In the nose, there is a cave-like space called paranasal sinus. This is where air flows when we breathe. Normally, secretions are discharged and air is ventilated through this space but many factors such as allergic rhinitis, climate change, air pollution and genetic factors cause sinusitis. Sinusitis is commonly referred to as sinus infection in which the mucous membrane swells and yellowish suppuration-like mucus is collected. If the symptoms are of less than 3 weeks, it is categorized into acute rhinosinusitis, and if they are of more than 3 months, then it is chronic sinusitis. Drug treatment such as antibiotics is preferred for restoring the excretion and ventilation function of the paranasal sinus, but if it proves ineffective, then surgery treatment is considered. The surgery opens the paranasal sinus, normalizes its excretion and ventilation function, and realigns the abnormal structure of the nose. The nasal surgery team of Professor Kim Soo-Whan and Kim Sung-Won of Otolaryngology, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, is conducting sinus surgery safely by securing an expanded operation view using an endoscope. The huge advantage of the surgery is that it doesn’t leave any scars as the operation is done through the nostrils. Professor Kim Soo-Whan, the leader of the nasal surgery team studied facial plastic surgery and tissue-engineering of the latest trend from University of Virginia, the United States and applied it to nasal diseases and he is certainly an expert who has performed more than 800 cases of septorhinoplasty, which realigns bent noses as well. Recently, Professor Kim Sung-Won created a customized stand for nasal pharynx with the first domestic 3D print technology and did a brilliant job as a member of the team which performed nose transplant to a Mongolian patient. At the same time, he has the highest number of skull base tumor surgeries in Korea (370 cases) using endoscopic intranasal approach in cooperation with neurosurgeons. Although endoscopic sinus surgery ensures surgeons expanded operation view, paranasal sinus is located near the eyes and brain nerves, and thus, the surgery is difficult to perform. Serious complications might develop after the surgery oftentimes, but the occurrence of complications of the nasal surgery team at Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital is zero. By introducing the navigation system for the first time in Korea, the team has improved safety. The system provides images in order to check the anatomical information of a patient and to ensure the accuracy of images. The CT images of the patient who had an operation are interlinked, thereby securing the effectiveness and high level of safety after the surgery. Deviated nasal septum is when the nasal septum, which is a partition wall that divides the left and the right side of the nose, is bent and thus, air does not flow in and out smoothly when breathing. That can cause various nose diseases such as nasal congestion, hypertrophic rhinitis, snoring and sleep apnea. Sometimes it can even cause ear infections or eustachitis which are ear diseases. Deviated nasal septum surgery is especially effective to those suffering from serious nasal congestion and it only takes around 40 minutes to complete the surgery. Also, patients can return home the day they had the surgery and the surgery leaves no scars. These are reasons why so many patients are receiving the surgery. When performed together with rhinoplasty which realigns the nose, the deviated nasal septum surgery can be a very useful operation that solves the problem of nasal congestion as well as provides the effect of beauty care. Professor Kim Soo-Whan said: “Nasal surgeries in the past were shunned as they had frequent relapses and high rates of complications, but today, they have improved and are showing over 90% success rate.” He also added: “We are doing our best for new patients to receive swift, accurate, and tailored treatment and finish the entire process starting from surgery, discharge, recovery to out-patient care in two months.”
In December 2013, the Catholic University of Korea Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital (SSMH) exceeded 1,000th case of robotic surgery. Previously, SSMH has brought in third generation of da Vinci® robotic surgical platform in March 2009 upgraded with magnified 3D high-definition resolution and softer wristed instruments compared to previous versions successfully performed its first case, and for the next seven months completed record-breaking 100 cases which is by far the shortest period in the country. Various surgeons from different medical specialties (Urology, Gynecology, General Surgery, etc.) have effectively adjusting schedules and cooperating with one another as Professor Sohee Lee performed thyroid cancer surgery on December 6th, 2013, marking 1,000th case of robotic surgery to accomplish its remarkable feat. By breaking down the number of cases according to each department, Urology had the most cases of 415 (41.5%) followed by 312 cases in Gynecology (31.2%), 191 cases in General Surgery (19.1%), and 80 cases in Otorhinolaryngology (8%), and Dr. Jiyul Lee in Urology achieved the highest individual record with 201 cases. From 2009 to November 2013, Dr. Lee in Urology has done most cases of 200. He has performed 100 cases of prostate cancer, 50 cases of nephrectomy, and 50 cases of artificial urinary bladder surgery. Notably, for robotic artificial urinary bladder surgery has shown considerable achievement of reducing operation time of removing urinary bladder and transplant artificial bladder into half from conventional method of 8 hours to only 4 hours. For case of prostate cancer, surgical operation is known to be quite difficult due to the location of prostate. Being located underneath urinary bladder where there is little accessibility, robotic surgery gives competitive advantages of applying its features of high-definition scope to observe the narrow surgical field in 3D image of body’s interior and manipulate robotic arms to smoothly perform surgery. In the US where robotic surgery was originated, it has become so common that more than 70% of prostate cancer is being done robotically whereas in Japan and Hong Kong, the patients are routinely covered by health insurance. Dr. Lee states, “Robotic surgery has a major benefit of precisely removing only the area of where cancer cells are spread while minimizing injuries of surrounding tissues, hence recovery