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Not sure what treatment category you should be looking in, or just not too familiar with all the medical jargon? Use our treatment category overview to help clear things up.

Addiction treatments

Addiction treatments

Addiction treatment clinics abroad offer patients solutions to manage a recurring, compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit-forming behaviour, which can be harmful in nature. Generally this need comes with little or no regard for one's own health and well-being and that of those around them. Substances such as alcohol and narcotics are generally at the centre of many addictive behaviours, but addiction is also extended to cigarettes, sexual behaviours, shopping and any number of compulsive behaviours.

Addiction is generally treated with a combination of behavioural therapy and sometimes medications. Addicts will generally experience severe withdrawal symptoms when the behaviour/substance they are addicted to is abruptly stopped. In most cases, an addict will need professional treatment of a medical and psychological nature to truly recover.

Alternative medicine

Alternative medicine abroad encompasses untraditional and generally non-surgical, non-pharmaceutical treatment options preformed by specialists overseas. This includes a variety of therapies that work to increase wellness, prevent illness and address existing symptoms and conditions. These treatments may include naturopathic medicine (herbs and plants), homeopathy, cultural medicine (such as Chinese), and mind-body techniques, among many others.

Alternative medicine is increasingly being seen as complementary to the more conventional Western medicine, and allows for a holistic mind-body-soul treatment approach.

Blood treatments and dialysis

Blood treatments and dialysis

Blood treatments and dialysis abroad can help you locate specialist testing, diagnosis and blood cleansing centres overseas. Blood cleansing, also referred to as dialysis, is the process of cleansing the blood of substances such as water, salts and waste products, by passing it through a machine. Dialysis becomes necessary when the kidneys are not able to sufficiently filter the blood themselves and gives patients with kidney failure the ability to live a more active and fuller life.

There are two main types of dialysis: the first, hemodialysis, is where the blood is cleaned outside of the body, and while it can be used for treating acute kidney failure, it’s more commonly applied to treating patients with renal failure or chronic renal disease, and various toxic conditions. Hemodialysis employs a dialysis machine to push the patient’s blood from the body through the machine for filtration, and then it is returned to the patient’s circulation. This type of dialysis requires access to the patient’s blood stream.

The second type of dialysis is peritoneal dialysis. This treatment requires a dialysis fluid to be entered into the patient’s abdominal cavity (belly) and into the intestines. This flushes the impurities from the blood and into the fluid.

Cancer treatments

Cancer treatments

Treatment for cancer abroad can help patients to identify specialist diagnosis and care centres overseas. Cancer is the term given to the group of diseases affecting tissue cells. The cells in one's body are constantly growing, dividing and replacing themselves, and many genes produce a protein that helps control the process of cell growth and division. An alteration in the DNA molecules can disrupt this process and produce faulty protein. These cell abnormalities cause uncontrolled cell growth (often forming a tumour), the intrusion on and destruction of adjacent tissue, and sometimes spreading to other locations in the body via the lymphatic or blood system.

Cancer can involve any part of the body, and comes in many different forms. The type of cancer an individual has is generally named after the point of origin of the disease. Diagnosis of cancer generally requires a histologic examination of a tissue biopsy specimen and comes with a range of different symptoms and impacts on one's life.

Cardiology

Cardiology

Cardiology surgery abroad for vascular disorders can help you locate specialist centres overseas. Cardiology is the speciality that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the heart and vascular system (blood vessels). Common heart problems include chest pains, irregular heart beats, high or low blood pressure and clogged arteries. In more formal terms, this includes the diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as:

  • congenital heart defects
  • coronary artery disease
  • heart failure
  • valvular heart disease
  • angina
  • cardiac arrhythmia
  • cardiomyopathy
  • rheumatic heart disease

Cosmetic surgery

Cosmetic surgery

Cosmetic and plastic surgery abroad can help you identify specialist centres overseas. The simplest definition for cosmetic surgery is that it is the group of procedures performed to reshape the structures of the body to improve, repair or restore appearance. Also encompassing plastic and reconstructive surgery, these procedures are characterised by careful preparation of the skin and tissue, and precise cutting and suturing techniques. The recent advances in technology such as miniaturised instruments, new materials for artificial limbs and improved surgical techniques have greatly expanded the range of procedures that are available.

