Some individuals who are desperate to get a surgery or procedure done, but find themselves with a lack of funds, seek treatment abroad.

In developing countries, procedures and surgeries can be done for a fraction of the cost compared to here in the U.S. For some, the cheaper price tag outweighs their concerns about the risks of cutting corners.

Whether you’re in the U.S. or abroad, all medical surgeries carry risks. While the risks are usually relatively low, with the benefits far outweighing the risks, in the U.S. the patient is made aware of all potential outcomes prior to partaking in the procedure.

In other countries, things like lack of regulation, lack of sanitary quarters, lack of education and lack of expertise increase the risks of surgery dramatically.

Regulation. In the U.S., we have strict regulations on doctors via the medical board of doctors. There are associations and government run organizations that outline and regulate strict guidelines for how medicine should be practiced. They also outline and regulate the areas in which medical surgeries and procedures can be done, maintaining sanitation. All of these regulations reduce risks of danger to the patient, such as infection and death. These regulations keep the patient safe and help secure the positive outcome of the procedure. In developing countries, they don’t have these same organizations that keep strict guidelines for medical practice. This lack of regulation means increased danger for the patient. Your risk of infection and having a botched surgery increases dramatically.

Education. In the U.S., doctors go through intense training and schooling before being allowed to practice. Additionally, they have to get specific training and maintain current yearly training hours to keep up their knowledge and skills. In other countries, doctors are not held to this same high standard of continuing education. Because they may not be as skilled, they may not know the correct techniques for surgical procedures.

If you find yourself contemplating getting a procedure done abroad, stop and think about the risks that are increasing. While you may save money short-term, you’ll end up spending more long-term to correct a botched surgery. And most importantly, risking your health is not worth any dollar amount.