is quicker compared to laparotomy.” Additionally he stresses that “Occasionally after surgery, there may be a case of urinary incontinence due to sphincter damage after surgery; however when robotic surgery is performed the symptom will tend to disappear within one month, and it is critical to find an experienced surgeon who knows how to operate system with great technique.” Gynecologist Dr. Mee-Ran Kim has the second highest robotic cases of 172 followed by Professor Lee, and she also holds the record of most number of uterine leiomyoma surgeries done robotically in which laparotomy is almost inevitable due to an extreme difficulty of conventional laparoscopic surgery. Through a robotic system platform, leiomyoma surgery can be performed on advanced resection of myoma with high resolution and great accessibility inside tight abdominal cavity shortening operation time by maximizing patient’s level of satisfaction. In addition when treating ones with adhesions to organs, the amount of blood loss is less versus other methods enabling to perform surgery minimally invasive with the result of less pain, quicker recovery, and better quality of life. Furthermore, myoma of size that is equivalent to uterine (1x2x3 inches) can be removed safely, then delicately suture its defect area to conserve remaining uterus at the same time increase chance of preserving patient’s fertility. “Leiomyoma can be commonly seen in the age group of 35~40, for which women who are childless may be deprived of their chance of having baby,” said Dr. Kim. “But robotic surgery enables removing myoma safely while protecting uterus and protect reproductive function.” OnDecember 11th, 2013, the hospital held a ceremony commemorating achievement of 1,000th case of robotic surgery in SSMH Robotic Surgery Training Center joined by Ki-Bae Seung(President), Hyun Song(Vice President for Medicine), Jun-Gi Kim(Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery and Robotic Surgery Training Center), and other hospital administrative executives.   Dr. Jun-Gi Kim, the director of Minimally Invasive Surgery and Robotic Surgery Training Center states “With accomplishment of 1,000 cases of robotic surgery, our center has well stabilized its robotic surgical operation as we will continuously thrive to be one of the elite institutions through systematic management.”
Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon came up with a surprising idea. He said at a breakfast meeting hosted by the Human Development Institute on last Thursday, “I’m thinking a lot to turn Seoul into a city of medical tourism.” The mayor said he would make the “Hongneung Valley” in Seoul where the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) is located a growth belt for medical tourism in Seoul. In the 1970s, Hongneung and its neighboring areas had many think tanks, which led Korea’s economic growth. The Seoul metropolitan government is mulling over how to use the land after government think tanks such as the Korea Development Institute are relocated to provinces. Former President Lee Myung-bak said he would create a global green growth complex on the site two years ago, but the plan seems to be stalled now. The government may have to go back to square one. The KIST, which is based in Hongneung, is dedicated to “anti-aging” research for aging society. Its neighboring area has many medical schools such as the College of Medicine of Korea University, and the College of Oriental Medicine, the College of Pharmacy, and the College of Medicine of Kyung Hee University, and also has many bioengineering and medical device startups. In terms of location, it is a good place to become a growth belt for medical tourism, a convergence industry. The central government must make a decision first, but Mayor Park thinks the place as a foothold for the medial tourism industry. His idea seemed creative at a time when the Korean Medical Association was considering a strike against medical privatization. The city will commission a study to further develop the idea next month. Many issues should be addressed for the Hongneung Valley to become a foothold of “K-Medical” like the mayor`s idea. Korea’s many medical skills are top in the world. Medical fees are also competitive as they are lower in Korea than many developed countries. However, Thailand, India, and Singapore, countries that focus on medical tourism, have highly developed medical technology and offer medical service with low medical fees. Above all, Korea is inferior in non-medical service infrastructure such as traffic, accommodation, tourism, and interpretation. India created a government-private sector task force to promote medical tourism. This is why Korea falls behind Thailand, India, and Singapore. To compete with these countries, Korea should create infrastructure and eliminate regulations that block medical tourism. Medical tourism is growing into a capital-intensive industry. Hundreds of millions of dollars of investment may be needed to attract foreign patients with competitive medical service. But many large Korean hospitals are tied up in regulations, while opposition parties are preventing legislation that can promote medical tourism. Korea attracts only 10 to 20 percent of foreign patients in Thailand, India, and Singapore. It needs to think about how to attract wealthy Chinese patients. The medical tourism industry creates a huge added value and a large number of jobs. If Korea increases the number of foreign patients to one million by 2020, it would be able to generate over six trillion won (5.64 billion U.S. dollars) in revenue and 210,000 jobs. Former Kim Dae-jung, Roh Moo-hyun, and Lee Myung-bak administrations tried to upgrade medical services by attracting foreign hospitals or for-profit hospitals. But the attempts to ease regulations failed due to the backlash from politicians and medical associations. Mayor Park is a former civic activist and from an opposition party. If he persuades stakeholders with sincerity to blur the lines between conservatives and liberals, it may work. It is also important to create infrastructure and a foundation supporting medical tourism. What is more urgent is, however, easing regulations to free private hospital. Mayor Park, a civic activist-turned-administrator, is a person who has both a critical mind as an academic student and a down-to-earth mindset of a merchant. Hopefully, this could be an exception to what he said: “I want to be remembered as a mayor who did nothing.”
