide timely informative and individualized responses to questions.
4. Medical Records
Interested patients then complete a comprehensive a medical report, including complete medical history, medications, allergies, previous procedures, and desired treatment(s). The patient also provides relevant photos to their potential surgeon. The provider’s office may request additional information to ensure accurate evaluation, minimization of risks, and adequate treatment planning. All communication and records are completely confidential.
5. Virtual Consultation and Personalized Quote
The patient receives one or more pre-departure consultations with their doctor. This usually takes place in a face-to-face internet based video teleconference. This communication medium is widely available, easy to use, and facilitates initiation of a meaningful doctor patient relationship. Certified surgeons and consultants provide an evaluation and advice on medical and/or surgical treatment(s) in the setting of their office facilities. Virtual consultations allow for relationship building, clinical evaluations, and accurate decision making with patients. Patients should have all questions answered regarding the procedure, recovery, logistics, and prices so that they are completely informed to their satisfaction regarding all aspects of care.
6. Making the Decision
The surgeon and patient agree on a treatment plan individually tailored to the patients. Informed consent is ensured. The treatment plan, approximate expenditure, choice of facilities and tourist destinations, and duration of stay is discussed between the patient and a Patient Care Manager. Package deals are often available for compatible procedures. Many practices also offer packages that combine treatment, complementary services, accommodation, and activities.
Written materials are usually provided outlining the entire treatment process including preparation, procedures, and recovery periods. After signing consent and agreements and paying a deposit, the Patient Care Manager assists the patient scheduling a date for surgery. Most practices require a deposit to reserve the surgery room and the surgery team for the specified date, with the remaining balance due prior to the operation.
7. Setting Up the Trip
A specialized bilingual medical concierge is assigned to the patient to personally guide them through the treatment process, facilitating all aspects of patient education, tourism package selection, travel, perioperative care, and recovery. The patient then travels to Colombia, where the bilingual medical concierge meets the patient at the airport and manages the patient’s entire stay, including transfers, accommodation, meals, activities, postoperative care, and any other form of hospitality.
8. On Site Medical Evaluation
The patient often arrives in the country several days prior to surgery to attend clinic visits, participate in final treatment planning with their surgeon, and complete all the necessary preoperative examinations. Many patients use this time to participate in some tourism activities prior to surgery.
9. The Surgical Procedure in Colombia
The day of the surgery the patient is escorted to the plastic surgery center by their bilingual advisor. The plastic surgeon, nurses, and surgical team takes the patient through the perioperative period with kindness, compassion, and strict attention to every detail. All surgical facilities, instruments, equipment, and practices are as modern as those in the United States and Europe and all healthcare providers have excellent training and skills.
10. The Post Operative Recovery Period
Once the treatment is done, post-surgery recovery and rejuvenation occurs in a private vacation setting, based on the doctor's recommendations and patient preferences. Length-of-stay depends on the procedure, but the average is between one and two weeks. Nurses and other specialists attend to patients as they complete their recovery periods in hotel rooms or short-term rental properties. The medical concierge ensures an intimate and rejuvenating recovery experience, with emphasis on comfort and service. Additional non-invasive holistic healing and spa services are available to enhance preoperative preparation and postoperative recovery. Patients pursuing plastic surgery procedures through practices with refined medical tourism are able to experience enhanced service, comfort, and personal attention in comparison to their home settings.
10. Tourism Activities
While the patient is recovering, an array of tourism activities are available to their family members and friends who have accompanied them on their trip. Patients often choose to come early for surgery or stay for additional time after they have
totally recovered to enjoy the culture, history, culinary delights, and people of their destination in Colombia. Practices catering to medical tourism often offer a package with a partner travel agency expert in this topic. The bilingual medical concierge also helps patients and their significant others to arrange all details of their touristic journey.
11. Trip back home
After patients return home, a medical support team continues to follow their progress for up to six weeks or longer as required for continuing good recovery and health. Patients and doctors keep in contact through technological tools to ensure that recovery continues to be successful, solving any doubts without any additional cost. Records and reports are sent as required to the appropriate doctors.
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