My pulmonary specialists in LA neglected to tell me about the very high success rate of reconstructive jaw surgery to treat obstructive apnea. They did not tell me to make a good faith effort at CPAP titration, but to fail, if I wanted my insurance to cover surgery. I would have wanted surgery. I had FESS in 1995 and have had no sinus infections since. Now that my ins. won't cover the surgery, I am going abroad. What would you do in addition to collecting CVs and interviewing the surgical team?
Vetting Out Doctors Abroad--Surgical Teams--for Reconstructive Jaw Surgery to Deal with Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Please Advise?
Doctor Answers 5
I agree with others here who have recommended staying in the U.S. There are many options in LA and California for great surgeons. If you have any complications or need follow up care, it would not be difficult to get to your doctor(s). However, to answer your question I would ask the surgeons how many procedures they do per year, how they do their set up (orthodontics), what the treatment timeline would be like, and what the cost is.In asia there are many excellent teams - one who comes to mind is Yu-Ray Chen of Chang Gung Craniofacial Center in Taiwan. There are many in China and Korea as well.
I would not have this kind of surgery abroad. You need to be seen once a week for close follow up. There are risks and chance of complications that your surgeon should be able to handle quickly.
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Going abroad for jaw surgery ... #RealSelf100
Before choosing to go abroad for major jaw surgery, I would encourage you to explore dentists in the USA that provide oral sleep apnea devices. They look and feel kind of like a mouth guard and they are worn at bedtime. They re-position your jaw to allow unobstructed airflow.
With that said, I would agree that some things may be okay to go abroad and get, like a breast reduction or enlargement, or minor plastic surgery. However, to have major jaw surgery in a foreign, you are risking a lot. Aside for the obvious risks, like increased chance of a nosocomial hospital infections and the greater mortality and morbidity rates, you should realize that sometimes these jaw surgeries need to be redone or adjusted by the doctor. You don't want to have to fly back and forth to another country, just to keep getting follow-up surgeries. Another thing is that in the USA, if a doctor botches a surgery, he/she and be sued, but in other countries, suing doctors is extremely difficult. Threat of lawsuits keep USA docs less likely to take big risks on patients that are otherwise bad candidates for surgery. Just something to consider. Good luck and I hope this helps. Follow me if you have more questions.
Sarah Thompson, DMD
Real Self 100
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