Bone Marrow Transplant cost in South Korea

More than 50,000 hematopoietic transplants are being performed worldwide every year. Bone marrow transplants are mostly performed in case the existing or native tissue fails to produce necessary healthy blood corpuscles required for maintaining normal blood circulation. Transplantation is required in case of hematopoietic stem cell disorders, aplastic anemia, leukemia, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, cancer and various other diseases in which the bone marrow tissue loses its functioning ability. 

What is Bone Marrow transplantation?

Either due to blood-related disorders or chemotherapy, the bone marrow often gets affected and loses its functioning ability, which results in faulty production of matured blood corpuscles, as well as weakening of the body's defense mechanism. The transportation procedure is furnished via two methods:

  • Autologous transplant: Tissue from the healthy bone marrow is used to replace the damaged tissue of the same individual. Since the method does not require any donor, the procedure is preferred if the individual shows signs of any particular region is affected, whereas the other bone marrow shows sufficient production of blood corpuscles. 
  • Allogeneic transplant: Tissue from a different individual is used to replace the diseased tissue. The required tissue is harvested, frozen and transplanted into compatible individuals, who are henceforth, able to revive and survive with a healthy life. 

Ideal Candidates for Bone Marrow Transplant

Determining the candidacy for bone marrow transplant is an important step that helps in deciding the requirement of progressive treatment. Hence, candidates may require a transplant, if:

  • Suffers from blood-related disorders that reduce life expectancy or poses a threat to major organs in the body
  • Has undergone recent chemotherapy treatments for cancer
  • Suffers from stem cell disorder
  • Suffers from bone marrow cancer
  • Suffers from an inherited genetic anomaly

Factors affecting the cost of Bone Marrow transplant surgery

Bone marrow transplant cost depends on the type of transplant required and may vary from $10,210 to $60,000 for autologous transplants, and $11,312 to $100,000 for allogeneic transplantation. BMT cost may also vary according to other factors, such as:

  • The country where the procedure is availed 
  • Type of disease-causing the damage
  • The extent of disease or damage
  • The extent of the destruction of cells due to chemotherapy 
  • Healthcare benefits required
  • Type of multispecialty healthcare unit where the transplantation is being performed.
Treatment and Cost

90

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

30 Day in Hospital

60 Days Outside Hospital

Treatment cost starts from

USD 220000

Hospitals

About the Bone Marrow Transplant

Stem cell transplant is one modern technology that is undergoing rapid improvements. It is said these days that instead of investing in various life insurance policies that are making the rounds in the market, to secure the future and precious life of your child go for stem cell technologies. This can later cure him or her from any life threatening terminal disease like cancer. Stem cell transplant has been used in recent times as a cure for cancer, but the technique is different from the stem cell bank that is maintained these days for new born.

 

Who needs a stem cell transplant?

The bone marrow which is part of the bones is responsible for making blood cells. It is soft and spongy tissue lodged inside the bone having hematopoietic stem cells. These cells either turn into bone marrow cells or can turn into any other kinds of cells or the blood cells. But there are certain forms of cancers that can keep these cells from developing normally.

A patient is recommended to get a blood as well as bone marrow stem cell transplant if they are in a condition which prevents the body from producing new healthy blood cells. Some of the conditions and diseases that prevent the bone marrow from doing so are given below:

  • Cancers like Myeloma, breast cancer, leukemia, Lymphoma may require stem cell transplant
  • Blood diseases which may require are sickle cell anemia, aplastic anemia and thalassemia
  • There are immune deficiency diseases like the congenital neutropenia, severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome, chronic granulomatous disease may demand a stem cell transplant.

The oncologist or hematologist shall decide for a stem cell transplant for a patient depending upon overall age and health, severity of the diseases and other treatment possibilities.

 

What is a stem cell transplant?

So the stem cell transplant is a kind of treatment to treat blood disorders or any types of cancer. Even blood diseases are also treated with transplants. Previously patients had to undergo a bone marrow transplant due to the fact that stem cells are collected from the bone marrow. But today stem cells get collected from the blood. And for this particular reason they are now called stem cell transplants. Nowadays stem cell therapies are used to combat hair loss and many other aesthetic related issues.

Some of the different types of stem cell treatments available are discussed below

Autologous transplant: These kinds of transplants are known as auto transplant. This kind of transplant has the scope  of very high dose chemotherapy paired with autologous stem cell rescue. In this process usually the doctors treat the cancel and then make use of the stem cells from the patient itself. From the blood, stem cells are collected and the health care team then freezes it. These cells are usually placed back in the blood after thawing them in the frozen state post the chemotherapy. The cells take almost 24 hours to reach the bone marrow and start multiplying to give rise to healthy blood cells.

Allogenic transplantation: This is better known as an allo transplant medically. In this case stem cells are obtained from another individual. But this individual needs to be someone with whom the bone marrow of the patient matches. Due to presence of proteins in white blood cells called the human leukocyte antigens (HLA) it is important that bone marrow matching takes place. The most compatible stem cell donor will have the HLA matching with that of the patient.

