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Volunteering overseas gives travel a purpose A knee replacement that costs about $35,000 in the U.S. could run $8,200 in Poland, $7,200 in Colombia, or $6,600 in India. (Photo: Shutterstock)

About 14 million people spent $68 billion on medical tourism in 2016, according to consulting firm PwC. A growing number are Westerners headed to developing countries for cosmetic surgery or dental work, procedures that are less expensive and invasive than major operations and often aren’t covered by insurance. PwC predicts that by 2021 the medical tourism market will reach $125 billion. The growth will be built not on nose jobs and dental implants but on costlier and riskier procedures with longer recovery times, such as knee replacements and heart surgeries.

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