1. Plan ahead.
Look at least six months out, which is probably how long it will take to get all your ducks in a row.
2. Consider a medical travel agency.
A good broker can arrange everything from preoperative consultations to postsurgy physical therapy. It can also help arrange follow-up appointments in the U.S..
3. Look for accredited hospitals.
Joint Commission International inspects hospitals for high standards of care and lists facilities that specialize in procedures. Some might do only 50 knee replacements a year; you want the one that does 5,000.
4. Extend the trip.
Airplanes are a great place to pick up infections. Ask your surgeon when it’s OK to fly home, and don’t fly until at least three days after surgery. If you choose to spend two weeks on the beach afterward, tell your boss it’s doctor’s orders.
5. Buddy up.
Bringing a friend along adds to the cost, but a trusted ally can calm nerves, offer moral support, and, in the rare event that com-plications arise, be there to negotiate care and make alternate travel arrangements.