Hip Resurfacing in India
California resident Rick Thues decided to take a medical vacation when he faced a $20,000 medical bill. Full hip replacements were covered by Thues’ HMO, but financing for the less invasive “hip resurfacing” procedure was unavailable. Unable to afford the cost of hip resurfacing in the US, Thues sought out a medical tourism agency and booked a ticket to India.
Remarkable Savings on the Cost of Hip Resurfacing
The cost of hip resurfacing and a month of recovery in a private hospital room was $12,000. The price also included a mini vacation to the Taj Mahal for Thues and his wife. Thues tells the LA Times that his HMO and the US medical system had let him down, but his medical vacation to India had been a success.
Find More Experienced Doctors with a Medical Vacation
Hip resurfacing only received FDA approval in the US in 2006. Doctors abroad, however, have been doing the surgery for more than ten years. Wouter Hoeberechts, who runs a medical tourism agency in the US, has been sending patients to India and Beligum to receive hip resurfacing for years, with very positive results.
Hoeberechts tells KGO, a San Francisco TV station, that the surgeons abroad are just more experienced than the ones in the US when it comes to hip resurfacing, and some patients might even find that they are insured overseas. He says that one hip resurfacing he facilitated in Beligum was actually covered by the patient’s Blue Cross insurance as an out-of-network surgery, and the surgeon had a long history of success with the procedure. “The surgeon I got him in touch with in Belgium has done more than 2,500 hip resurfacing surgeries, whereas in the U.S. you might be able to find a surgeon who has done a handful of them,” said Hoeberechts.