But the process of matching can also give rise to a very severe condition named graft versus host disease or GVHD but then it is not very likely. In this kind of a disease the healthy cells obtained from transplantation will start attacking the cells of the patients. In such cases siblings are considered to be the best match. And if they are not available then some other close family member can also work. Once the donor is fixed then the patient starts receiving chemotherapy session with or without radiotherapy. The other person’s stem is then placed in a vein via a tube. These cells unlike the previous ones are not frozen so they can be given immediately after the completion of chemotherapy.

There can be two types of Allo transplantation depending upon the age, condition and the disease that is being addressed:

The first kind is ablative where high dose of chemotherapy is used and in the second kind milder doses of chemotherapy is employed.

When the assigned health care team is unable to find a matched adult donor then are other options that must be considered like the Umbilical cord blood transplant and these days cancer centers all around the globe make use of cord blood.

Parent child transplant and haplotype mismatched transplant: In these kinds of transplants which are commonly employed the match found is 50% instead of 100% and the donor can be a parent, child or brother and sister.

How is Bone Marrow Transplant performed?

The first step in bone marrow transplant is to reduce the tumour so that the stem cell transplant success rate is improved. The process of harvesting stem cells takes around three to four hours, depending on the number of stem cells collected. The entire process may take around three to five days to complete. Blood count is daily monitored during collection of stem cells to ensure that it does not go below the admissible levels in the donor, which may contribute to anaemia.

A catheter is placed in the donor’s arm during the actual stem cell transplant procedure. The catheter is connected to a special machine that separated stem cells from the blood. After extracting the stem cells, the remaining blood is infused back into the donor's body.

 

Stem Cell Harvesting Procedure

The stem cell concentration in the bone marrow is almost 10 to 100 times more than the levels found in peripheral blood. The hip bone is considered to have the greatest amount of marrow in the active state and a large number of stem cells can also be extracted from there.

The process of harvesting the stem cells from the bone marrow is carried out in an operating room. The donor is given either general anaesthesia, an epidural, or spinal anaesthesia.

The surgeon makes a number of punctures over the skin covering the pelvic bone. A special kind of needle attached to a syringe is then inserted through these punctures. The needle penetrates the bone marrow and blood is drawn out along with marrow through the syringe. The process is continued several times to ensure enough numbers of stem cells are collected as required for the transplant. The whole duration can last for a period of one to two hours. The amount of blood and marrow removed will vary according to the weight and concentration of stem cells in the marrow of the donor. At the end of this procedure, the surgeon covers the puncture region with pressure dressing and bandages. The collected cells are filtered to separate fat particles and fragments of bones. The donor is taken to the recovery room where the hospital team checks for signs of pain, bleeding or any other side effects of the procedure. The donor can leave the hospital in a few hours after his or her body has recovered. But in some cases, they may be required to stay overnight for better monitoring.

The hip area of the donor remains sore for a few days and it is important to take medicines as directed to relieve the pain. Until the blood cell counts increase, doctors may suggest iron supplements t to enhance the ability of the bone marrow to replenish blood cells.

 

Stem Cell Transplant Procedure

High dose of chemotherapy is given to the patient immediately after stem cell collection or can even be done at a later stage. Stem cells are injected into the bloodstream of the patient after the completion of high dose chemotherapy. These stem cells travel all the way to bone marrow to start producing new blood cells, which is important as a number of healthy blood cells are lost during high dose chemotherapy.

Recovery from Bone Marrow Transplant

Until the bone marrow is in a position to make sufficient blood cells, the patient is at the risk of contracting infections and diseases. Therefore, the patient is kept in an isolation room following stem cell transplantation to protect him or her from contamination. The stay in isolation room lasts for over a week or until the level of blood cells is back to normal again.

Isolation is more important in the case of allogeneic stem cell transplant than autologous stem cell transplant. This is the reason why some hospitals do not prefer to keep a patient who has had an autologous transplant isolated.

During the recovery period, only one or two visitors are allowed to visit the patient. Those who are already ill should strictly avoid visiting the patient. There are a few hospital who conduct autologous stem cell transplant on an outpatient basis. However, the patient must come for follow-up 0vists regularly for monitoring of their health.

Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the factors affecting the cost of Bone Marrow Transplant in South Korea?

Different hospitals have different pricing policy when it comes to the cost of Bone Marrow Transplant in South Korea. The top hospitals for Bone Marrow Transplant in South Korea covers all the expenses related to the pre-surgery investigations of the candidate. Typically, the package cost of Bone Marrow Transplant in South Korea includes the expenses related to the surgeon's fee, anesthesia, hospital, meals, nursing and ICU stay. A prolonged hospital stay due to delayed recovery, new diagnosis and complications after surgery may increase the cost of Bone Marrow Transplant in South Korea.

Which are some of the best hospitals in South Korea for Bone Marrow Transplantt?

