Kidney Transplant cost in South Korea

Statistical reports over the past decade flaunt a record of more than 70,000-80,000 kidney transplants performed worldwide every year. Renal transplants are performed in case of terminal damage to the kidney or end-stage kidney failure. The procedure replaces the damaged or diseased kidney of the sufferer with a healthy kidney from living (mostly) donors. Renal transplantation offers an increase in the life expectancy of the candidate by 12 to 20 years. 

What is kidney transplantation? 

A healthy kidney for transplantation can be furnished either from a cadaveric donor or a living donor. The kidney from the living donor can be further fetched either from the genetically compatible donor or a biologically unrelated donor, as per the availability of the organ. Transplantation is the only remaining option in case of complete kidney failure, due to which, there is an excess accumulation of toxic substances and decreased metabolic activity of the body. The patient shall need immediate renal transplantation in case of unresponsive conservative treatments and repetitive dialysis.

Ideal Candidates for Kidney Transplant 

Candidacy for kidney transplantation is primarily decided before every procedure, to ensure necessary care is given to the ones who are in urgent need. An individual is considered an ideal candidate if:

  • Suffers from terminal-stage kidney disease, or from Stage IV or Stage V progressed stage kidney damage. 
  • Suffers from severe diseases affecting other organs
  • Suffers multiple organ damage, and requires other organ transplantation
  • Suffers from chronic type 1 diabetes, and may require joint transplantation of kidney as well as pancreas.

Factors affecting the cost of kidney transplant surgery

Kidney transplant cost may vary from a fair price of $7477, and may even exceed &17,000. Such high difference is because the renal transplant cost may be affected by a number of factors, such as:

  • The complexity of the condition of the patient
  • The extent of damage and surgery required
  • Number of procedures required
  • Multispecialty hospitality where transplantation is performed
  • Experience and proficiency of surgeons performing
  • Medical and healthcare facilities availed
  • Availability of organ 
  • The country where the procedure is availed
Treatment and Cost

45

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

7 Day in Hospital

38 Days Outside Hospital

Treatment cost starts from

USD 81000

Hospitals

About the Kidney Transplant

 

There are many options when it comes to the treatment of a kidney that fails to maintain normal function in the body. Kidney transplant surgery is one of the most successful ways to restore normal functioning of the affected kidneys as it allows for an access to greater freedom and a better quality of life.

A kidney transplant patient is more likely to enjoy bouts of energy and follow the less strict diet as compared to patients who choose an alternative treatment.

The kidney performs several important functions in the human body. Even slight damage to the kidneys can, therefore, cause a lot of problems. When the kidney is rendered incapable of its main function, that is, removal of waste products from the blood, a condition called uremia develops.

Unfortunately, the symptoms of this condition do not develop unless 90 percent of the kidney is damaged. This is the time when an individual would require a kidney transplantation surgery or dialysis to restore the normal functioning.

There are several other kidney diseases that warrant the need for a kidney transplantation. Some of these conditions include the following:

    • Deep-rooted problem in the anatomy of the urinary tract
    • Extremely high blood pressure
    • Glomerulonephritis
    • Polycystic kidney disease
    • Diabetes mellitus

 

Symptoms of Kidney Dysfunction

Some of the common symptoms observed in the case of kidney diseases include the following:

  • Shortness of breath and general fatigue
  • Retention of fluid causing swelling (edema)
  • Foamy and dark orange,  brown, red or tea-colored urine
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Back pain
  • Restless legs and inability to sleep due to leg cramps
  • Metallic taste
  • Breathing problems due to urea build up in blood
  • Loss of appetite
  • Numbness in the toes or fingertips and tingling sensation
  • Problem concentrating

How is Kidney Transplant performed?

The kidney transplant surgery is performed under the influence of general anesthesia. The operation can range from two to four hours. Since the kidney is placed in a different location than where it naturally exists, this kind of procedure is called a heterotypic transplant.

Kidney Transplant vs Other Organ Transplants

This is unlike liver and heart transplant surgeries during which the organ is placed in the same location after removing the diseased organ. Thus, in the case of a kidney transplant, diseased kidneys are left in its original position.

During the kidney transplant procedure, an intravenous line is initiated in the hand or arm and catheters are connected to the wrist and neck to check the blood pressure, heart status and take samples of blood. Groin or region below the collarbone can also be used for insertion of catheters.

The hair is shaved off or cleared in the region of the surgical site and a urinary catheter is inserted into the bladder. The patient is positioned on the operating table lying on their back. After the administration of general anesthesia, a tube is positioned into the lungs through the mouth. This tube is attached to a ventilator so that the patient can breathe during the surgery.

Anesthesia and Kidney Donor

The anesthesiologist closely monitors the blood oxygen level, breathing, heart rate and blood pressure. The site of the incision is cleaned with an antiseptic solution. A long incision is made by the doctor on one side of the lower abdomen. The donor's kidney is visually inspected before implantation.

Now the donor's kidney is placed in the abdomen. Usually, the left donor kidney is implanted on the right side and vice versa. This leaves scope to connect ureters with the bladder. To the external iliac artery and vein, the renal artery and vein of the donor's kidney are sewn.

The donor ureter is then connected to the urinary bladder of the patient. With surgical staples and stitches, the incision is closed and a drain is positioned at the incision site to prevent swelling. Lastly, a sterile bandage or dressing is placed.

