Craniotomy cost in South Korea

Craniotomy is a preliminary surgical procedure necessarily performed to access the brain and proceed with further operations. It involves the cutting and opening of a portion of the skull in order to have access the brain. It is performed either in case of severe neurological or cerebral anomaly, or in case of traumatic as well as accidental injuries. Craniotomy is also performed to remove lodged foreign objects like iron rods, bullets, nails, etc. 

What is craniotomy?

The surgical removal of a bone flap or a portion of the skull to perform necessary operation on the brain is known as craniotomy. Post-operation, the bone flap is however fixed in position with the help of metal screws. Craniotomy involves carving out minute incisions or burrholes as well as significant incision known as keyholes to carry out necessary functions. The entire procedure is guided by endoscopes, stereostatic framing, as well as computer based imaging that helps the surgeons to:

  • Remove blood clots in case of hemorrhage
  • Draining of excessive Cerebrospinal Fluid
  • Treat brain tumors
  • Relax stressed arteries, veins or nerves
  • Cure an injury
  • Insertion of devices like Intracranial Pressure Monitoring system, Deep Brain Stimutaling devices

Ideal Candidates for Craniotomy surgery 

Evaluation for ideal candidacy for craniotomy surgery is primarily important. The surgeons shall decide an ideal candidate if the individual:

  • Suffers from an advanced stage brain tumor
  • Requires urgent biopsy of an affected brain tissue
  • Suffers from additional intracranial pressure buildup
  • Needs insertion of an artificial device to control brain functioning
  • Has a foreign object lodged in the brain
  • Suffers from hemorrhage 

Factors affecting the cost of craniotomy surgery in India

Craniotomy is mostly performed to treat or remove brain tumors (malignant or benign). An average brain tumor surgery cost may range from $20,000 to $28,000. Apart from tumors, the surgery is performed for a number of other reasons, depending on which, craniotomy cost may range from $8000 to $20000. It may hinge on:

  • Reason for craniotomy surgery
  • Type of craniotomy required 
  • Extent of bone flap removal
  • Extent of post-surgical follow up required
  • Healthcare benefits required
Treatment and Cost

28

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

5 Day in Hospital

23 Days Outside Hospital

Treatment cost starts from

USD 36000

Hospitals

About the Craniotomy

Craniotomy surgery is one of the most common types of brain surgery conducted to treat a brain tumor. It mainly aims at removing a lesion, tumor, or a blood clot in the brain by opening a flap above the brain to access the targeted area. This flap is removed on a temporary basis and again put in place when the surgery is done. Around 90 percent of the cases of brain tumors are diagnosed in adults aged between 55 and 65. Among children, a brain tumor is diagnosed within an age range of 3 to 12 years.

Craniotomy procedures are conducted with the help of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to reach the location precisely in the brain that requires treatment. A three-dimensional image for the same is achieved of the brain in conjunction with localizing frames and computers to view a tumor properly. A clear distinction is made between abnormal or tumor tissue and normal healthy tissue and to access the exact location of the abnormal tissue.

Who requires a craniotomy?

In a minimally invasive craniotomy procedure, a burr hole or a keyhole may be created to access the brain to fulfill the following purposes:

  • To drain out cerebrospinal fluid in case of hydrocephalus by inserting a shunt into the ventricles
  • To treat Parkinson’s disease by inserting a deep brain stimulator (DBS)
  • To insert an intracranial pressure monitor
  • To conduct needle biopsy, where a small sample of abnormal tissue is removed for study
  • For stereotactic hematoma aspiration, in which a blood clot is drained out
  • For insertion of an endoscope to clip aneurysms and for the removal of small tumors

When there are complex craniotomies involved, the procedure may be referred to as a skull base surgery.  In this kind of surgery, a small portion of the skull is removed from the bottom of the brain. This is the region where delicate arteries, veins, and cranial nerves exit the skull. Complicated planning is done to plan such craniotomies and understand the location of the lesions. This type of approach is usually employed for:

  • The removal or treatment of large brain tumors and aneurysm in the brain
  • Treatment after a skull fracture or major injury like a gunshot
  • The removal of a malignant tumor affecting the bony skull

Primary brain tumors are much less common than secondary brain tumors. Primary ones are found to originate very close to the brain itself or in the tissues very close to it, such as the covering membranes of the brain, including the meninges, cranial nerves, pineal, or pituitary gland. It begins with normal cells, which at a later period undergoes some mutational errors in their DNA. The mutation triggers cells to grow and divide at a very high rate while healthy cells keep dying around it. This results in a mass of abnormal cells which gives rise to a tumor. Unlike primary tumors, the secondary tumors begin as cancer elsewhere and spread to the brain.

Symptoms of brain tumor

  • Different patterns of a headache
  • Headaches get more frequent and acutely painful
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision, double vision, or loss of peripheral vision
  • Loss of sensation in the arm or any leg gradually
  • Balance difficulty
  • Speech problems with confusion in simple matters
  • Hearing problems
  • Personality change
  • Sudden seizures and attacks or bouts of pain

Types of Craniotomy

No matter what the goal of the surgery is, it is best to ensure that the incision is made to address the intracranial lesion keeping some principles in mind. A wide variety of intracranial processes can be done via a craniotomy with a different variety of incisions. Some of these variations include frontal craniotomy, pterional craniotomy, temporal craniotomy, decompression craniectomy, and suboccipital craniotomy.

How is Craniotomy performed?

  • An intravenous line is first placed in the arm and general anaesthesia is employed while the patient lies on the operating table.
  • When the patient is no more awake, the head is placed in a 3-pin skull fixing the device. This is attached to a table and keeps the head in a fixed position all throughout the procedure.
  • An insertion of a lumbar drain is made in the lower back to drain out the cerebrospinal fluid. A relaxation drug for the brain named mannitol can be administered at this stage.
  • With an antiseptic, the skull is prepared and an incision is made usually behind the hairline. A good cosmetic result is achieved after the surgery and a hair sparing technique, which requires shaving only one-fourth inch-wide area along the incision proposed is aimed. At times, the total area of the incision may be shaved.
  • The skin and muscles are then removed from the bone and folded back, burr holes are made in the skull using a drill.
  • A saw is introduced through the holes made and cuts the bone flap’s outline. The protective covering of the brain named dura is exposed after the craniotome (the saw) removes the bone flap. This bone flap is kept aside securely to be attached back again after the surgery.
  • Once the dura is opened with surgical scissors, the surgeon folds it back to access the brain. There are retractors placed on the brain to have a corridor opened gently in the brain to address the region requiring removal or repair. 
  • Loupes are used by neurosurgeons, which are special magnifying glasses or an operating microscope to get a view of the delicate nerves and vessels.
  • The brain is very tightly enclosed within the skull and hence, removal of tissues cannot be done easily to repair problems.
  • Therefore, a variety of tools and instruments are employed to work in the deep circuits of the brain like drills, lasers, ultrasonic aspirators (used to break tumours and have the pieces suctioned), dissectors, long handled scissors, and of course computer-aided guidance.
  • Evoked potential monitoring may also be employed to stimulate the specific cranial nerves and the responses generated are monitored. This step ensures that the nerves are functioning properly and not getting damaged as a result of the surgery.
  • After the problem is rectified, the retractors are released and dura is closed along with sutures and the bone flap is placed in its original position and secured with titanium screws and plates. These screws and plates remain permanently in place to support the region and can be felt under the skin.
  • A drain can also be kept as is for some time. It helps collect blood and fluids from the area that is subjected to the surgery. T
  • he skin and muscles are sutured together and a soft turban-like adhesive is placed as dressing over the incision.