The three types of surgery (cosmetic, plastic and reconstructive), despite having common techniques, have somewhat different emphases. Cosmetic procedures are used to make a person look younger and enhance their appearance, while plastic surgery is usually performed to treat birth defects or blemishes, such as scars and birthmarks. Reconstructive procedures are used to rectify or repair the body, such as reattaching or rebuilding body parts after accidents, skin grafts on severe burns, and reconstructing body parts missing since birth or removed in surgery.

Dental surgery

Dental surgery

Dental surgery abroad can help patients locate specialist practitioners overseas. Dental procedures, or dentistry, are concerned with the evaluation, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of issues relating to the mouth, teeth, gums and their associated structure. This includes both surgical and non-surgical procedures.

There are several branches of dentistry, such as endodontics, which is concerned with the dental pulp, the centre of a tooth that is made up of living soft tissue and cells. The branches of oral and maxillofacial pathology, radiology and surgery are concerned with the research, diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial regions; orthodontics is the branch concerned with malocclusion (crooked or ill fitting teeth), as well as neuromuscular and skeletal abnormalities; periodontics deals with diseases of the supporting and surrounding tissue (gums); and lastly, prosthodontics deals with the oral function, comfort, appearance, and health of patients with missing/deficient teeth and/or oral and maxillofacial tissue.

Ear, nose and throat

Ear, nose and throat surgery abroad can help patients locate specialist centres overseas. Ear, nose and throat medicine, also called otorhinolarygology, or more commonly ENT, covers a wide range of medical issues stemming from these three interconnected systems. ENT doctors deal with a variety of cases, including:

  • allergies
  • sinuses
  • laryngitis
  • hay fever
  • vertigo
  • breathing problems
  • glandular fever
  • nosebleeds polyps
  • thyroid disorders
  • hearing losses

ENT surgeries may be for medical or sometimes cosmetic purposes.

Eye surgery

Eye surgery

Eye correction surgery abroad can help patients locate specialist centres overseas. Eye surgery is a group of procedures that serve to improve a patient's vision. the surgery is commonly performed using surgical lasers, but some procedures still require the more traditional surgical methods. Problems that are treated through eye surgery range from near- or farsightedness, cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

Laser surgeries like LASIK are fast becoming the most common medical procedure performed in countries such as the United States, as well as in medical tourism destinations. LASIK is a surgical procedure that uses lasers to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism.

General surgery

General surgery abroad can help a patient to identify specialist treatment centres overseas. General surgeons, contrary to their name, tend to focus on surgery of the abdominal organs, including the intestines, oesophagus, stomach, gallbladder, colon, liver, pancreas, bile ducts and small bowel. General surgeons commonly deal with bleeding, infections, organ perforations and bowel obstructions. General surgery can even include operations on the skin, such as treating burns, tumours and moles.

Also serving in trauma, general surgeons are often the first port-of-call for surgical emergencies and must be ready to treat any situation, frequently burns and bleeding.

GP services

GP services abroad can help to identify specialist treatment centres overseas. A GP, or general practitioner, provides primary care and family medicine for all ages and genders. They are the doctors that provide the most long-term and continuing medical care and are often the first stepping-stone in determining something is wrong. GPs are trained to treat people with several health complaints at one time and know how to tailor medical care for patients with chronic, or longstanding, illnesses. Focusing mainly on preventative care and health education, GPs work alongside nurses and provide consultation if the need for specialisation arises.

Hair transplants

Hair transplants

Hair transplant surgery abroad can help you to locate specialist centres overseas. Hair transplantation is the cosmetic procedure used to treat hair loss, hair thinning and bald spots. While the procedure is performed mainly on men, it is not completely rare for women to also seek treatment. The main cause of baldness in males is generally due to genetics and age, with male patterned baldness, where the hairline gradually recedes, being the most common form of balding. Hair transplantation can also be used to treat baldness that is a result of burns, injury and disease.

