Disc replacement, also known as artificial disc replacement, is an orthopedic procedure in which the worn out or damaged part of the disc material between the two vertebrae is removed and replaced with an artificial or synthetic disc. Depending on the location of damage, this procedure can either be cervical or lumbar disc replacement. This surgery is usually performed by making an incision in the abdomen (for lumbar) or neck (for cervical) and it may take the surgeons up to three hours to perform this procedure.

Disc Replacement Surgery in Turkey

Disc replacement surgery is the surgery conducted on either the lumbar or cervical region of the spine. In this surgery, the disc present in between the vertebrae, are replaced with the artificial disc. This technique is significantly advantageous as compared to the spinal fusion as there is a restriction of movement between the fused vertebrae in spinal fusion. Disc replacement surgery either reduces or completely eradicates the pain while maintaining the movement of that particular portion of the spine.

Although well known for its sandy beaches and royal palaces, turkey is now becoming a major attraction for medical tourism. The number of patients visiting turkey for the major as well as minor treatment is exponentially increasing and according to an estimate, more than 1 million people visited turkey for treatment. The primary factors responsible for fueling this growth, apart from its out-of-the-world landscapes, includes significant cost variations compared to the developed countries, extensively experienced and highly trained medical as well as para-medical staff and modern facilities available in most of the hospitals in Turkey. Further, various top hospitals of Turkey have collaborated with the finest hospitals of US such as John Hopkins Institute. Hospitals, capable of performing slip disc surgeries in turkey, are well-equipped for performing the major orthopedic and neurological surgeries such as disc replacement surgery. Experienced spine surgeon with advanced degree and training are accompanied by expansively trained paramedical staff with sophisticated machines and equipment for performing surgery. According to an estimate, by 2023, the number of people visiting Turkey, for their treatment, would rise to 20 lakhs and the total market would be around $20 billion.

Disc Replacement Cost in Turkey vs Rest of the World

The disc replacement surgery cost in Turkey is significantly lower as compared to the cost of similar surgeries in developed countries such as the US and UK. The quality of healthcare and success rate for this particular surgery is at par with the developed countries. The average cost of disc replacement surgery in Turkey is approximately $5000 to $6500. The slip disc surgery cost in turkey depends upon the variety of factors and the cost is increased in case better facilities are chosen. Type of hospital, infrastructure available at the hospital, type of room opted for admission, the experience of the doctor, the success rate of doctor and hospital, cost of testing and medications, number of days of hospital stay, and the cost of follow-up visit make the total cost of treatment variable. Further, the cost will be determined after the diagnosis and evaluation of the condition are done by the spine surgeon. The cost might be increased if the patient suffers from any underlying disease as this may increase the days of stay in the hospital. Further, the cost may also vary due to the type of artificial disc chosen by the patient and the type of surgery such as Disc nucleus replacement surgery or total disc replacement surgery.

Treatment and Cost

12

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

5 Day in Hospital

7 Days Outside Hospital

Treatment cost starts from

USD 7500

Hospitals

The spinal cord is a linear arrangement of many small bones known as vertebrae. These vertebrae consist of spaces between them known as intervertebral spaces. They are filled with cartilaginous structures that provide a cushioning effect to the vertebrae and support the movement of the spine. These cartilaginous structures are called Intervertebral discs.

Any pathology of the intervertebral discs such as disc herniation (slipping of the disc from between the vertebrae), ruptured disc, or degenerative disc disease may cause severe back pain due to nerve impingement, indicating the need for either partial or total disc replacement. In partial disc replacement surgery, only a portion of the cartilaginous disc is replaced by the artificial disc, while the total disc is replaced in the total disc replacement surgery.

Cervical disc degeneration and disc rupture may cause chronic neck pain radiating towards the arm.  Thoracic disc degeneration may cause chronic upper/ mid back pain while lumbar disc degeneration may cause chronic lower back pain.

