More and more patients requiring spinal surgery are travelling to Southeast Asia to have a spine fixation device inserted. Although medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry in various parts of the world, Southeast Asia is experiencing an impressive growth trend due to its advanced yet affordable medical and surgical treatments.
Some of the most commonly sought after procedures in Southeast Asia are in the field of orthopaedic surgery, such as the one performed to insert a spine fixation device. This is part of a spinal fusion treatment that helps stabilise the spine in patients who suffer from vertebral or disc problems resulting in back pain.
Due to the advancements in the field of orthopaedic surgery, many orthopaedic surgeons in Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand can now perform this procedure using different types of hardware as well as different surgical and imaging techniques including minimally invasive methods. Instead of a traditional open surgery, they use devices such as percutaneous pedicle screws, facet screws, and spinous process plates. These devices are inserted using a process called posterior fixation where the surgical instruments are inserted into the rear portion of the spine. This technique can be used to stabilise the spine in patients with degenerative disc diseases, scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, spinal trauma, and spinal tumour, among others. Such technologies enable orthopaedic surgeons in Southeast Asian hospitals to send their patients home faster, with smaller incisions and minimal scars.
Despite their ability to provide an equal level of service and the same quality of care as their western counterparts, medical care providers in Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia charge significantly less. Surgery to insert a spine fixation device can cost up to 75% less in Southeast Asia compared to the United States or the United Kingdom.