Many patients think it is worth researching overseas laser eye surgery clinics to save money. If you’re considering going abroad for laser eye surgery and have found cheaper surgery prices outside the UK, there are a several important questions you need to find the answer to:
1. What Are the Additional Costs?
Whilst the cost of the surgery perhaps may be cheaper abroad, it’s important to take into account all of the additional costs you may face. These include return flights, accommodation, days off work and insurance (when travelling abroad for a medical procedure, you won’t be covered by your standard holiday insurance, meaning you will need to take out additional cover, which could cost over £100 extra). Also, don’t forget to allow for follow-up consultations with your surgeon, too.
2. Is the Surgeon Qualified?
Unfortunately, when it comes to laser eye surgery, there isn’t a compulsory regulatory body, which means it can be difficult to find out what training a surgeon’s had and where their skills have been accredited. However, in the UK, surgeons must be on the General Medical Council’s register in order to perform procedures, so there are far more rigorous checks in place.
3. On the Day of Your Surgery, Will You Meet the Surgeon?
As time is often limited when you’re travelling abroad for surgery, you might only be offered an online consultation with your surgeon prior to the procedure. This may mean you’re not 100% comfortable with the operation as you haven’t had time to build a relationship with the surgeon and ask all the questions you want to ask.
4. Do the Staff and Surgeon Speak English?
Even though most clinics offering international procedures will have some English-speaking staff, some do not. As you’ll need to communicate effectively with them before, during and after your surgery, you may want to check this so you don’t run into any communication problems further down the line.
5. Has the Clinic and/or Surgeon Received Good Reviews?
Before choosing a surgeon or clinic you should be able to do some thorough research on them to see if other people would recommend their services. Previous (genuine) reviews will give you a good insight into whether or not these procedures are carried out well or not.
6. What Are The Healthcare Regulations?
Sadly, some countries will have far fewer regulations than we do in the UK, which is why a lot of patients travelling abroad for laser eye surgery have been often been dissatisfied with a number of things, including the quality of care received and the empathy and reliability of the surgical team.
7. Is There a UK Surgeon Who Can Assist Post-Surgery?
Even though some clinics will work closely with practitioners in the UK, some do not. Therefore, you may want to check you’ll be able to receive aftercare in the UK if anything does go wrong after your surgery. In some cases, you may need to go back to the country of your operation to receive the right aftercare.