Got your beach towel and sunglasses? Check. Novel you’ve been dying to dive into? Check. Passport? Check. Cane or walker, doctor’s number, and cash for surgery? (What?)

That’s right: If you’ve been busy collecting this stuff, you may be a patient who is part of a growing trend called medical tourism — Americans traveling abroad for surgeries, treatments and procedures instead of having them done here at home.

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“I drove right up to Canada to get my Lasik eye surgery several years ago,” Mary Anne Donaghey, a wife and mom who lives in a suburb of Boston, told LifeZette. “I researched the Canadian doctor and the treatment protocol, and when it came down to it I could not ignore the cost — it was over 50 percent cheaper than here in U.S. It ended up being a great experience.”

She added, “And I got a trip out of town.”

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“Traveling overseas for health care is a great option for some people — many have really great success with several different types of surgery,” Dr. Douglas W. Lundy, a Georgia-based trauma surgeon specializing in orthopedic trauma surgery, fracture and fracture-reconstructive surgery, told LifeZette.

Lundy has traveled extensively throughout the developing world.

“Many total joint replacements, some spine surgeries, and cosmetic surgeries have outstanding outcomes,” he said.

As deductibles, wait times for treatment, and medical costs soar in the U.S., hundreds of thousands of Americans — 750,000 last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — are going overseas for care.

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As deductibles, wait times for treatment, and medical costs soar in the U.S. soar, hundreds of thousands of Americans — 750,000 last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — are packing up and going overseas for care. The prices for medical care abroad can be up to half the cost of  American treatment, or even lower, according to Health News.

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Most of these surgeries are 100 percent patient-paid. Some people are having procedures not covered by their insurance plan, such as cosmetic procedures or restorative dentistry. Increasingly, however, employers are willing to pick up the costs. According to a 2014 survey conducted by HR consulting firm Aon Hewitt, 25 percent of employers said they may add the benefit in the next three to five years, according to AARP. It was at 4 percent at the time of the survey.

Blue Shield of California has folded the trend into their offerings, with an “Access Baja” health plan that caters to Americans wanting to get medical care across the border in Mexico. Denver’s BridgeHealth International also has an overseas network.

“We in the medical community understand that significant work has to be done here in the U.S. to lower medical costs. But is immediately going overseas the right option? Not always,” Lundy said.

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“Sometimes, a patient will have poorly performed surgery overseas, and then come to a U.S. doctor to have that same work corrected,” he said. “Medical malpractice is an American phenomenon. In many countries you can’t sue the doctor, like you can here. We want to help, but we also may end up being sued for trying to correct another doctor’s poor work.”

Patients from the West Coast tend to travel to Asian countries like South Korea or Thailand for medical care outside the U.S., while East Coast patients tend to head to Europe, according to the New York Times. Joint Commission International offers international health care accreditation and certification for more than 100 countries’ health facilities, and considers themselves the “gold seal of approval” for international medical care.

“The IJC is doing a good job trying to standardize things in treatment overseas,” Lundy said.

Patients from the West Coast tend to travel to Asian countries like South Korea or Thailand for medical care outside the U.S., while East Coast patients tend to head to Europe.

Actress and artist Farrah Fawcett put a very public spotlight on overseas treatment in 2007, when she checked into University Clinic in Frankfurt, combining treatments she received there for anal cancer with alternative healing methods in Bad Wiessee, a spa town in southern Germany.

“She was discouraged by the treatments she got here (in U.S.),” her reality show producer Craig Nevius told People magazine in 2007. “The fact that it recurred after all that she went through was heartbreaking.”

Fawcett succumbed to her cancer in 2009.

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Michael Shopenn, profiled in the New York Times, went to Belgium to have a hip replacement because his U.S. insurer would not cover the procedure. According to the Times, Shopenn’s surgery would have cost nearly $100,000 here. But in Belgium, it only $13,660 — including airfare and all medicines and doctor’s fees.

MedRetreat, a company that helps Americans arrange overseas treatments, offers access to “affordable and timely health care,” according to its website. “Our main goal is to provide a safe, affordable, and timely option to (health care) in North America.”

And, there’s the chance to recover in an exotic locale.

One medical tourist from Carmel, California, who went to the island of Penang in Malaysia for surgery, writes on “When my girlfriend mentioned in passing a year ago that we no longer looked as young as we feel, it started me thinking. I had looked into an eye lift several years back and the cost was too expensive to justify. Now I was facing a much-needed repair on my sinuses that my insurance company labeled pre-existing. Then my girlfriend told me about MedRetreat. The cost was so reasonable that I added several procedures to the sinus operation and had everything done at once. My girlfriend and I labeled it the Girl’s Vacation and left our men at home.”

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What kinds of surgeries are being performed overseas?

Most people travel abroad for dental procedures, accounting for about one-third of all procedures. Other top procedures are cosmetic in nature, followed by heart surgeries, according to the CDC.

Patients desperate for a cure and a chance at extending life may even travel overseas for organ transplants, known as “transplant tourism.”

“Unfortunately this may not be the bargain people hope for,” warns the American Association of Kidney Patients on its website. “

At the University of California, Los Angeles, Dr. Jagbir Gill and associates studied 33 patients who had received transplants overseas, and found they had much worse results than patients who received transplants in this country.

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“Poor people who sell a kidney, sometimes for as little as $800 according to the World Health Organization, face health problems like hypertension and worsening of their own kidney functions …”

If you are considering medical tourism, what should you keep in mind?

Keep your expectations moderate, Lundy said.

“Remember that you are perhaps dealing with a dramatically different culture, with maybe a dramatically different worldview,” he said. “There was a big sign I saw in one country I visited, and it read TINA – ‘This Is Not America.’ Do your homework on the doctor, pick a good location to have your procedure done — and expect average results.”