Recovery from Craniotomy

  • The patient is shifted to a recovery room where vital signs are monitored after he or she is in complete senses and the effect of the anaesthesia completely wears off.
  • Drowsiness, nausea, and headache are common in craniotomy recovery surgery. Hands, fingers, and toes must be moved frequently to avoid the formation of blood clots.
  • Anticonvulsant medications may be provided and a nurse may keep asking simple questions to figure out alertness.
  • Hospital stay varies from two to three days or even two weeks, depending on the complications that may result.
  • After discharge, keep away from strenuous activities. Some exercises may be prescribed for the slow movement of head and neck.
  • You should notify your doctor about any increase in temperature or infection observed at the sites of the incision. Bathing instructions should be strictly followed.
  • It almost takes around two to eight weeks for complete recovery. Keep visiting your doctor for follow-up checkup or as instructed. Contact your doctor immediately in case of loss of mental function, stroke, seizure, or nerve damage.

Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the factors affecting the cost of Craniotomy in South Korea?

The Craniotomy package cost in South Korea varies from one hospital to another and may offer different benefits. The Craniotomy package cost usually includes all the expenses related to pre and post surgery expenses of the patient. The treatment cost usually includes the expenses related to hospitalization, surgery, nursing, medicines, and anesthesia. A prolonged hospital stay due to delayed recovery, new diagnosis and complications after surgery may increase the cost of Craniotomy in South Korea.

Which are some of the best clinics in South Korea for Craniotomyt?

Many hospitals in South Korea perform Craniotomy. Some of the best hospitals for Craniotomy in South Korea include the following:

  1. International St. Mary's Hospital
  2. Asan Medical Centre
How many days does it take to recover post Craniotomy in South Korea?

The recovery of the patient many vary, depending on several factors. However, on an average, patient is supposed to stay for about 28 days in the country after discharge. This time frame is important to ensure that the surgery was successful and the patient is fit to fly back.

Which are some of the other popular destinations for Craniotomy?

South Korea is undoubtedly one of the best countries for Craniotomy in the world. It offers the best medical expertise and good patient experience at an affordable cost. Some of the other destinations that are popular for Craniotomy include the following:

CountryCost
IndiaUSD 4600
IsraelUSD 32000
MalaysiaUSD 20000
SpainUSD 31000
ThailandUSD 30000
TunisiaUSD 13000
TurkeyUSD 9000
How much are the other expenses in South Korea apart from the cost of Craniotomy?

Apart from the Craniotomy cost, there are a few other daily charges that the patient may have to pay. These are the charges for daily meals and accommodation outside the hospital. The per day cost in this case may start from USD 50 per person.

Which are the best cities in South Korea for Craniotomy Procedure?

Some of the best cities in South Korea which offer Craniotomy are:

  1. Seoul
How many days does one have to spend in the hospital for Craniotomy in South Korea?

The average duration of stay at the hospital after Craniotomy is about 5 days for proper care and monitoring. The patient is subjected to several biochemistry and radiological scans to see that everything is okay and the recovery is on track. After making sure that patient is clinically stable, discharge is planned.

How many hospitals offer Craniotomy in South Korea?

There are more than 2 hospitals that offer Craniotomy in South Korea. These hospitals have proper infrastructure for the treatment of patients who require kidney transplant. These hospitals comply with all the rules and regulations as dictated by the regulatory bodies and medical association in South Korea

Who are the best doctors for Craniotomy in South Korea?

Some of the most sought after medical specialists for Craniotomy in South Korea are:

  1. Dr. Cho Jin Mo
  2. Dr. Na Young Cheol
  3. Dr. Kim Mi Jung
  4. Dr. Do hoon Kwon
  5. Dr. Yi Chun Sung
  6. Dr. Kim Yeong In

FAQ's Related to South Korea

What healthcare accreditation standards are followed in South Korea?

The two accreditation bodies in South Korea are Commission International (JCI) and Korea Institute for Healthcare Accreditation. There are 29 JCI accredited hospitals in South Korea and the organization has a strong quality framework that the accredited hospitals need to follow. KOIHA evaluates healthcare facilities on stringent parameters such as administrative management and quality of patient care, and performance management. The standards set by JCI and KOIHA require strict monitoring of all critical events to ensure that the quality of healthcare is as per the international standards.

Why should I opt for healthcare in South Korea?