Bone Marrow Transplant in South Korea is offered by multiple hospitals across the country. The following are some of the most renowned hospitals for Bone Marrow Transplant in South Korea:

  1. Asan Medical Centre
How many days does it take to recover post Bone Marrow Transplant in South Korea?

After discharge from the hospital, the patient has to stay for another 90 days in the country for complete recovery. This duration of stay is recommended to complete all the necessary follow-ups and control tests to ensure that the surgery was successful.

Which are some of the other popular destinations for Bone Marrow Transplant?

While South Korea is considered to be one of the best destinations for Bone Marrow Transplant owing to the standard of Hospitals, and expertise of doctors; there are a select few destinations which provide comparable quality of healthcare for the procedure Some of the other destinations that are popular for Bone Marrow Transplant include the following:

CountryCost
IndiaUSD 18000
IsraelUSD 98000
SingaporeUSD 400000
SpainUSD 86000
ThailandUSD 155000
TurkeyUSD 40000
How much are the other expenses in South Korea apart from the cost of Bone Marrow Transplant?

There are certain expenses additional to the Bone Marrow Transplant cost that the patient may have to pay for. These are the chanrges for daily meals and hotel stay outside the hospital. The extra charges may start from USD 50 per person.

Which are the best cities in South Korea for Bone Marrow Transplant Procedure?

The following are some of the best cities for Bone Marrow Transplant in South Korea:

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

The average duration of stay at the hospital after Bone Marrow Transplant is about 30 days for proper care and monitoring. The doctors team review the patient's recovery during this time with the help of blood tests and imaging scans. Once they feel that everything is on track, the patient is discharged.

How many hospitals offer Bone Marrow Transplant in South Korea?

There are more than 1 hospitals that offer Bone Marrow Transplant in South Korea. The above listed hospitals are approved to perform the surgery and have proper infrastructure to handle Bone Marrow Transplant patients. Such hospitals follow all legal protocols and guidelines as specified by the local medical affairs body when it comes to the treatment of international patients.

Who are the best doctors for Bone Marrow Transplant in South Korea?

Some of the most sought after doctors for Bone Marrow Transplant in South Korea are:

  1. Dr. Yang Won Seok
  2. Dr. Kim Soon Bae
  3. Dr. Jung Hee Lee
  4. Dr. Hwang Shin
  5. Dr. Lee Sung Gyu
  6. Dr. Kyoo Hyung Lee

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. Around 29 hospitals in South Korea are accredited by JCI which has set strict quality standards that the accredited hospitals need to follow. KOIHA has a standard procedure for evaluating a healthcare facility and the quality parameters include administrative management and quality of patient care, and performance management. JCI and KOIHA certified hospitals need to follow the standards that require strict monitoring of all critical events so that quality care is ensured.

Why should I opt for healthcare in South Korea?

South Korea is considered one of the top destinations for medical tourists with superior infrastructure and most advanced medical technologies. South Korea has world-class hospitals with highly-trained doctors who strictly follows the medical protocols to ensure safe treatment with a high success rate. Proving quality care at an affordable cost, the country is declared most innovative in healthcare practices. A number of other factors make South Korea the most sought-after destination for medical tourism, such as affordable accommodation, a wide range of food options, scenic value, visa availability, transportation facilities, and language assistance.

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. The well-qualified doctors have received education from reputed universities and have recorded high success rates throughout their career. In order to ensure quality medical care and patient safety, the doctors completely adhere to international standards and medical protocols. The doctors focus on preventative medicine to check complications and believe in treating patients with a human touch.

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

Connect with the concerned authority to find out if you require any extra documents as each country has different documentation policies. You are suggested to make a list of all the documents that you will need in South Korea so that you do not miss any of them. Travel insurance paper, currency/forex card, and international SIM card are some other documents you may need when traveling to another country. 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?

A large number of people visit South Korea every year to avail procedures like:

  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 also made major advances in cancer treatment and the latest technology used to remove cancer cells are robotic surgeries and proton therapies.

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

Some of the most visited cities offering quality treatment in South Korea are Seoul, Busan, Incheon, Daegu, Cheonan, and Cheonan. The reasons why these cities are more preferred by medical tourists are state-of-art infrastructure, large number of hospitals, and highly qualified doctors, all contributing to world-class treatment. Several other reasons that contribute to the popularity of these cities are transportation facilities, affordable accommodation, more food options, language assistance. Seoul boasts of having the world’s highest per-capita rate of cosmetic surgeries and Gangnam district has around 500 cosmetic and aesthetic centers.

How to obtain a medical visa for South Korea?

A person willing to visit South Korea for treatment has to adhere to strict protocols set by the Korean embassy. A candidate has to produce medical records citing medical reasons 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 has some of the recognized multispecialty hospitals in the world, 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.

Backed by state-of-art infrastructure and advanced medical technology, the world-class multispecialty hospitals in South Korea are able to provide unmatched treatment of international standards. The hospitals are committed to delivering quality medical care by ensuring that healthcare standards and protocols are strictly followed. With a wide range of specialities, the hospitals have reported high success rates with the help of highly-experienced doctors who are capable of performing even the most complex surgeries with high accuracy and precision.

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