Would you go to India for surgery to save 80 grand?


You are probably aware of the growing medical tourism business in joint replacement, cardiac bypass and gastric bypass surgery in India, Thailand and other far East countries. There, vast, brand-new hospitals staffed with American-trained surgeons and nurses offer such procedures at a dramatically lower cost than in the U.S.

While $50,000 for a knee replacement is not unusual in the U.S., clinics overseas perform the procedure for as little as 10-15% of this fee. Coronary bypass that might cost upwards of $100,000 here runs $9,500 in one Indian hospital, including an eight-day stay. Such stays are often bundled with recovery time in swank resorts, as well.

Certainly the idea of traveling to a foreign country to be cut on gives me pause, but if I were not covered by insurance, I'd have to think hard about spending most of my retirement savings on a heart bypass. To learn more, check out the magazines put out by the Medical Tourism Association.