Medical Port at the Medical Travel Summit 2017

Medical Port CEO Belén de Vicente was a guest speaker at the Medical Travel Summit in Croatia, an event organized by the International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ).

The Medical Travel Summit in an event for senior-level professionals working in the medical travel sector and international patients market. Through different panels, guests were invited to share their knowledge and best practices for the future, while addressing the main concerns of this industry.

Belen de Vicente at IMTJ
Photo credit: IMTJ

Belén de Vicente, from Medical Port, presented her experience at the workshop about facilitators. The workshop was moderated by Elizabeth Ziemba, an expert in the industry. Belén de Vicente talked about the added value that medical travel facilitators bring to the parties involved (insurances, clients and healthcare units) as well as upcoming challenges. The knowledge and expertise gathered by Medical Port along its 5 years of operation were also presented.

According to Belén de Vicente “The presentation generated genuine interest among the attendance because in a market that is clearly a niche – against all the forecasts from the international consultancy companies and the American Medical Tourism Association – the experience of the few ones that have been able to sustain and grow their business is extremely relevant”.

The event took place in Croatia from 25 to 27 April and welcomed hundreds of people.

 

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Gastric band surgery

Gastric band surgery is one of the most common weight-loss surgeries performed today. It is also known as laparoscopic gastric band or lap band surgery and consists of constricting the stomach to give a fuller feeling after eating less food than the person would normally do.

Those who undergo this type of weight-loss surgery are obese people who want to achieve weight-loss goals while going under minimally invasive surgery. According to Medical News Today, “it is a minimally invasive, quick, reversible and adjustable surgical procedure that decreases the size of the stomach to reduce food intake”.

According to Medical News Today these are some of the advantages of gastric band:

  • Potential for long-term weight loss, which leads to, increased mobility and decreased risk for chronic diseases.
  • Reversibility: the band can be removed and adjusted. Depending on the results the band can be tightened or loosened and even removed if the patient isn’t loosing enough weight or didn’t adapt to the band.
  • Since the stomach isn’t cut, the normal digestive process isn’t affected.
  • Short hospital stay: usually the hospital stay required is less than 24 hours and even same-day discharge is often possible.
  • Lower complications when compared to other weight loss surgeries and less demands of dietary changes.
Gastric Band Surgery
Gastric Band Surgery

Gastric band surgery is appropriate for those who are diagnosed with obesity by medical standards and after several exams. Medical Port developed an exclusive obesity diagnosis program, which includes a thorough examination of the causes of excess weight, includes exams and analysis and consultations from several medical specialities before a final diagnosis is issued. After being diagnosed, the patient starts a diet so that when the gastric band is in place, besides from having lost some weight already, the patient as also gain new eating habits and is ready to stick to a new healthy lifestyle.

If you would like more information about Medical Port’s obesity diagnosis program, click here.

 

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Medical risk map for 2016 puts Portugal with low risk

International SOS releases every year a worldwide medical rating that rates countries by their health care risk.

Considering there is risk everywhere, due to many factors, many countries have a good standard of medical care and that means they pose a low risk for who goes under medical care there.

The medical rating is based on the standard of local medical and dental care available, the access to prescription drugs, the presence of serious infectious diseases and cultural, language or administrative barriers to access health care.

The rating divides countries by very high, high, medium, low medical risk and rapidly developing.

Most countries in Europe and North America have a low medical risk, including Portugal.

The low medical risk medical is defined by: “International standard of care throughout the country. Most specialist care widely available. High quality emergency and dental services and a wide range of prescription drugs available. Low risk of infectious diseases.”

Countries like Turkey, Poland, Hungary, and Mexico are considered medium risk countries for medical care. These countries are known for their low prices for health care and are popular among those who chose to go abroad for medical care. Although there are great health care facilities in these countries, a quality standard isn’t always met and in some cases the medical care goes wrong and patients get serious injuries.

In Portugal the access to medical care is widely available in both public and private facilities and Portuguese medical professionals are recognized internationally for their work.

Medical Port has partnered with the most outstanding health care facilities and doctors to give our clients the access to the best options and provide effective treatments.

Learn more about the Travel Risk Map here.

Learn more about Medical Port here.

 

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Hernia incidence is linked to genetics

Recent research found that there are four genes that are common to those who suffered from hernia in their lifetime.

A study conducted by University of California San Francisco and Kaiser Permanente found that there are genetic modifications in patients who suffer from inguinal hernia. A hernia is a very common condition and hernia repair is one of the most performed surgeries in the world. Although it can appear in every age, as people get older there´s a greater risk. Also men are more likely to develop inguinal hernia, as 27% of men can have inguinal hernia through their lifetime as opposed to 6% of women.

Data was collected from more than 73000 people, from those over 5000 already had hernias. One of the researchers, Eric Jorgenson, PhD, comment on the importance of the study results: “Surgical repair of inguinal hernias is one of the most commonly performed operations in the world, yet little is known about the genetic mechanisms that predispose individuals to develop them. (…) These findings provide insight into the origins of hernia development and highlight genetic pathways for studies of its treatment.

