Surgical treatment for chronic pain in cervical region is an expensive affair in countries like USA and Canada, and inaccessible to many patients. People looking for affordable spine treatments abroad, may find Korea to be the right destination that offers low-cost treatments, without compromising on the standard of services. Cervical disc replacement surgery in Korea is available at a JCI accredited hospital at relatively cheaper costs.
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Indications for Replacement of Cervical Disc
- This surgery is recommended for patients who:
- Are suffering from cervical degenerative disc diseases.
- Have tried and failed conventional non-surgical treatment.
- Have not undergone any prior surgery in the neck region.
- This procedure is not recommended if the patient is suffering from any cervical spine instability, significant facet joint damage, infection, etc.
- The overall health of the patient will be evaluated to analyze their eligibility for the surgery.
- For patients considering disc replacement surgery in Korea, the initial evaluation will be based on a medical questionnaire that they will be required to fill.
- Various imaging studies like X-ray, MRI and CT scans are usually required.
- Once the surgery is decided, the patients will be guided through the required pre-operative tests.
Details of Disc Replacement Procedure
- Surgery is performed from the anterior part of the body through an incision made in the skin and soft tissues of the neck.
- In this procedure, damaged / degenerated disc is removed.
- The created disc space is distracted or jacked up to its normal height in order to relieve pressure on the spinal nerves.
- An artificial disc is then implanted into this space.
Advantages of Disc Replacement Surgery
- A research conducted by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and other U.S. centers has reported that artificial disc replacement gives results that are as good as, or often better than fusion surgery.
- The biggest advantage of disc replacement is that movement in the cervical region is not affected as it happens in fusion surgery.
Like any other surgery, disc implantation procedure for treatment of cervical degenerative disc diseases carries certain amount of risks. Some of them are:
- Allergic reaction to the implanted material.
- Bending, breaking, movement or migration of disc implant.
- Infection of the disc or at the site of insertion.
- Injury to the spinal cord or nerves.
- Reaction to anesthesia.
Tips for Tourists in Korea
According to the Official website of U.S. Department of State, Republic of Korea has a low crime rate. However, medical tourists are advised to follow basic precautionary steps. Some of the useful safety tips are:
- Tourists should not leave any important document in the hotel room.
- A money belt should be used to keep cash and important documents.
- South Korean Won is the official currency, but US Dollars are accepted at many places.
- A US dollar can be approximately worth 1,100 SK Won; the currency varies with exchange rates.
- Few people in Korea speak English, and you may have some difficulty communicating. However, Koreans are congenial and helpful, and you may easily expect assistance from their English-speaking population.
- Seoul cabs have free English helpline.
- Carrying an identification proof could prove helpful in case of any adverse situation.
- South Korea has large businesses in electronics, robotics, petrochemicals, ships, and machinery, and may offer you intriguing items for shopping.
- In case of emergency, dial 112 or, from a cell phone, 02-112.
Spine surgery in Korea could be significantly cheaper than in many western countries. Cervical artificial disc replacement surgery in Korea can be combined with a visit to some of the popular tourist attractions of the city such as Korean Folk Museum, Seoul History Museum, Olympic Park, Yongsan Park, Everland Amusement Parks, etc.