Every spring and summer, millions of Americans grab their passports and head to a foreign land. But more and more of them are becoming a different kind of tourist. The government estimates that 750,000 U.S. residents this year will take part in what has become known as medical tourism. The main reason -- often the only reason -- is to save money on medical care.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says you should do extensive research on the hospitals and country where you're thinking of having a medical procedure to minimize these potential risks:

If the health-care practitioners don't speak fluent English or you don't speak the local language, misunderstandings could arise about the care you want.

Medications may be of poor quality.

Infections from drug-resistant bacteria may be more widespread than in U.S. hospitals.

The blood supply in some countries may not be adequately screened.