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Las Vegas: Opportunities for Medical Tourists

Las Vegas: Opportunities for Medical Tourists

Friday March 09, 2012

Medical tourism is gaining popularity and some Las Vegas doctors and tourism officials believe Las Vegas has a lot to offer when it comes to attracting patients.

Las Vegas is synonimous with showgirls and slot machines not healthcare. In fact, many significant Nevadans have left the state when they have needed specific medical care. Now, that could be changing.

"We have great healthcare all around us, but we just don't give it a chance, and we're led to believe you have to leave town and you don't," said CEO Doug Geizner with the Southern Nevada Medical Industry Coalition.

Las Vegas doesn't have a major medical school but it does have 150,000 hotel rooms. While California has Silicon Valley, Nevada has the silicone desert. Plastic surgery, along with orthopedic, fertility, neurology, bariatric and dental implants specialties are ideal for medical tourism.

"They're non-invasive or minimally-invasive and many times don't require a stay inside of the hospital," Geizner said.

One of those procedures is the sleeve gastrectomy which shrinks the stomach to a quarter of its size in a half-hour surgery. It's brought patients from all over the United States, Canada and Europe into bariatric surgeon James Atkinson's office.

"Now with the sleeve, the operation lends itself to medical tourism because someone can come to Las Vegas, have the operation, then spend a few days in Las Vegas, and when they go back home, they don't have to come back every month for follow-up," said Dr. James Atkinson, Surgical Weight Control Center.

Because many of the shorter procedures are elective, insurance doesn't cover them and patients pay up front.

"As a physician, they're not making the money they once were. A lot is due to the economy and the decline of insured folks, so when they're able to bring in a medical tourist patient, they're bringing in a cash-paying client," Geizner said.

There's a larger benefit to Las Vegas locals. If more tourists come for care, good doctors will catch on and move to southern Nevada permanently.

"When we increase the healthcare professional population, it increases access," Geizner said.

It's unlikely Las Vegas will become a transplant or cancer treatment capital but the Southern Nevada Medical Industry Coalition says the city leads the nation in some of those other specialities.

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Tags: medical tourism, Las Vegas, fertility treatment, bariatric surgery, sleeve gastrectomy, orthopedic surgery, dental implants, plastic surgery, neurology

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Медицинский туризм, иностранцы посещают фитнес клубы Киева для улучшения здоровья. Appartment rentals, daily rent for relatives of patients