Medical tourism in Iran
Did you know that Iran performs the most rhinoplasty (nose job) surgeries in the world per capita? Iran has about 6 percent of the world’s rhinoplasty surgeons with 238 as of 2016. However, they complete nearly 4% of the world’s nose jobs. To put this in perspective, Brazil in first place, did 8.1% with 5,473 surgeons. That’s a staggering number of people who have surgery with just a few surgeons.
Iran is also ranked in the top 10 for stem cell research, computer science and chemical engineering, as well as nanotechnology. All this is to say that although the country lacks in some areas, in many other important sectors, Iran is among the best in the world.
There is also a stigma attached to the land that is largely skewed and overshadows the positive aspects of the county. Iran is an ancient land, which has deep traditions, but also has some of the best healthcare professionals and facilities in certain fields in the world. Many of the most popular doctors, such as orthopedic surgeon Dr. Ganji, first studied abroad, becoming extremely skilled in their field, so much so that they are invited to lecture in other countries around the world. Others practice in another country, but they return to Iran and practice too.
Cost of surgery in the US
The majority of international patients are Iranian citizens living abroad who decide to return for some type of procedure for much less than anywhere in the world with the same level of care. At the time of this writing, a total knee replacement surgery costs an average of $49,500 in the US That does not include the other fees as well as, but not limited to, various hospital bills. On average, these inpatient bills add up to another $7,500.
Other outpatient fees include preoperative and postoperative costs for the doctor’s office and lab work, physical therapy, and lastly, follow-up visits. Post-surgical care includes recovery and rehabilitation costs of approximately $2,600, if insured.
Patients can take advantage of the devaluation of the Iranian currency. Medical care was not only relatively cheap compared to other countries, but foreigners can now get the same procedure, from foreign-trained surgeons, for a fraction of the cost. For example, take the cost of simultaneous bilateral knee replacement, it costs about $6000 USD here in Iran. Use of FDA-approved Smith & Nephew American prostheses made in the USA. This also covers visits to the doctor, before and after the operation, as well as 2 or 3 days of hospital stay in a private room in a private hospital. 10 physical therapy sessions are required and that is also included. Dr. Ganji can take a look at his x-rays to determine if he is an eligible candidate for a total or partial knee replacement. Everything except food and accommodation is included. However, we can discuss his options and preferences as to where to stay.
High quality care in Iran
Dr. Ganji has studied simultaneous bilateral knee replacement surgery at Rothman Hospital in Philadelphia, USA, one of the world’s leading hospitals for this type of surgery. Last year alone he performed approximately 800 knee replacement surgeries. This is important for patients because they are dealing with a surgeon who is a specialist in one area of orthopedics. Dr. Ganji deals with rare deformities of the knee and is regularly invited by Smith & Nephew to give presentations and lectures on the latest developments in his field of study.
An increasing number of accredited facilities in Iran is gaining popularity. Not only through word of mouth from previous patients, but also through accrediting associations and organizations regarding their excellent healthcare approaches in the field of aesthetic and reconstructive surgical approaches and procedures. For example, Sina Hospital located in Mashhad is an extremely modern ISO certified hospital known for its excellent and highly trained cosmetic, plastic and general surgeons and staff.
Many physicians and surgeons at such facilities are highly trained, having received their education and training both in their home country of Iran and at international hospitals and universities. Past clients of such facilities offer glowing comments and recommendations not only to native Iranian citizens, but also to international travelers and those from the surrounding region.
Obtaining a visa may seem like a burden, but let us guide you through the process. We’ll pass you your paperwork, walk you through the process, and let you know the requirements. There are some extra costs for this, depending on where you’re coming from, but ask for details. Furthermore, Iran is world-renowned for its hospitality. A driver will be waiting for you personally to pick you up at the airport, take you to the hotel and help you with check-in. In addition, an English-speaking assistant will help you get around the city, give you advice, but most importantly, help you get to and from the doctor’s office and hospital without any problems. A US native will be available at all times while he plans to come, is in town, and after his operation as well.
Where to stay
One of the best and most luxurious hotels in Iran’s second largest city is Ghasr Talaee. Each night at this 5 star hotel is about $150 per night and about a 10 minute drive. A more traditional hotel, with a more Middle Eastern feel, would be a bit cheaper and offer a more authentic experience. All while exceeding the typical demands of a hotel. Although not required, you can get an English-speaking registered nurse to help you for as little as $15 a day.
Some find it intimidating to come to such a strange country. I agree, to some extent I had the same preconceptions before I came to visit my family for the first time. The hospitality of the country, along with my family, convinced me to stay longer than originally planned. You will also find out how much Iranians love their guests. Don’t take my word for it though. Ask a Persian how they treat foreign guests. No matter your race or creed, we will always treat guests with a high degree of respect that is unprecedented in other countries. Of course, saving thousands of dollars to get treatment from one of the best orthopedic surgeons in the world isn’t too bad either.
This article appears at drrashidganji.com/2018/08/06/medical-tourism-reasons/