An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a small device implanted into the abdomen or chest area for the management of arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats. Although highly effective in the majority of cases, the extended use of an ICD can sometimes lead to complications with bleeding, swelling, and pain at the implantation site being the most common. Meanwhile, more serious complications, which affect less than 2% of patients, include pneumothorax (collapsed lung), profuse bleeding that requires blood transfusion, damage to the heart muscles, heart attack, and stroke.
Many Southeast Asian patients suffering from ICD complications opt to seek medical care in their neighbouring countries, particularly Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia, to take advantage of world-class cardiac care. These countries are now known as medical tourism hubs welcoming thousands of medical tourists from Southeast Asia and beyond every year. In these countries, patients can easily find highly experienced and internationally trained cardiologists who are prepared to provide prompt treatment for any ICD-related problems.
Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia continuously invest in improving their medical infrastructure and procuring the most advanced diagnostic and therapeutic equipment abroad. They also send their cardiologists for fellowship training to some of the most prestigious medical schools in the West in their bid to become the leader in the global medical tourism market. Despite providing quality medical care that meets international standards, the cost of their services is significantly low than in the West allowing international patients to enjoy up to 75% savings on ICD-related procedures.