SEOUL, Jan. 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea saw its surplus in its health tourism account top US$100 million last year, largely thanks to increased spending by overseas travelers seeking healthcare and medical services in the country, data showed on Wednesday. According to the data compiled by the Bank of Korea (BOK), the country's income from medical tourism reached $187 million in the first 11 months of last year, up 35.3 percent from $138 million a year earlier, marking the biggest tally since the central bank began to keep related data in 2006. The income outpaced local residents' overseas spending on medical travel, which amounted to $86.4 million during the cited period, down 11.2 percent from a year earlier. Consequently, the country logged a surplus of some $101 million in health tourism in the January-November period, compared with a surplus of $41 million a year earlier. "More foreign travelers are presumed to have visited here to enjoy high quality medical services," said an official at the BOK. South Korea's medical travel income came in at $59 million in 2006 but has increased steadily on the back of the advancement of medical technology and regional governments' efforts to attract overseas patients. The income gained steadily from $69.8 million in 2007 to $89.5 million in 2010. The comparable figures for 2011 and 2012 were $131 million and $149 million. South Korean residents' overseas expenditures on health-related services reached a peak in 2007 at $137 million and then fell to $96 million in 2009 before rebounding to $109 million in 2010. They spent $78.5 million and $105 million, respectively, in 2011 and 2012. The country logged its first surplus in medical tourism in 2011 at $52.2 million. In 2012, the surplus fell to $43.8 million.
Noida, UP -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/30/2013 -- The medical tourism industry of South Korea has been growing at a fast pace from past few years. Global reputation of Korea in plastic surgery attracts foreigners, as it provides them better treatment at low cost. Korean doctors have got the required expertise and skills in various surgical procedures, such as aesthetic and cosmetic treatments, thereby, boosting country’s worldwide reputation. Apart from the skilled medical workforce, another factor which helps Korean medical tourism to prosper is technologically advanced treatments and medical procedures. Moreover, areas like biotechnology and stem cell research are considered as core competency of the country and with rising government investments in the sector, the country is poised to become a leading player in medical technologies and treatments. The country is further backed by strong government support and initiatives, which is also boosting the growth and development of Korean medical tourism. Thus, supported by the factors, such as cost-efficacy, high level promotion by the authorities, and good healthcare infrastructure, the number of medical tourists is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of more than 52% during 2013-2015, which is the fastest growth rate among all Asian nations, says “Asian Medical Tourism Market Forecast to 2015”, a recent report by RNCOS. Apart from South Korea, we have also analyzed medical tourism market of other major countries such as India, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore. Our comprehensive report provides detailed analysis and future forecast for the medical tourism market, and medical tourist arrivals till 2015 in these Asian countries. Our report has also provided a brief overview of the drivers and trends prevailing in the Asian medical tourism industry. We have also included the prominent industry players such as Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd., Bumrungrad International Hospital, and so on, to provide a balanced research outlook of the industry. Overall, the report is designed to facilitate our clients towards devising the rightful strategies, and make sound investment decisions. For FREE SAMPLE of this report visit: Some of our Related Reports are: - Booming Medical Tourism in Singapore Outlook 2017 ( - Turkey Medical Tourism Outlook 2017 ( - Booming Medical Tourism in India ( Check Related REPORTS on: ABOUT RNCOS RNCOS is a leading industry research and consultancy firm incorporated in 2002. As a pioneer in syndicate market research, our vision is to be a global leader in the industry research space by providing research reports and actionable insights to companies across a range of industries such as Healthcare, IT and Telecom and Retail etc. We offer comprehensive industry research studies, bespoke research and consultancy services to Fortune 1000, Trade associations, and Government agencies worldwide.