Recovery from Kidney Transplant

After the surgery, close monitoring of the functioning of transplanted kidney and signs of adjustment, rejection, infection, and immunosuppression is done. Almost 30 percent of the cases experience a few side effects related to organ rejection and it usually happens within a period of 6 months. In some cases, it can even happen years later. Quick treatment can negate and fight rejection in such cases.

Recovery post Kidney Transplant Procedure

Immunosuppressive agents that fight rejection prevent this from happening. These medications have advised to the transplant patients for their lifetime. The kidney transplant success rate is challenged if these medications are stopped. A combination of drugs is usually recommended

It takes around two to three days for the recipient to be discharged from the hospital after the surgery. The patient is encouraged to take small steps and start walking and moving a bit. Kidney transplant recovery period lasts for around two to three weeks of the surgery, after which the patient may return back to normal life.

 

Pros and Cons of Kidney transplant

 

Pros

    • It improves life and is better than most other alternatives
    • Little restriction on diet
    • Mostly covered by insurance

 

Cons

  • Rejection of the transplanted kidney
  • Medications have to be followed religiously
  • Medications may have side effects

Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

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

The Kidney Transplant package cost in South Korea varies from one hospital to another and may offer different benefits. The top hospitals for Kidney Transplant in South Korea covers all the expenses related to the pre-surgery investigations of the candidate. The Kidney Transplant cost in South Korea includes the cost of anesthesia, medicines, hospitalization and the surgeon's fee. Post-surgical complications, new findings and delayed recovery may have an impact on the total Kidney Transplant cost in South Korea.

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

There are many hospitals across the country that offer Kidney Transplant to international patients. For quick reference, the following are some of the leading hospitals for Kidney Transplant in South Korea:

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

Upon discharge from the hospital after Kidney Transplant in South Korea, the patients are advised to stay for about 45 days for recovery. During this time, the patient undergoes medical tests and consultations. this is to ensure that the treatment was successful and the patient us safe to return.

Which are some of the other popular destinations for Kidney Transplant?

South Korea is one of the most popular countries for Kidney Transplant in the world. The country offers the best cost of Kidney Transplant, best doctors, and advanced hospital infrastructure. Some of the other popular destinations for Kidney Transplant include the following:

CountryCost
IndiaUSD 13000
IsraelUSD 160000
SingaporeUSD 40000
South AfricaUSD 7000
ThailandUSD 55000
TurkeyUSD 18000
How much are the other expenses in South Korea apart from the cost of Kidney Transplant?

Apart from the Kidney Transplant cost, the patient may have to pay for additional daily expenses such as for guest house after discharge and meals. The extra charges may start from USD 50 per person.

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

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

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

The patient is supposed to stay at the hospital for about 7 days after Kidney Transplant for monitoring and care. During the recovery, the patient is carefully monitored and control tests are performed to see that everything is okay. If required, physiotherapy sessions are also planned during recovery in hospital.

How many hospitals offer Kidney Transplant in South Korea?

There are more than 1 hospitals that offer Kidney Transplant in South Korea. The above listed clinics are approved to perform the surgery and have proper infrastructure to handle Kidney Transplant patients. 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 Kidney Transplant in South Korea?

Some of the top medical specialists for Kidney 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. JCI has a strong framework for quality standards that accredited hospitals need to follow and there are about 29 JCI certified hospitals in South Korea. 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. The certified hospitals are strictly monitored by the accreditation bodies to ensure the quality of healthcare is as per the international standards.

Why should I opt for healthcare in South Korea?

South Korea is recognized as one of the popular medical tourism destinations in the world with state-of-art infrastructure and the latest 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, South Korea is declared most innovative in healthcare practices which helps 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. The well-qualified doctors have received education from reputed universities and have recorded high success rates throughout their career. The doctors strictly follow medical protocols and adhere to international standards to ensure quality treatment and complete patient satisfaction. The doctors acknowledge the power of the human touch in providing an effective treatment and also believe in personalized care for getting desired results.

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. Make a list of all the documents you might need in South Korea in order to make sure that you do not miss any of them. Some other things documents you may need are currency/forex card, travel insurance paper, international SIM card. Make sure that you carry all the essential documents when traveling to South Korea, such as passport copies, test reports, residence/ driver’s license, bank statement, doctor referral notes, medical history, 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

. South Korea has reported the highest per capita rate of plastic surgery, according to a recent survey and the country is flocked with a high number of cosmetic clinics. Other most sought-after procedures available in South Korea are hip and shoulder replacement, cancer treatment, organ transplant, and cardiovascular surgeries. South Korea has come up with advanced techniques for effective cancer treatment like proton therapies and robotic surgery.

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

The cities that attract a large number of medical tourists in South Korea are Incheon, Daegu, Seoul, Busan, 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. These cities have gained popularity in medical tourism due to several other reasons like transportation facilities, cheap accommodation, more food options, language assistance. A large number of plastic surgeries are formed in Seoul every year and the city is flocked with several 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. All necessary papers stating the medical reason and the referral certificate signed by the registered medical expert need to be produced. A medical dependent visa is given to people who are accompanying the patient traveling to South Korea 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.

The multispecialty hospitals in South Korea provide world-class treatment with the help of high-tech equipment, the latest medical technologies, and state-of-art infrastructure. The hospitals are committed to delivering quality medical care by ensuring that healthcare standards and protocols are strictly followed. The hospitals are backed by highly skilled and trained doctors who are efficient in performing even the most complex surgeries with great accuracy and precision.

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