Monday, July 12, 2010

Read as MedTrava patient Derek tells in his own words about the fantastic experience he had on his recent trip to Malaysia for surgery. Not only did he fix a health issue he's had since birth, but he was able to save $25,000 and get a vacation with his surgery.

Patient travels to Malaysia for chest surgery
Gets Nuss Procedure for Pectus Excavatum abroad

My name is Derek and I was born with a medical condition called pectus excavatum. This is a malformation of the chest wall in which the sternum is significantly caved in. Several years ago, after extensive research, I discovered a minimally invasive procedure to correct the deformity. It involved the implantation of a steel bar beneath the sternum and rib cage, pushing the chest wall into a proper shape. The only problem was that the procedure cost upwards of $35,000 in the U.S. and is not covered by medical insurance. For that cost the surgery was not an option.

About a year and a half ago I started researching overseas medicine and discovered that surgeries were often significantly less expensive. Not only this, but my research led me to believe that the quality of care was just as good if not better than that in the U.S. So I made arrangements with a medical tourism company (not MedTrava) to send me overseas at a price I could afford. I was very hopeful for what was to come.

Plans did not go as smoothly as I had originally hoped. As it turned out, the scheduling of my trip, while paid for in full, had been grossly mismanaged by the medical tourism company I had been using. It was at this time that I contacted the Medtrava company for advice. Not only did they help me out of my current dilemna, but the reinstated my confidence in medical tourism. The difference between Medtrava's handling of my case and that of the other company was night and day. Their associates are true professionals.

With the help of my new medical tourism representatives I was set up with a wonderful team of medical professionals at the Prince Court Medical Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I have received medical treatment at American hospitals in the past, but must say that I felt just as, if not more, comfortable at the hospital in Malaysia. I was treated with the utmost respect and care. The facilities there are state of the art. I did not even feel as if I were staying in a hospital--it was more like a hotel, and the surgery was more like vacation!

The procedure went well; my chest wall now looks normal, and my recovery has been quick. My hospital stay was only one week, and that was mainly for precautionary purposes. I was back on my feet within days, and the pain has been minimal. If I had to do it again the only change I would make is to not take the trip alone. While my MedTrava case manager was available to help me over the phone 24/7 (a benefit I took advantage of several times!), it always makes surgery a little more comforting when you’ve got a friend or family member to be there for you--whether your surgery is 1 mile or 1,000 miles from your house. Since I did not have a friend with me, I made the best of an already pleasant situation and relied more on the nurses and MedTrava.

So besides receiving a surgery that I never could have afforded in the U.S., I got to vacation in another country. Malaysia is a wonderful place to visit. Medtrava made my trip safe, easy, and affordable....a fraction of what I would have paid in the U.S. with the same quality care.