Medical tourism can be a great option for people who need to undergo complex medical procedures but are unable to do so in their own country. American and western health care in general is notoriously expensive, and a lot of people travel to foreign countries in order to find more affordable (and sometimes better) medical treatments. If you're thinking of traveling for medical treatment, for whatever reason, here are some tips to make your medical travel experience a success.

1. Choosing the country
How do you choose what country to travel to for a medical procedure? Different countries that cater to western medical tourism are renowned for different procedures. Some countries are well known for their excellent cosmetic surgeons, other for their cardiac surgery experts. Pick a country that's known for medical excellence in the field in which you require treatment. Also, prepare for your trip by reading up on the customs of the country you'll be visiting and study some basic phrases.

2. Choosing a hospital
Because of the popularity of medical tourism, there are a lot of foreign hospitals looking to get in on the action. But when it comes to medical tourism, there are good hospitals and bad hospitals, and the quality of your treatment and experience depends on which one you chose. Make sure that the hospital you pick is internationally accredited and has a high renown. Look into the success rates of the hospital and health tourism in India, especially the success rates of the department that'll be taking care of you. Look into the qualifications and experience of their physicians, and make sure that the staff that will be interacting with you speaks English fluently.

3. Research your procedure
Look into what exactly your procedure will entail. How much will it cost, what are the reasonable expectations for its results, how long will the recovery period be and what will it involve are all questions you should ask yourself in the process of planning your medical trip. Find out how much you'll need to take off work and make a budget for your trip.

4. Things to keep track of
Keep all of your important travel documents handy and in order. Make copies of your credit and debit cards, your visa and passport, your medical records, your traveler's checks and your driver's license. Keep one set of copies at home and take another set with you. Keep important contact info at hand as well. This includes the contact information of your local doctor, your family and friends, your insurance companies, your credit card companies, your bank, the U.S. embassy of the country where you'll be staying, your employer, and your hotel.

5. Keep your local doctor informed
Your local doctor should be kept in the loop concerning your medical trip. He'll be crucial in helping you prepare and also to recover properly when you get back.