The process of hair transplantation sees an area of thick hair growth being used to repopulate balder areas. Individual, or small groups of hairs are removed from the scalp and transplanted into the bald scalp, often in a series of surgeries.

Hearing impairment treatments

Hearing impairment treatments

Hearing loss and impairment treatment abroad can help with locating specialist centres overseas. The hearing treatment category envelops diagnosis and treatment of ears and hearing impairments and loss. Hearing loss is a reference to any reduction in a person's ability to detect sound; this loss can be conductive (due to faulty transmission of sound waves) or sensorineural (faulty sound reception by nerve cells), or both.

Conductive hearing loss is commonly caused by such things as wax blocking the ear, perforated eardrum or fluid in the ears. Conductive hearing loss can almost always be restored to some degree, if not completely. Sensory hearing loss on the other hand generally represents a more serious problem and often cannot be cured, but can be assisted by such things as hearing aids. The primary cause of sensory hearing loss is exposure to loud noise, and also as part of the aging process.

Infertility treatments

Infertility treatments

Infertility treatment abroad can help patients identify specialist centres. Infertility treatments such as IVF are fast becoming the hot option abroad. With increased costs and restrictions within the USA and UK, more and more hopeful parents are seeking overseas alternatives.

Age restrictions in the UK for example are placing major limitations on women waiting till later in life to start a family, and as a result older British women are heading to Europe, Asia and Africa for treatments such as vitro fertilisation.

While in the USA, the cost of infertility treatments is placing them largely out of reach for the average person, and people are seeking more price-friendly treatments in other countries.

Infertility is defined as the diminished ability or inability to conceive offspring, and can also be a reference to the specific term of failure to conceive after a year of regular intercourse without contraception. Infertility can be due to a number of reasons in both the male and female parties, and many types of infertility are treatable. Infertility is becoming more common as women are waiting till later in life to have children.

Some common issues that can result in infertility problems are blocked or scarred fallopian tubes, endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, fibroids, and abnormality in the epididymis in the testis.

Neurology

Neurology

Neurology treatment abroad can help you to locate specialist centres overseas. Neurology is the medical specialty that investigates, diagnoses and treats disorders of the nervous system. There are three areas that make up this area; these are the central, peripheral and autonomic nervous systems. The central nervous system encompasses the brain and spinal cord, the peripheral nervous system connects limbs and organs, and the autonomic nervous system encompasses senses and motor skills. This also includes their coverings, blood vessels, and all effector tissue (such as muscle).

Some of the more common conditions that impact on the nervous system are behavioural/cognitive syndromes, epilepsy, headache disorders (migraine, cluster headaches, tension headaches), traumatic brain injury, neurodegenerative and movement disorders (Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases), sleep disorders, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, meningitis, spinal cord disorders (tumours, infections, trauma), as well as speech and language disorders.

Obesity surgery

Obesity surgery

Obesity surgery abroad can help to identify specialist centres overseas. Obesity is the term used to describe a medical condition in which excess body fat accumulates, to the point where it becomes detrimental to one's health. Traditionally, a person is considered obese if they are more than 20% over their ideal body weight (of course taking into account height, age, sex and build).

Obesity is associated with many diseases and issues. Some common problems that can occur as a result of obesity are type 2 diabetes, hypertension (high blood-pressure), osteoarthritis, stroke, heart disease, attack or heart failure, certain types of cancer, gallstones and gallbladder disease, gout and gouty arthritis, sleep apnea and pickwickian syndrome.

Obesity is a result of many factors, including genetic and behavioural, and thus often requires more than just a change in diet. Often it is a combination of dietary change, exercise, counselling and support, and sometimes medication, that helps people dealing with obesity reduce their weight problems. In other cases, surgical procedures may be needed to reduce the danger of developing life-threatening diseases. These surgeries aim to reduce the entry of food into the body.