 

Conditions that indicate the need for a disc replacement surgery:

  • Discitis (Inflammation of the intervertebral disc)
  • Scoliosis (abnormal spinal curve laterally)
  • Herniated disc in back (slipping of the cartilaginous disc into surrounding tissue)
  • Disc degeneration and disc rupture (infection of the intervertebral disc causing its degeneration.

Depending on the site of injury, any one of the following three types of incisions are made:

  • For cervical vertebrae: Incision in front of the neck, at the level of the vertebrae
  • For thoracic vertebrae: Trans thoracic incision, at the level of the vertebrae
  • For Lumbar and sacral vertebrae: Abdominal incision, at the level of the vertebrae

Once the incision is made, the following steps are performed:

Step 1: The organs are retracted once an incision is made to enable visibility

Step 2: The damaged or protruding disc is removed

Step 3: An artificial disc in place of excised disc is placed

Step 4 The artificial disc is secured to the adjacent vertebrae

Step 5: A sealing material between the frictional surfaces of the artificial disc is placed, if required

Step 6: The incision is surgically closed

You may be discharged after two to four days, after a thorough evaluation by the physical therapists. You are taught the proper techniques of getting in and out of bed before discharge from the hospital. You should avoid bending or twisting for the first two to four weeks to avoid straining the surgical site. You may be advised to use braces if your condition requires support in the lower back.

You may recover and get back to normal activities within three weeks after disc replacement surgery. Studies reveal that patients who successfully undergo total disc replacement surgery remain asymptomatic and free from chronic back pain for an average of 8.7 years.

The recovery time after total disc replacement is significantly less than that of spinal fusion surgery. The mobility is not compromised, and the prognosis is good. The success rate of the disc replacement surgery is around 98 percent.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Turkey is among the favorite destination for medical tourism and is ranked third in this segment, after US and South Korea. Competitive prices with world-class medical facilities have put Turkey high among medical tourists. The cost of disc replacement surgery in turkey is low as compared to other destinations. Customized post-surgical rehabilitation centers, experienced and trained doctors, English speaking paramedical staff and World-class infrastructure attract the patients requiring disc replacement surgery. With just 75000 patients from various countries in the year 2007, the country had served more than 10 lakh foreign patients in the year 2018, thanks to its low cost and most-modern facilities along with the transformation of a health visit to summer holidays. The country is becoming popular healthcare destinations for the residents of the US, Europe, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. The spine surgeons in turkey are experienced in performing the disc replacement surgery with high ease, through modern equipment and delivering a high success rate.

The cost of disc replacement surgery in turkey varies with the area as well as the type of hospital. Various other factors also contribute to the total cost of the treatment. These factors are the type of the hospital and available infrastructure and facilities, success rate of the hospital in disc replacement surgery, years of experience of doctor, post-surgical care, and follow-up consultation charges. The average cost of disc replacement surgery is about $5000 to $6500. These charges are lower than the charges for disc replacement surgeries in other countries.

Following are the top spine surgeons in turkey:

1) Prof. Dr. Ilhan Elmaci, Medipol Mega University Hospital, Istanbul

2) Prof. Dr. Talat Kiris, Liv Hospital, Istanbul

3) Dr. Erdinç Özek, Medipol Mega University Hospital, Istanbul

4) Dr. Necmettin Pamir, Acibadem University Atakent Hospital, Istanbul

5) Prof. Evren Keleş MD, Koc University Hospital, Istanbul

6) Dr. Serdar Aydin, Kadikoy Florence Nightingale Hospital, Istanbul

7) Dr. Selim Ayhan, Acıbadem Ankara Hospital Spine, and Spinal Cord Center, Ankara

8) Prf. Dr. Gökhan Acka, Anadolu Medical Center, Gebze/Kocaeli

Following are the top hospitals of turkey performing disc replacement surgery:

1) Liv Hospital, Istanbul

2) Koc University Hospital, Istanbul

3) Kadikoy Florence Nightingale Hospital, Istanbul

4) Anadolu Medical Center, Gebze/Kocaeli

5) Medipol Mega University Hospital, Istanbul

6) Acıbadem Ankara Hospital Spine and Spinal Cord Center, Ankara

Disc replacement surgeries are successfully performed in the hospitals situated at Istanbul, Ankara and Gebze/Kocaeli as these cities are known for their infrastructure, modern facilities and have the power to attract tourist due to their marvelous landscapes. top hospitals for spine surgery in Istanbul are Liv Hospital and Medipol Mega University Hospital.

