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Medical tourism guide: Step 3

Choose your destination

Think of choosing a destination as looking for an answer to this key question: where can I get the best treatment for the price I’d like to pay? Once you’ve narrowed that down to one or more destinations, factor in convenience – are you well enough to travel to this destination and do you have the necessary time and flexibility in your schedule?


Think of choosing a destination as looking for an answer to this key question: where can I get the best treatment for the price I’d like to pay? Once you’ve narrowed that down to one or more destinations, factor in convenience – are you well enough to travel to this destination and do you have the necessary time and flexibility in your schedule?

Some countries are establishing themselves as ‘centres of excellence’ in certain treatment areas. But other countries offer a wide range of treatments.  Here’s a country-by-country guide for a range of treatments, and how much you should expect to pay.

Which country for which treatment?


  • Go for: General surgery. Belgium has highly equipped clinics and English-speaking staff.

  • Price guide: £1400 for varicose vein removal.

  • Also worth travelling to for: Cosmetic surgery; heart surgery.



  • Go for: Cosmetic surgery. A popular destination for the British with English speaking staff and short flights.

  • Price guide: Tummy tuck £2600.

  • Also worth travelling for: Minor general surgery.


Czech Republic

  • Go for: Cosmetic surgery. Low risk of MRSA.

  • Price guide: £2,290 for rhinoplasty.

  • Also worth travelling to for: Dental work.



  • Go for: Cosmetic surgery. Tax free prices and top quality surgeons who have been attracted to the emirate by its tax-free status. Cosmetic surgery such as tummy tucks, breast enlargements, face lifts, rhinoplasty, liposuction and vein removal are available, with clinics stressing the recuperative qualities of the many hotels and sandy beaches. There are tough health regulations and the emirate is known to attract many of the richest patients in the Middle East – latest technology is employed.

  • Price guide: £2,800 for breast enlargement.

  • Also worth travelling for: Vasectomies, hernia repairs, colonoscopy, back surgery and joint replacement. 



  • Go for: Hip replacement surgery.  Clinics have low waiting times and most doctors at private clinics in France employ “minimally invasive surgery”, which requires small incisions.

  • Price guide: £6,350.

  • Also worth travelling to for: All general surgery. 



  • Go for: Fertility treatment. High success rate and competitive prices.

  • Price guide. £2,060 for IVF cycle.



  • Go for: Knee replacement surgery. It offers competitive prices, experiences surgeons and low risk of MRSA.

  • Price guide: £6,400.



  • Go for: Dental treatment.  Hungarian dentists are respected worldwide because of the quality of their training and German and Austrians have been travelling to Hungary for dental work for decades. It has more dentists per head of population than any other European country and the world’s first dental university.

  • Price guide: £170 per porcelain veneer. 

  • Also worth travelling for: Cosmetic surgery, health screenings including blood tests, X-rays, abdominal ultrasounds, vascular checks and dermatology analysis, general surgery and laser eye surgery.



  • Go for: Fertility treatment.  Has a higher IVF success rate than other European countries according to survey by Copenhagen University Hospital.

  • Price guide: £1,600 for one IVF cycle. 



  • Go for: Heart surgery. The Government has invested in hospitals to attract medical tourists and India now treats around 10,000 people  a year from the UK, Middle East and Bangladesh for heart conditions.

  • Price guide: £2,900 for a pacemaker.

  • Also worth travelling for: Knee and hip replacements.



  • Go for: Knee Replacements. Malaysia has embraced medical tourism with its Tourism Minister, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, saying that prices for many operations are as much as 70 per cent cheaper in the south-east Asian country. Doctors are of a high standard, and hospitals are modern.

  • Price guide: £4,300 for a double knee replacement.

  • Also worth travelling to for: Cardiology, fertility, ophthalmology and cosmetic surgery.



  • Go for: Cosmetic surgery. More and more surgeons there have British hospital experience.

  • Price guide: £1050 for liposuction.

  • Also worth travelling to for: Dental treatment



  • Go for: General surgery, but also obesity surgery. Big price savings on gastric surgery for obesity.

  • Price guide: £3,500 for a lap band.

  • Also worth travelling for: Singapore is promoting itself as a world healthcare destination – most treatments here will be of a high standard.


South Africa

  • Go for: Cosmetic surgery. Popular with those who want to combine surgery with a holiday and spend the money they save on a safari.

  • Price guide: £1,600 for a facelift.

  • Also worth travelling to for: Dental work.



  • Go for: Cosmetic surgery. Spain has established a reputation for having surgeons on a par with the USA and Brazil.

  • Price guide: £3000 for rhinoplasty (nose reshaping)  



  • Go for: Laser eye surgery. Istanbul hospitals have a high rate of operations which means experienced surgeons.

  • Price guide: £500 for both eyes.

  • Also worth travelling to for: Cosmetic surgery. 



  • Go for: Cosmetic surgery. Government investment is behind the state-of-the-art hospitals springing up, and the holiday resorts offer can attractive base for recuperation. Thailand treated 600,000 people from the US and UK for cosmetic surgery in 2005.

  • Price guide: £1,586 for a breast uplift.

  • Also worth travelling for: Spinal surgery.


Treatment and holidays

Many clinics work with agencies that offer all-inclusive packages which include surgery, travel, visas, accommodation and even sightseeing activities. But don’t bank on being able to do all the tourist highlights after treatment – depending on what you’re having done, you may not feel up to it.

Take your lead from the doctor who’s treating you – if he advises bed rest, stick to it. If you’re going longhaul, it can be a good idea to arrive a few days before your treatment date, which will allow time for sightseeing and for you to relax and recover from your flight before surgery. Most dental patients feel well enough to see the sights in between appointments, although those on a tighter schedule often opt to fly in for appointments only. With cosmetic surgery, take your lead from your surgeon. A tummy tuck will require around five days of bed rest, but you may feel up to small excursions the second day after having breast implants or liposuction. With rhinoplasty (nose rehaping), most people are up and about the next day, although whether you’ll want to sightsee depends on how self-conscious you feel!


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