Obstetrics

Obstetrics medical care abroad can help to locate specialist centres overseas. Obstetrics encompasses the medical care of a mother and her baby during pregnancy. This includes three general levels of care: prenatal (during the months leading up to delivery); the actual labour; and postpartum care (after the baby has been born). Obstetricians oversee the care of mothers and babies for all needs, from screening for abnormalities, assistance with nutrition, gestational diabetes, pelvic pain, gestational herpes, counselling and risk reduction. They do of course also assist with the actual birth of the child, along with any complications that arise during and after labour.

Orthopedic surgery

Orthopedic surgery

Orthopaedic treatment abroad can help you to identify specialist centres overseas. Orthopedic surgery, or simply orthopedics, is the branch of medicine that focuses on the prevention or correction of injuries, disorders and conditions of the skeletal system and the associated muscles, joints, nerves and ligaments.

Orthopedic surgeons use both surgical and non-surgical methods to treat conditions such as musculoskeletal trauma, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumours and congenital conditions. Orthopedics can assist in the treatment of broken bones, as well as cerebral palsy, osteoarthritis and scoliosis.

Paediatrics

Paediatric treatment abroad can help patients locate specialist centres overseas. Paediatric surgery focuses on operating procedures specific to childcare, from the womb to the teenage years. Surgeons focus on proper diagnosis, which is a challenge for children who can't communicate as well, and all stages of preparing for and performing the surgery, including follow-up care. Many paediatric surgeries aim to correct conditions in newborns that could potentially harm their quality of life in later years.

Paediatric surgeons are trained in general surgery categories, but specialize in procedures for children. There are four main categories of paediatric surgery. Neonatal surgery cares for pre-term and full-term infants and corrects potentially life-threatening birth defects. Prenatal surgery uses ultrasounds to detect any fetal abnormalities. Some of the main procedures are for umbilical polyps, hernias and infections. Oncology deals with removing malignant tumours and benign growths. Lastly, trauma surgery is to provide emergency care following a major injury. With children, these injuries are usually bike or car related.

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy treatment abroad can help to identify specialist centres overseas. Physiotherapy, also known as physical therapy, is the treatment of physical dysfunction either as a result of disease, injury, after surgery or from the general aging process. In particular, physiotherapists concentrate on problems that affect muscles, bones, the heart, circulation and lungs.

The treatment generally consists of certain therapeutic exercises and therapeutic massage aimed at relieving physical pain, restoring normal function and strengthening muscle. Physiotherapy can assist people of all ages and is often used as a rehabilitation technique after, for example, strokes and serious accidents, or to treat repetitive strain injuries and arthritis.

Podiatry

Podiatric surgery abroad can help to locate specialist centres overseas. Podiatry is concerned with the treatment and care of the feet. Often podiatric (or foot) treatment is sought for both comfort and cosmetic purposes. Consultations are extra important for foot treatments, as there are so many approaches to each medical problem. The podiatrist, or foot doctor, will help decide the method that works best for you. While many cases can be fixed by surgery, there are also non-surgical options for foot problems. Most podiatric surgeries are one-day procedures requiring local anaesthesia.

Podiatric surgery varies extensively in the methods used and in the level of invasiveness. A variety of podiatric procedures can be used to remove lumps, bumps, cysts and ganglions on the feet. Such things as flat foot reconstruction can help alleviate the pain from a long-term condition, but can be much more complex than more uninvasive procedures such as removing ingrown toenails and calluses. The nerve in the ball of the foot, called a neuroma, will need to be removed if damage leaves it pinched or inflamed.

Psychological treatment

Psychological treatment

Psychological treatment abroad can help you locate specialist centres overseas. Psychology is the science that studies the mind, mental states and processes, and encompasses human perceptions, cognition, emotion, personality, behaviour and interpersonal relationships, as well as the unconscious mind.

