IVF Story Shared by MedVacation Client on A Radio Show

One of our clients, who is currently undergoing IVF treatments abroad, is sharing her experiences on a radio show. If you are looking for an affordable, world class IVF clinic, we encourage you to tune in tomorrow.

During the first episode, Rebecca and Dr. Mitch spoke about why they had chosen MedVacation. Rebecca also mentioned criteria which she applied during the research stage prior to embarking on her IVF journey with our fertility clinic. Visit MedVacation’s blog to learn more and to listen to her IVF story, as it continues to unfold.

We also hope you can join us in rooting for Rebecca and her husband. It is our sincere hope that with a little help from our IVF clinic, they will soon become proud parents!

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Comprehensive Chromosome Screening with Your IVF Vacation

MedVacation Begins Offering CCS

high_success_rates_IVF_clinicsLeading Medical Tourism Agency specializing in IVF treatments and surrogacy abroad began offering a cutting edge and utmost accurate method for the simultaneous analysis of all 24 types of chromosomes. Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS) is highly recommended for those of advanced maternal age (AMA), as well as patients who have had multiple failed IVF cycles or numerous miscarriages.

The recently developed Comparative Genomic Hybridization (CGH) method allows our geneticists to identify the most viable euploid embryos. Although CCS is still experimental and undergoing clinical trials, the few IVF clinics which are running these trials are seeing major improvements in implantation and live birth rates between 75 and 85 percent.

Visit MedVacation website to learn more about CCS and our affordable, low cost IVF services.

Male Infertility Condition and Fertility Treatments for It

IVF & ICSI as Treatments for Azoospermia

IVF_with_IMSIAccording to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, one third of infertility cases are due to male factor, one third are attributed to female factor, and the remaining third are unexplained and typically involve problems on both sides. Although azoospermia affects about two percent of the male population, it accounts for nearly 20 percent of all male infertility cases. The good news is major recent advances in reproductive medicine such as introduction of ICSI allow successful fertilization with immature sperm or sperm obtained directly from testicular tissue.

Great CNNMoney Article about Dental Toruism in Mexico

Without a doubt, high quality dental work is available outside the U.S. In fact, this is how we started our company. The only advice that we would offer to folks considering dental treatments in Mexico is make sure you travel to a safe place. We don’t have to tell anybody about safety issues related to drug wars in the bordering states in Mexico.

For cut-rate dental care, head to Mexico
By Eilene Zimmerman, contributing writer

TIJUANA (CNNMoney.com) — A good smile can be a pricey proposition in the U.S., where barely half the population has dental insurance and routine procedures can run up four-figure bills. Want a porcelain crown for a damaged tooth? That’ll cost $945, on average.

Or you can step across the U.S. border and cut your tab to $250.

That’s the going rate for a crown at DentiCenter, a small but growing chain of full-service dental centers lining the U.S. border along California, Arizona and Texas. DentiCenter’s six outposts are located in Mexico, but 97% of its patients come from the U.S.

Founded by Juan Eng, a USC-trained periodontist from the Baja peninsula who became a U.S. citizen seven years ago, DentiCenter opened its doors in 1991 and now faces record demand for its services. Its roster of patients has more than doubled since 2007. Last year, revenue topped $2 million. For 2010, Eng projects sales of around $3 million.

“The recession definitely helped, because people needed to save money, and the spread the word about us,” Eng says.

Americans are increasingly willing to head across the border in search of a deal. Paul Keckley, executive director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions research group, estimates that dental tourism is increasing about 20% a year — and the typical consumer is a middle-income American with insurance.

“These are not the underserved,” he says. “These are people whose out-of-pocket expenses hit their discretionary spending very, very hard. They are trying to juggle health care costs with groceries, transportation and housing.”

To attract American clients, Eng set out to make his practice mirror their experience in the U.S. His office in Tijuana, just a few hundred yards from the San Ysidro border at the edge of San Diego, is modern and immaculately clean, with nine bright, comfortable exam rooms. It looks and feels like a typical U.S. dental office — except that the staff is Mexican and bilingual.

Eng knew acceptance from American insurers would be necessary if he wanted to build a sizeable American clientele, so he became certified as an in-network provider for Delta Dental and Aetna. And to appease Americans concerned about Mexico’s reputation for crime, he locates his offices right at the U.S. border, often within sight of the crossing.

The price-drop that border crossing buys is sizeable: DentiCenter’s services cost about one-third of what they would in the U.S. A comprehensive orthodontic treatment runs around $5,600 in the U.S. At DentiCenter, the price tag tops out at $1,500. Nereda Cuevas, an orthodontia patient at the Tijuana office who stopped in to have her wires adjusted, said her braces cost $1,500; her out-of-pocket costs were $500.

How does Eng keep his prices so low? His dentists — he employs 38, several of them specialists — earn about one-third what a U.S. dentist nets, which averages $205,960, according to the American Dental Association.

Eng also cut costs by bringing in-house — at Mexican prices — many of the services other dental offices purchase from outside vendors, like manufacturing supplies and processing claims. “I spent years gradually expanding the business this way, in order to reduce costs and compete in the U.S. market,” Eng says.

His umbrella company, EEA (Eng Especialisto Associado) Dental Support Services in Chula Vista, Calif., includes DentiCenter, the service-delivery business; a DentiCenter pharmacy; Patrian, for processing insurance claims; and Promedent, a dental supply and equipment company. EEA even operates its own marketing company, and Eng is part-owner of Moreno Lab in Tijuana, which produces products like crowns, bridges, veneers and dentures.