South Korea is a leading medical tourism destination in the world which has been attracting foreign patients with advanced medical technologies during the past decade. Populated with top-quality multispeciality hospitals, South Korea produces good doctors in the world who have deep expertise in their specialty area and strive to provide better patient experience through quality treatment. South Korea offers affordable quality treatment and has reached great height in the healthcare sector due to its innovative approach, helping the country to offer a wide range of procedures with excellent results. Several other reasons which help South Korea to be recognized as one of the most favored destinations for medical tourism are affordable accommodation, visa availability, transportation facilities, and language assistance, a wide range of food options, scenic value.

What is the quality of doctors in South Korea?

The well-trained and highly skilled doctors in South Korea use their deep expertise in performing various procedures with a high success rate. Furnished with degrees from premier institutions and decades of experience and training, the doctors have reported high success rates in their professional career. The doctors strictly adhere to international standards and medical protocols in order to ensure quality treatment and patient safety. The doctors have hands-on experience in preventative medicine which helps prevent various complications.

When traveling to South Korea for medical treatment, what essential documents do I need to carry along?

The required essential documents might vary as per your destination, so it is suggested to check with the concerned authority before traveling. In order to make sure that you do not miss any essential documents, make a list of all the documents you might need during your stay in South Korea. Some other things documents you may need are currency/forex card, travel insurance paper, international SIM card. The documents that you will require are passport copies, test reports, doctor referral notes, medical history, residence/ driver’s license/ bank statement/ details of health insurance, visa, credit/debit cards.

What are the popular procedures available in South Korea?

The most sought-after procedures in South Korea are

  1. Forehead Augmentation,
  2. Eye-Widening Surgery,
  3. Jaw Reduction Surgery,
  4. Double Eyelid Surgery,
  5. Liposuction,
  6. Facial Plastic Surgery,
  7. Rhinoplasty,
  8. Hair Transplant, and
  9. Chin Augmentation

. According to a survey, South Korea has the highest per capita rate of cosmetic surgery and cosmetic clinics are spread in large number across the country. Some other procedures that have seen high success rates in the country include cancer treatment, organ transplant, cardiovascular surgeries and hip and shoulder replacement. South Korea has made landmark achievements in cancer treatment and some advanced techniques used to remove cancer cells are robotic surgeries and proton therapies.

Which are the most popular cities in South Korea for medical treatment?

South Korea has some of the leading medical tourism destinations in the world, such as Seoul, Busan, Incheon, Daegu, Cheonan, and Cheonan. There are several factors that help make these cities popular for seeking treatment, such as top-notch hospitals, superior infrastructure, and highly experienced doctors. Transportation facilities, affordable accommodation, more food options, and language assistance are some other reasons why these cities are more preferred by medical tourists. Seoul has the world’s highest per-capita rate of plastic surgeries and Gangnam district boasts some 500 cosmetic and aesthetic centers.

How to obtain a medical visa for South Korea?

The Korean embassy follows a strict process for obtaining a visa for traveling to South Korea. The processing of obtaining a medical visa starts with the submission of medical records and the referral certificate signed by the registered medical expert. South Korea grants a dependent medical visa to a person who is accompanying a patient traveling to the country for medical treatment. Relevant documents explaining the details of the treatment, signed by the concerned hospitals or doctors, a declaration from the patient or family member is also required.

Which are the popular multispecialty hospital groups in South Korea?

South Korea is known to have world-class multispecialty hospitals, such as:

  1. Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Seoul;
  2. Asan Medical Centre, Seoul;
  3. ID Hospital, Seoul;
  4. International St. Mary's Hospital, Seoul and,
  5. Wooridul Hospital Seoul, Seoul.

Equipped with modern equipment and the latest medical technologies, the multispecialty hospitals in South Korea are backed by the modern infrastructure to provide world-class treatment. The patient-centric hospitals strictly follow the healthcare standards and protocols set by certifying bodies to ensure quality medical care without compromising patient safety. The hospitals have highly-experienced doctors who are capable of performing even the most complex surgeries with high accuracy and precision.

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