From Non-surgical Treatment to Most Challenging Treatment

Wooridul Hospital,
Joon-seok Bae, MD

“As minimally invasive spine surgery is under the spotlight, Korea is leading spine treatment on a global level.”

Q: Korea’s endoscopic spine surgery and treatment technology is under the spotlight globally. Could you introduce spinal treatments and their effectiveness to international patients who come to Korea for better treatment?
The major trend in the world’s spine treatments is minimal operation: minimally invasive surgery and endoscopic procedure. The key point of endoscopic procedure is to treat the cause of lesion hrough endoscopy. Its advantages are fast recovery and rare side effects as the treatment is performed without an incision. Spine surgeries are usually challenging but the operation is minimally invasive and this reduces risk and treats patients safely.
Q: The hospital has successfully treated Kazakh judo player, Yedos Smetov, by its endoscopic procedure and rehabilitation. What are non-surgical treatments for patients who feel overwhelmed to go under surgical procedures?
Korea has developed the world’s first cell and gene therapy for osteoarthritis which is a non-surgical treatment. It’s a medicine with an anti-inflammatory gene and it effectively treats osteoarthritis of the knee through a single intra-articular injection. As a result, it reduces inflammation in the knee joint and pain. There has been a successful case of a patient from the UAE, who had been suffering from degenerative arthritis for many years, received the gene therapy injection and knee pain was treated effectively.
Q: Why is it important to have an appropriate treatment phase and timing based on patients’ conditions of spine and joint problems?
To treat spine and joint diseases, it’s vital to choose an appropriate procedure based on the phase and condition of the disease. When a patient needs an operation due to paralysis or unstable spinal cord, if an inappropriate treatment is conducted there could be irrevocable results to worsen the conditions. Furthermore, there could be redundant surgeries while a simple procedure or endoscopic treatment can treat adequately. This is why patients need to choose the right hospital and experienced doctors who can handle all stages of the disease.

Successful Infertility Treatment & Sophisticated Postpartum Care

CHA Gangnam Medical Center
Eun-mi Chang MD

“One of the reasons why international patients come to Korea for infertility treatment is that it has a high UVF success rate.”

Q: How can patients choose fertility treatment and Obstetrics and Gynecology hospitals in Gangnam?
A personalized treatment should be provided after a thorough screening of infertility cause. If a lump is found in the uterus or ovary, it can be removed by a laparoscopic surgery and help natural pregnancy. If natural pregnancy is difficult, IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) treatment is conducted. This requires a specialist and also hospital should be equipped with a state-of-the-art IVF laboratory for IVF procedure and embryo management.
Q: Could you tell us about the procedure for IVF treatment as Gangnam is famous for it?
The IVF procedure takes about a month. If a patient visits at the right menstrual cycle, she will receive fertility medication injections for 7 to 10 days, then the growth process will be monitored by ultrasonography and hormone test. Under general anesthesia, eggs are retrieved by vaginal ultrasound and they are fertilized on the same day. Once the embryo has been formed, the embryo is incubated in a special incubator for 3-5 days. On the 3rd or 5th day, the developed embryos are transferred into the uterus and the pregnancy can be confirmed by the blood test two weeks after the egg retrieval. Many foreign patients who had a hard time with infertility treatments, have visited Korea and gone back home with great results.
Q: Korea is known for its well developed postpartum care culture. Can you introduce Gangnam postpartum care center system?
An increasing number of international patients are coming to Korea to give birth. There are numerous cases where after a successful IVF treatment, they come back to Seoul for delivery as well. There are many postpartum care centers in Gangnam which are affiliated to obstetrics & gynecology hospitals. A perfect care service of massage and nutrition are provided to new mothers who are both physically and mentally exhausted after their delivery. They also help new mothers with breastfeeding and bathing newborns.
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