Psychological treatments deal with issues relating to general human activity, particularly everyday life such as family, education and employment, as well as to treat mental health problems. Psychologists attempt to understand mental functions in individual and social behaviours, while also exploring underlying issues.

Rheumatology

Rheumatology abroad can help patients identify specialist centres overseas. Rheumatology is the treatment of muscles, bones, joints and surrounding tissues, as well as certain autoimmune diseases. Rheumatologists focus on diagnosis and treatment of a variety of conditions, usually combating pain, stiffness, swelling or limited movement. The diagnosis itself can be difficult because of the challenge in determining the exact symptoms. Most diseases can be treated with medication, but rheumatologists also provide physiotherapy, or rehabilitation, for injured muscles and bones. Future treatments may involve gene therapy.

While rheumatoid disorders can be difficult to diagnose, treating them may be as simple as taking a medication or as involved as surgery. Typical rheumatology treatments utilise blood tests, X-rays and CT scans. Surgery is not usually required unless the condition has done extensive damage, continues to cause serious pain, or the patient is not responding to traditional methods.

Scans

Scans

Scans abroad can help to identify specialist centres overseas. Scans, or the act of scanning, converts an object or image into a digital image using a scanner (usually computers). Often referred to as medical imaging, scans are used to display body parts to gather information to reveal, diagnose and examine issues. The CT or CAT scans for example use a 360-degree x-ray beam and computer to develop images, which allow for cross-sectional views of body organs and tissue.

Sex change surgery

Sex change surgery

Sex change abroad can help to locate specialist centres overseas. Sex-change procedures, also referred to as transsexuality, sex reassignment surgery, gender-change or gender-reassignment surgery, sex affirmation surgery or gender confirmation surgery, are procedures by which an individual of one gender is surgically altered to resemble characteristics of the opposite sex. Namely, the physical appearance and function of their existing sexual characteristics are altered.

Surgery is not the only step in the sex-change process; patients must also undergo counselling sessions and hormone therapy to replace one's own natural hormones with those of the opposite sex. Hormone therapy helps to alter the secondary sexual characteristics not altered through surgery, including facial hair growth, larger muscles, deep voice and heavier skeleton in males, and breast development, more rounded body, higher voice and lack of facial hair in females.

The surgical aspect of the sex change process for males includes removal of the scrotum and testes and sometimes a vaginal construction, while for females it includes the removal of the ovaries, uterus, and vagina and in some cases the construction or attachment of a penis. Often breasts are also removed.

Skin therapy and treatments

Skin therapy and treatments

Skin therapy abroad can help patients to identify specialist centres overseas. Also referred to as Dermatology, skin therapy covers the branch of medicine that deals with the skin, its structure, functions and diseases. This includes the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases of the skin, hair, nails, oral cavity and genitals. Skin therapy also includes cosmetic care and enhancement.

Spa and wellness

Spa and wellness

Spa facilities and wellness clinics abroad can help locate treatment centres overseas. Spa and wellness encompasses those facilities that offer relaxing, therapeutic and non-surgical cosmetic treatments to enhance ones general wellbeing. This of course includes medical spas, which are a retail cosmetic medical business that presents a merger of medical practice and spa therapies, and operates under the supervision of a licensed health care professional. Medical spas generally offer non-surgical cosmetic, alternative and complementary health treatments- as well as additional treatments that can only be administered by licensed medical practitioners. All this, in a spa-like setting.

Medical spas can treat facial conditions such as brown spots or broken capillaries, and often specialise in laser hair removal, botox and fillers. While often having a more clinical atmosphere than traditional day-spas, medical spas do however generally offer massage and body treatments as well.

Beyond skin and cosmetics, spas also provided treatments that can assist in de-stress, detox and help with general wellbeing. Some medical spas specialise in particular treatment areas, such as acne scar treatment, cardiovascular disease and bariatrics.

Spinal surgery

Spinal surgery

Spinal surgery abroad can help patients to identify specialist centres overseas. Spinal surgery covers all invasive and non-invasive surgeries that help treat spinal issues. The spine consists of the column of bones (vertebrae), which are separated by soft cushions (discs) and surround and protect the spinal cord. The spine is categorized according to the level of the body, such as the cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine (upper and middle back) and the lumbar spine (lower back).