Researchers now expect the disease to be further investigated so that in the future there can be more knowledge about how hernias appear. It is expected that with further research it becomes possible to prevent the occurrence of inguinal hernias.

Read more about the study here.

If you would like to learn more about hernia diagnosis and repair, read our Hernia page on Medical Port’s website and contact us if you need any further information.

 

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Breast augmentation surgery

The most common way to perform a breast augmentation is to insert silicone gel implants into the breast.

This technique has been used for over 40 years and is proven to be both safe and with low complication rates.

The surgery for breast augmentation is usually simple and can be performed under local or general anesthesia, sometimes performed as an outpatient procedure.

There are several ways to insert the silicone gel implants into the breast (as you can see in the picture below), the incision can be made along the lower edge of the areola, in the axilla, or in the inframammary fold. The implant is inserted either in the submammary, or in the submuscular area.

Breast augmentation surgery incisions

 

Silicon gel implants can be filled with silicon itself or with saline, both implants carry advantages and disadvantages. Both ways are a safe way to perform the surgery and both work for breast augmentation and breast reconstruction.

Saline breast implants contain a silicone outer shell filled with sterile saline before the surgery or filled when the implant is placed during the surgery. They are available in different sizes and have smooth or textured surfaces. They are less costly than silicone-filled products and implant ruptures are quickly detectable. Silicone gel-filled breast implants have a silicone outer shell filled with silicone gel of varying consistencies and features. Available in different sizes, they have smooth or textured surfaces and are more costly than saline-filled implants.

In order to ensure your breast augmentation surgery is done safely and by certified plastic surgeons, you should chose facilities not only for price, but most importantly chose doctors for their skill, training and the certification of the clinic or hospital.

With the increasing trend of travelling abroad for medical care and elective surgery, many decide based on overall price and not based on the doctors’, clinics’ or countries’ reputation.

Medical Port partnered with certified hospitals like Hospital Lusíadas Lisboa and Hospital Lusíadas Porto, which are certified by Joint Commission International to perform breast augmentation surgeries with top plastic surgeons using the latest techniques.

 

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How to rejuvenate mature skin

As we age, different approaches should be taken in order to smooth the appearance of wrinkles and expression lines.

While some treatments are directed at the first signs of aging, others are especially targeted for mature skin. As time passes by, skin loses it fill and becomes saggy and wrinkles appear. Hyaluronic acid is a natural ingredient present in the skin matrix that tends to get lost over time.

A less invasive option than plastic surgery is the treatment with Skinboosters. Instead of going through an operation, people can opt for treat the signs of aging with a less painful and costly treatment that tries to fill the skin from the inside, giving it the volume the skin used to have. Skinboosters is a brand of hyaluronic acid injections to restore the skin hydration, increasing its smoothness, elasticity and firmness.

Hyaluronic acid injections reduce effectively the visible signs of volume loss, giving the skin a natural look after the treatment.

Since Skinboosters are aimed at a more mature skin, the areas where they can be applied goes beyond the face. It can be used in the neck, décolletage, and hands since these areas are also very much affected by sun exposure which causes premature aging skin. Skinboosters help revitalize and hydrate the skin.

Treatment with Skinboosters is a well-known method of rejuvenating mature skin in need of additional hydration, aimed at its rejuvenation and at a dermal fill similar to the one displayed during youth. The initial treatment plan should start with 3 treatments, 4 weeks apart between them. The treatment should be repeated every 6 months to maintain results.

The application of Skinboosters with hyaluronic acid should be made in certified facilities, so that the patient is totally confident. That is why Medical Port partners exclusively with the top healthcare providers in Portugal. Hospital Lusiadas Lisboa and Hospital Lusiadas Porto are two of the best private hospitals in Portugal, with international accreditation from Joint Commission International. You can be totally confident that your dermatological treatment will be successful and performed by the best specialists in the field. The clinical body in these hospitals has extensive experience in dermo-cosmetics, guaranteeing the best results.

 

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Summer vacations in Portugal, according to international press

Portugal was recently considered to be a great destination for summer vacations from several newspapers around the world.

The French edition of the Huffington Post voted Porto Covo beach in the south of Portugal to be the second most beautiful beach in the world. Only toped by Paradise Island beach in the Bahamas. Porto Covo is in the top 3 according to the Huffington Post because, “There are cliffs and great beaches but the village is also worth a visit. It is a fishing village of just 1500 inhabitants, far from the tourist places of the country.”

Read the full story on the most beautiful beaches in the world, here.

According to U.K.’s newspaper, Mirror, Portugal is the most popular European destination for Brits traveling abroad this summer. The data was taken from a TripAdvisor poll that ranks the 10 favorite destinations for British holidaymakers.

You can read the full top 10, here.

Condé Nast Traveller ask their readers to rank the best beach restaurants in the world, and the restaurant “Sal” in the famous beachtown of Comporta was named number 1. Readers highlighted the quality of fresh fish, Portuguese picanha and fruity sangria.

See the full gallery of the best beach restaurants in the world here.