To ensure that service and quality in his offices are consistent, Eng requires his dentists to go through a three-year residency program he developed. A Big Brother-like panel of television screens adorns the wall of his office, each showing different, live views of exam rooms in all six DentiCenter offices, so Eng can keep an eye on things from afar.

There will soon be more TV screens on that office wall. DentiCenter is preparing to open two new offices this year, one near El Paso, Texas, and the other near Nogales, Ariz. Eng’s master plan includes expanding to 14 full-service dental offices.

Deloitte’s Keckley thinks there will be plenty of business to keep them busy.

“I don’t think this is going to end with the end of the recession,” he says of the surge in dental tourism. “The cost of healthcare is becoming a major problem in every household. This is a trend, not a fad.”

Can Plastic Surgery Cure Migraines?

Interesting article about possible migraine cure from About.com:Plastic Surgery. According to some estimates, there are 32 million Americans who are suffering from migraines.

Can Plastic Surgery Cure Migraines?

Monday August 3, 2009

It has been documented in a handful of studies (and many more anecdotes) that, in some patients, Botox injections can decrease the frequency and severity of migraine headaches. Note: This is considered an “off-label” use for Botox cosmetic. However, for those who have used Botox as a treatment for migraines, there may be some frustration related to the temporary nature of their results. Enter the brow lift that doubles as migraine surgery.

Though not all migraines are alike, some doctors believe that many are caused by compression of the nerves of the forehead. This compression can be aggravated by certain muscle movements, so it makes sense that the removal or weakening of the muscles and/or nerves responsible could be helpful in reducing migraines.

With so many Botox users reporting the happy side-effect of fewer headaches, it’s no surprise that doctors are starting to think toward more long-term solutions. The most common surgery used for this type of purpose is a corrugator myectomy/myotomy, which may be performed with or without a coronal or endoscopic brow lift. This procedure removes all or part of the muscles responsible for drawing the eyebrows down and together, as in frowning.

I can’t help but wonder also if the radio frequency-based treatment known as “REX” (an up-and-coming Botox alternative) could accomplish the same thing for those who want something longer-lasting than Botox, but still less invasive than surgery? Either way, it’s got me thinking it might be a great thing for people like myself who have developed a resistance to Botox. Fewer wrinkles and fewer headaches? Sign me up.

What is Medical Tourism?

Medical Tourism or Health Tourism is the term initially coined by travel agencies and mass media to describe the practice of traveling across international borders to obtain healthcare services. Today medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry that enables people residing in one country to travel to another country to receive medical, dental and surgical care of comparable quality to that available in their home countries for a fraction of the domestic cost. In addition, patients may choose to travel abroad because certain procedures are not available in their home countries, or because the wait is too long (e.g. Canadian cancer patients traveling across the border to the U.S.).

Contrary to popular belief, the concept of medical tourism is not a novel one. The first recorded instance of medical tourism dates back thousands of years to when Greek pilgrims traveled from all over the Mediterranean to the small territory in the Saronic Gulf called Epidauria. Also, Americans have been engaged in medical tourism, although they may not have called it that way. For decades, many Americans have traveled to such acclaimed medical institutions as the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, MD Anderson Hospital in Texas, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and John Hopkins Hospital in Maryland.

Until recently, on the international scale, patient flow was mainly from less developed countries to developed countries. And not surprisingly, medical tourism to developed countries was a prerogative of the rich and the elite in the developing world. Recently, however, the skyrocketing costs of healthcare and long wait times for certain procedures, combined with the growing ease and affordability of international travel and tremendous improvements in both technology and standards of medical care in many countries began to change the face of medical tourism. In fact, the mechanism behind the growth of medical tourism was explained by Adam Smith in his monumental work The Wealth of Nations in 1776. According to Adam Smith, a country will “specialize in the manufacture and export of products [services] that can be produced most efficiently in that country.” Essentially, when we talk about medical tourism we are simply talking about outsourcing in the healthcare sector.

What have been the driving forces of this industry’s growth and why is medical tourism capturing so much attention in the media lately? In no particular order, below are the major factors exerting influence on the US society and fueling the growth of this industry:

  • Increasingly unsustainable health care costs in the U.S.
  • A growing number of Americans under the age of 65 who are uninsured or underinsured
  • Increasing life expectancy and an aging population
  • Rapidly rising insurance premiums paid by employers who are forced to pass a portion of those costs on to employees

It is estimated that in 2007 total spending on healthcare reached 2.4 trillion dollars. Nearly 46 million Americans, or 18% of the population under the age of 65, were without health insurance in 2007. This is a 4.9% increase from 2006. Moreover, some studies indicate that as many as 29% of people who had health insurance were “underinsured” with coverage so meager they were often forced to postpone medical care because of costs. In addition, as many as 120 million Americans lack dental coverage. Other sources purport that this number may be as high as 120 million.

Safety and quality is our first priority! We are almost certain that you have a burning question whether treatments in developing countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica, and Columbia are safe. So that you don’t lose your interest, here is a statistic from World Health Organization. In response to US providers who may tell you that all care in other countries is dangerous, we encourage you to ask them why the World Health Organization ranks the US healthcare system at number 37 globally, after Costa Rica, Columbia, and Chile? It’s possible to get excellent care overseas, provided patients do their homework or allow MedVacation to do that for them.

We would like to mention medical tourists’ satisfaction with services. According to results of the patient survey carried out by the Medical Tourism Association, when asked “How would you rate the hospital you received medical care at?” 70.7% responded “Excellent,” while 26.8% stated “Very Good.” Moreover, 63.4% of respondents indicated that they felt their overall medical experience was “better than it would have been in the USA, while 36.4% of respondents stated their experiences were “equal to what it would have been in the USA.”

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