Korea is famous for its medical tourism and advanced plastic surgery techniques. When I visited Korea, so many of the regular women walking the street were gorgeous and had flawless skin. Plastic surgery in Korea is relatively common as compared to other countries and its much more affordable than it is in the States.
In 2010 Korea took in a revenue of $703 million USD treating foreign patients. It's also the third largest market for plastic surgery trailing behind only the United States and Brazil.
Medical treatments in Korea are highly sought after and Korea is the main hub in Asia for medical tourism. Popular treatments range from dentistry, lasik eye surgery, and so much more. Fertility treatments are one of the most sought after treatments in Korea, costing only about one sixth of the cost of the same treatment in the United States with a 40% success rate.
Why would one consider medical tourism? There are several major reasons:
Much more affordable prices
One major factor is cost. In the United States various medical procedures start at tens of thousands of dollars and can even go upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Medical procedures in South Korea can cost 5 to 10 times less than other countries and patients can save upwards of 40% or more. As an example, a heart valve surgery costs approximately $200,000 in the United States but only costs $25,000 in Korea.
Quality of Treatment
Medical procedures in Korea are perform by skilled practitioners in high quality facilities for a fraction of the cost of what it would be to get the same treatment in the United States.
Some common treatments practiced in Korea's medical tourism include cancer treatments, infertility, spinal treatments and organ transplantation. Korea also offers the advanced and non-invasive method of Cyberknife robotic surgery treatment for cancer.
Not only will you have the practical knowledge of the Doctor's Western medicine training at your disposal, you'll also be able to take advantage of the vast well of knowledge available in Oriental medicine. Oriental medicine touts the importance of restoring balance to your body and uses techniques such as acupunture and moxa cautery.
Ease of Travel
US citizens can stay in Korea for up to 90 days without a visa and up to 180 days with a visa. One thing to note is that you will need to be referred by your healthcare provider or a medical tourism agency in order to seek treatment in Korea.
Many of the Korean tourism companies include airport transfers, hotel accommodations, meals and sightseeing tours in their packages so there is no planning on your part needed once you arrive in Korea. Korea's food is delicious and super healthy and it's one of my favorite things about Korea.