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Medical Tourism: Why Do Patients Travel for Surgery?

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Dr. Gleiber has performed spine surgery on patients from all over the world. Why would a patient travel thousands of miles for surgery? Are there really benefits to medical tourism?

The following are reasons that patients have come to Dr. Gleiber for surgery, rather than having the procedure done locally:

1. Poor quality of care at local practices and hospitals.

Patients from Latin America and the Caribbean often come to Dr. Gleiber because they simply cannot get quality care locally. Spine surgery is a very delicate process, and it is important to choose a well-trained, well-qualified surgeon if you need a procedure done. Patients in these areas may be able to take care of basic healthcare needs locally, but they often do not have access to surgeons who can perform these often-complex spinal procedures in their home countries. The close proximity to South Florida makes it easy for these patients to travel to see Dr. Gleiber to get the level of care they need.

2. Long waiting lists to see a local doctor.

Patients in countries like Canada or England may have access to quality healthcare and skilled surgeons, but they often have to wait months to get even an initial consultation. Spinal conditions can lead to severe pain and disability, and these patients may not be able to wait that long. When patients contact Dr. Gleiber’s office for information, he personally reaches out to patients, often within 24 hours of the initial contact, to learn more about the patient’s situation. If Dr. Gleiber believes that a patient may benefit from surgery, he and his team will arrange to have the patient come into the office for an in-person consultation. Even with travel factored in, these patients can often get the care they need much more quickly than they could back home.

3. Local doctors have not been helpful.

In many cases, patients who travel to Dr. Gleiber’s office for a consultation have seen several different doctors and specialists with no relief from their symptoms. After seeing all of the recommended local specialists, they have exhausted their options locally and begin to look elsewhere for help. These patients are willing to travel if it means that they will be able to see a specialist who can help. Some of these patients come in from other countries, and some live in the United States. These patients may find out about Dr. Gleiber via an online search or word of mouth. Dr. Gleiber has been consistently recognized as one of the top spine surgeons. This recognition has helped to reassure patients of his expertise.

Dr. Gleiber’s patients have many positive things to say about his care:

“We live in Colorado and go to West Palm Beach, FL for spinal care. No regrets and the best decision for my health I have ever made. Cannot say enough for this special, caring, understanding and talented surgeon. Dr. Gleiber is the “real deal”!” — Dave T.

“I spent many years trying all kinds of different pain management treatments. Nothing gave me anything more than a temporary relief from the chronic daily pain I experienced. Despite all of the reservations I had prior to the surgery, I was comforted by the fact that Dr. Gleiber was confident the outcome would be positive. Well, I must say that after my surgery, it’s been a miracle. I’m now 100% pain free and walking every day 3 miles since the surgery with no pain.” — Anonymous Patient

“In this new world of medicine where you are hustled in and out and given very little attention or care or questions answered, my experience with Dr. Gleiber could not have been more different. He took an inordinate amount of time to explain what he was seeing in the MRI/x-rays, conduct an independent exam, explain what was happening and what options I had available to me.” — Tracy M.

As the patients above have attested, Dr. Gleiber and his team go above and beyond to make sure that patients are taken care of. This level of care extends to patients who travel. Dr. Gleiber and his team strive to make travel stress-free for patients so that they are able to focus on recovery.