 

British newspaper, The Guardian, has also recently mentioned two regions in Portugal as some of the best places for a family summer vacation in Europe. Portuguese region of the Algarve is known for its white sand beaches with turquoise waters, “It’s all about the beaches in this southern region of Portugal, close to the Alentejo border; long, wild and often empty, it has them in spades.” And Coimbra region in the center has innumerous options for those who like a nature vacation: “Go paddling in the Mondego river, visit hillside villages, explore historic Coimbra, spend a day at the coast (90 minutes’ drive away) if you’re craving the sea, and pack a picnic for hiking, biking or kayaking trips in the Serra da Estrela mountains.”

You can read the full article on The Guardian, here.

Portugal is definitely hitting the spotlight in the media around the world, highlighting different aspects that make the country a great place to visit, and a perfect destination for your medical travel.

 

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How to look younger without plastic surgery

In order to feel and look young there are several procedures available nowadays, some of them are more effective and permanent than others. Not all of them include going under the knife and suffer from slow and painful recoveries.

Dermal fillers are an example of how to look younger in a quick and almost painless way.

As time passes by, skin loses it fill and becomes saggy and wrinkles appear. Hyaluronic acid is a natural ingredient present in the skin matrix that tends to get lost over time. Its production lowers as we age. One of the ways to convey a more young looking skin is to give hyaluronic acid back to the skin, in order to restore its hydration, elasticity and filing.

Hyaluronic acid fillers are an affordable and less invasive option than a facelift or other plastic surgery procedure. Through the injection of hyaluronic acid into the skin, the appearance of wrinkles is smooth and less visible, as the injection is made directly into the desired area. Hyaluronic acid injections reduce effectively the visible signs of volume loss, giving the skin a natural look after the treatment.

Restylane is one of the most reputable brands of hyaluronic acid injections trusted by people all over the world. Restylane is available in Europe since 1996, in Canada since 1998 and in the United States since 2003. It is available in 60 countries worldwide.

Restylane can be used in the following areas:

  • Frown lines (glabellar lines)
  • Crow’s feet (periorbital lines)
  • Tear troughs (tired eyes)
  • Nose to mouth lines (nasolabial folds)
  • Sad mouth lines (oral commissures)
  • Small lines around the mouth (perioral area)
  • Mouth to chin lines (marionette lines)

Restylane is a crystalline gel injected into the skin with the purpose of increasing its volume and recovering the main traits of the face’s structure. Similar to the hyaluronic acid present in our body, because of its non-animal origin, it does not involve the risk of associated allergies and hyper-sensibility of the skin. Treatment with Restylane doesn’t affect the facial expression and its effects can be seen immediately. Free muscle movements are maintained while the treatment lasts.

Results last for a while but are not permanent, a new maintenance treatment maybe necessary 6 to 12 months after the previous application.

Any esthetic treatment should be supervised by a health professional and with the care of a physician, especially when the procedure is done abroad. Medical Port guarantees that during the treatment there is an ongoing care from Hospital Lusiadas that allows for the patient to be certain that will receive the best care and will have the best results.

 

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There are 6 types of obese people, according to new study

A new study published in the Journal of Public Health from Oxford University classifies 6 types of obese people. This study aims to help healthcare providers to better understand obese patients and the differences between them.

The study starts by analyzing a group of people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) higher than 30, which are considered obese. The limitation of BMI is that it considers everyone with a BMI over 30 to be obese and doesn’t take into account the heterogeneity of such group.

Researchers wanted to create subgroups within obese people that would take into account the differences between them: “BMI is a classification of weight and height, not of people, who are only similar in terms of their BMI category. Using a single classification for obesity will fail to recognize the variation between the individuals who are obese.”

To study and classify types of obese people is important because, according to the researchers: “Failing to acknowledge the population-level heterogeneity among those classified as obese may restrict the effectiveness of interventions or treatments offered by clinicians, since approaches may need tailoring depending upon the health practices associated with individuals involved.”

Six different types of people with a BMI <30 were identified:

  1. Heavy drinking males: these are less likely to manage their weight well;
  2. Young healthy females: who are more likely to take weight loss steps;
  3. Wealthy healthy elderly: these people tend to have higher blood pressure;
  4. Physically sick but happy elderly: people with a good mental health and a good sense of well-being;
  5. Unhappy anxious middle aged: mostly women who may suffer from psychological issues and;
  6. Poorest health: this group has de highest prevalence of chronic health conditions and doesn’t engage in healthy behaviors.

The goal of the study was to show that within obese people there are major differences: different attitudes towards life, well-being notions and behaviors, and predisposition to take action to lose weight. This study more than identifying and categorizing obese people, tries to show the importance of understanding the reason for the excess weight and the entire context around obese people to better help them achieve a more healthy weight.

Our weight-loss programs are designed to specifically understand the underlying reasons for excess weight and based on that decide the best approach for an effective and long term weight loss. If you would like to know more about Medical Port’s weight loss programs, click here.

Read the full article about the 6 types of obese people here.

 

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