American Retiree Chooses Caribbean for Hip Replacement Surgery

Some diligent research into his options for hip replacement surgery led American Michael Lepley to Health City Cayman Islands, and the experience changed his life for the better.
Lepley desperately needed the procedure so he set out to learn all he could about the availability of options in Asia, Latin America and elsewhere in the Caribbean when he “stumbled upon” Health City Cayman Islands on the Internet.
Right away, he knew the Cayman facility was different: “First thing was how quickly I was contacted when I made an enquiry – (Mrs.) Joan Freedman (Patient Care Relations Manager) responded almost immediately.”
Lepley realized he was dealing with a high caliber institution and soon had another new experience – an hour-long conversation with Dr. Alwin Santiago Almeida, the orthopedics and joint replacement surgeon who eventually performed the operation.
“I have not had a five minute conversation with a doctor in the United States in five years, so I thought: ‘This is a good start.'”
The fact that Health City provides a single quote in terms of cost so that patients do not have the additional stress of coping with post-operative medical bills was an added attraction for Lepley, who had previously only visited the Cayman Islands as a vacationing cruise ship passenger.
“I knew what the surgery and care (were) going to cost. I knew where it was – and where could you go to beat the (Cayman Islands) to recover for a couple of weeks?”
Lepley underwent his first hip replacement in the US while he was covered by company insurance, but as a retiree, he did not have medical coverage for his second replacement at Health City Cayman Islands.
“It still cost me more five years ago in the United States to have this done – with insurance – than this whole trip is going to cost me. And that was out of my pocket, deductibles and everything else.”
The financial savings made possible by Health City were significant for Lepley but he saw beyond the cost benefits. “I don’t think that’s the most important thing. This place is just unbelievable (and) the quality of care, the quality of facilities, equipment, the nurses, the technicians, the food, everything’s just been top notch.”
The only drawback for Lepley was the fact that as an avid diver, he could only look at the ocean and not get into it. Now he’s looking forward to a return trip to the Cayman Islands for follow-up tests at Health City, when he will be able to swim. “It’s been a tremendous experience for me.”