The healthcare infrastructure of Turkey comprises health centers, health posts, mother and child health and family planning centers, tuberculosis dispensaries, etc. Health centers are each staffed by a team consisting of a doctor, a nurse, a midwife, a health technician, and an administrator. Health posts report to health centers and are each staffed by a midwife. Health centers and health posts are the only settings providing preventive care, health promotion, and community-based health services. All other settings use specialists to provide just primary diagnostic and curative care. Turkey is turning out to be a preferred destination for medical treatment by many people across the world for its pace of development. The people are friendly and the administration is efficient. After the treatment in Turkey, one can even choose to unwind amidst its beauty.
The Joint Commission International (JCI) is a global leader in health care accreditation. JCI accreditation is considered a gold standard in worldwide health care. It provides the most skilled and experienced healthcare professionals in the medical industry, as evaluators of the rigorous international standards in healthcare quality and patient safety. Here are a few JCI certified hospitals in Turkey :
  • Anadolu Medical Center
  • Hisar Intercontinental Hospital
  • Medipol Mega University Hospital
  • NP Istanbul Brain Hospital
  • Neolife Oncology Center
  • Liv Hospital
  • Medicana Healthcare Group
  • Kadikoy Florence Nightingale Hospital
  • Istanbul Memorial Hospital
  • Memorial Antalya Hospital
  • Taksim Hospital
  • Dunyagoz Hospitals Group, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Medical Park Hospitals Group
  • Medical Park Göztepe Hospital Complex
  • Acibadem Maslak Hospital
  • German Hospital Taksim
  • Medical Park Bahçelievler Hospital
  • Göktürk Florence Nightingale Medical Center
  • International Hospital
  • Aydinlar Dental Group
Doctors in Turkey are highly educated and well trained. This is one of the reasons why many people flock to Turkey for medical treatment. The doctors are skilled and can converse fluently in English and other foreign languages.
At present, there are two types of medical visas available for your visit to Turkey:
  1. Medical Visa, which can be obtained from the Consulate of Turkey
  2. Online Visa (eVisa), which can be obtained in advance of arrival via the government of Turkey’s online visa system.
Visitors must obtain a medical visa for traveling to Turkey unless they come from visa-exempt countries and territories or citizens of those countries, which are eligible to apply for an e-Visa online. How To Acquire Online Medical Visas (e-Visa or electronic visa) :
  1. Simply visit www.evisa.gov.tr and apply on the platform by selecting your country and the type of passport or identity card. The platform is self-explanatory and will guide you throughout every step.
  2. Once you are done filling the form, save and download the form for future references.
  3. The applicant must visit the nearby Turkish embassy in his/her country to get the approval of the Consulate.
  4. Once the visa is approved, the travel dates can be scheduled accordingly.
MediGence has been praised on a global scale for the list of services they provide. Apart from the listed services, the staff and the guides are adorned for their customer interaction, impromptu assistance, and various other assistance related guidance throughout the tour. Thus, the list of services provided by MediGence are:
  • Insurance query related guidance
  • In-detail guidance till completion of the medical tour
  • Visa Assistance
  • Free airport to hospital transfer
  • On-Ground Support
  • Teleconsultations
  • Accommodations Assistance
  • Rehabilitation and recovery services
The capital of Turkey is Istanbul. Istanbul is easily accessible and the preferred location for medical treatment. Other cities with good hospitals are Izmit and Bursa.

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