Back problems are usually a result of such things as poor posture, sitting or standing for long periods, lifting heavy items, a trip or fall, or being overweight. However, back pain can be the result of more serious problems such as osteoporosis, a prolapsed (slipped) disc, stenosis, malformation of the spine, infection or collapse of the vertebrae, tuberculosis or cancer. Surgery is generally used as a last resort for serious spinal issues.

Sports injuries

Sports injuries

Sporting injury treatment abroad can help locate treatment centres overseas. Sports injuries are those sustained practicing or competing in a sport. These injuries result from acute trauma or repetitive stress that comes with athletic activity. Sports injuries can affect bones and soft tissue (ligaments, muscles, tendons). It must also be noted that common types of sports injuries can be obtained through a person's occupation (i.e. a builder).

Some common types of sports injury are:

  • contusions
  • strain
  • sprain
  • heat exhaustion
  • lacerations
  • fractures and broken bones
  • torn ligaments
  • torn tendons
  • joint dislocation
  • shin splints
  • compartment syndrome
  • runner's knee
  • tennis elbow

Stem cell and gene therapy

Stem cell and gene therapy

Stem cell and gene therapy abroad can help locate specialist treatment centres overseas. Gene therapy is an experimental but rapidly growing field of medicine in which genes are introduced into the body to treat disease. Genes, which are carried on chromosomes, control heredity and provide the basic biological code for determining a cell's specific function. Gene therapy aims to correct defective genes responsible for disease development.

There are several ways in which gene therapy takes place; the most common is where a normal gene is inserted to replace a non-functional gene. Other approaches include where abnormal genes are swapped for a normal gene through homologous recombination, the normal gene can repair the abnormal gene through selective reverse mutation, or the regulation of a particular gene can be altered.

Transplantation surgery

Transplantation surgery

Transplantation surgery abroad can help patients to identify specialist centres overseas. Transplantation is the act of transferring an organ or tissue from one place to another. This can be from one body to another (allogenic transplants), or even form one part of the patient to another part (autologous transplant), with the intention of replacing a diseased or damaged body part.

In the case of allogenic transplantation, the ideal donor is an identical twin, or someone with the same blood type and immunologic characteristics. The success of such procedures depends on overcoming the body's natural rejection of the donor tissue by the immune system. Common types of transplantation are autograft, allograft, isograft, split transplant and domino transplants.

Urology

Urology

Urology surgery treatment abroad can help patients locate specialist treatment centres overseas. Urology is the medical speciality that deals with the diagnosis, treatment and management of disorders of the urinary tract system in both males and females, and the male reproductive organs. Organs covered in urology include the kidneys, ureters, bladder, urethra, testes, epididymis, vas deferens, seminal vesicles, prostate and penis.

There are several branches of urology: endourology is the branch that deals with minimally-invasive surgical procedures; transurethral surgery deals with prostate surgery, surgery of tumours of the urothelium, stone surgery and simple urethral and ureteral procedures. Oncologic urology concerns the surgical treatment of malignant diseases such as cancer of the prostate, bladder, kidneys, testicle and penis. Neurourology concerns the nervous system's control of the genitourinary system (abnormal urination, etc.). Pediatric urology deals with disorders in children, while andrology looks at the male reproductive system (infertility, erectile dysfunction, etc.). Lastly, plastic and reconstructive urology re-establish function in the genitor-urinary tract.

Women's health

Women's health

Women's health treatment abroad can help you locate specialist centres overseas. Women's health encompasses gender-specific issues, such as health and disease, which exclusively or uniquely affect women. This includes a broad range of biological and psychosocial issues, as during different phases of a women's life cycle there are complex interactions that exist between sex hormones, physiological changes, and emotional issues. Even with diseases that may affect both men and women, the same disease may affect the genders differently, more severely, or more commonly.