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Deep Brain Stimulation in Turkey: Advantages, Cost, Travel Information

Deep Brain Stimulation in Turkey: Advantages, Cost, Travel Information

Deep Brain Stimulation in Turkey is an unmatched option for patients who can’t get this treatment in their home countries due to costs, a lack of insurance coverage, or availability restrictions.

In Turkey, Deep Brain Stimulation can be used for the treatment of a variety of indications. Turkey is a safe hub for DBS, with specialized training centers. Numerous diseases can be treated in Turkey with no wait lists by expert surgeons at an affordable price. 

Deep Brain Stimulation in Turkey is highly affordable due to regional device prices. There are also treatment package options, making the overall treatment cost more affordable. Only the best DBS devices by reputable manufacturers are used. 

Traveling to Turkey is easy with e-visa application options, and direct flights from more than 20 countries. There are no wait lists, and the whole treatment takes less than a month. When it’s time to go back home, you’ll be given all the necessary records. Even after you return to your home country, your follow-up care is taken into account. 

Here are a few key points from our article:

  • Deep Brain Stimulation treatment in Turkey is available to international patients, for over 15 different diseases.
  • Deep Brain Stimulation cost in Turkey is between $20.000-$40.000, up to 75% more affordable compared to the US.
  • DBS devices manufactured by Boston Scientific, Abbott, and Medtronic are used.
  • The whole treatment process takes 3 weeks, from surgery to the last programming session.
Deep Brain Stimulation Turkey

Can international patients get Deep Brain Stimulation in Turkey?

Yes, international patients can get Deep Brain Stimulation in Turkey as long as they fit the candidacy criteria. Getting DBS in Turkey might be the only way for some patients to access the treatment if they can’t afford it in their own country, or if it’s unavailable for their condition.  

What can you treat with Deep Brain Stimulation in Turkey?

Here is a table of diseases we can and cannot treat with Deep Brain Stimulation in Turkey:

YES
YES, IF TREATMENT REFRACTORY
•Parkinson’s Disease
•Essential Tremor
•Dystonia
•Epilepsy
•OCD
•Anxiety Disorder
•Major Depression
•Anorexia Nervosa
•Morbid Obesity
•Bipolar Disorder
•Borderline Personality Disorder
•Substance Abuse Disorder
•PTSD
•Tinnitus
•Cluster Headaches
•Chronic Pain
ONLY IN SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES
NO
•Cerebral Palsy
•Huntington’s Disease
•Alzheimer’s Disease
•Dementia
•Multiple Sclerosis
•Stroke
•Vegetative State
•Minimally Conscious State
•Schizophrenia
•Autism Spectrum Disorder

DBS is available for patients with Parkinson’s Disease, essential tremor, dystonia, and epilepsy for patients who fit the criteria.

DBS can be used for treatment-refractory cases of OCD, Anxiety Disorder, Major Depression, Anorexia Nervosa, morbid obesity, Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Substance Abuse Disorder, PTSD, tinnitus, and cluster headaches in Turkey.

DBS for Cerebral Palsy or Huntington’s disease can only performed under special circumstances in Turkey. In Cerebral Palsy, DBS is only used for dystonic movements. In the case of Huntington’s disease, DBS will only have 10% to 15% effectiveness. DBS for these two diseases is only performed when it’s agreed the patient’s quality of life can be improved.

In Turkey, we do not perform DBS for Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, Multiple Sclerosis, stroke, Vegetative State, Minimally Conscious State, schizophrenia, or Autism Spectrum Disorder. The reason being the treatment is either too risky, ineffective, or unethical.

Is it safe to get Deep Brain Stimulation in Turkey?

Yes, it is safe for foreign patients to get Deep Brain Stimulation in Turkey.

Medical travel service providers can’t operate on patients unless they hold a TÜRSAB license. The Ministry of Health meticulously inspects the hospitals, ensuring they are up to standard.

In the specific case of DBS, the ethics board of the hospital must approve the case. Before surgery, the patient is thoroughly educated about the advantages, disadvantages, and risks of the procedure. Informed consent is taken before the surgery.

The 3 most prominent DBS device manufacturers all have offices in Turkey. Boston Scientific also has a training center in Turkey, where the next generation of neuromodulation specialists across 3 continents can get trained. This makes Turkey not only a safe location for patients but a hub for the future of DBS treatment.

What are the advantages of getting Deep Brain Stimulation in Turkey?

The most significant advantages of getting Deep Brain Stimulation in Turkey are availability, the absence of a waitlist, great surgeons performing the surgery, and affordability.

  • Availability: In other countries, DBS might not be available for certain illnesses such as OCD, or depression. In Turkey, we can help these patients get the treatment they need.

  • No waiting times: Patients can get DBS in Turkey with no waiting times. Most service providers will book the earliest time slot available on the surgeon’s calendar, or a date preferred by the patient.

  • Expert surgeons: Turkey is home to some of the best doctors in the world. Many Turkish neurosurgeons who perform DBS surgery are also academics with a significant amount of publications.

  • Affordability: For patients who need to pay out of pocket for DBS, Turkey is an affordable and safe option. DBS in Turkey can cost up to 75% less than it does in the United States.

How much does Deep Brain Stimulation cost in Turkey?

Deep Brain Stimulation cost in Turkey is around $20.000-$40.000. 

This price includes all device components, all fees related to pre-op evaluations, all surgical fees, and the hospital stay. The cost can also include accommodation, transfer, and translation services depending on the service provider.

How does Deep Brain Stimulation cost in Turkey compare to other countries?

The cost of Deep Brain Stimulation in Turkey in comparison to other countries is shown in the table below:

LocationAverage. Cost 
Turkey$35.000
The US$130.000
The UK$65.000
Europe$64.000
Asia$40.000

The most important reason for Turkey’s low prices is the device cost. Device cost makes up 25% to 30% of the entire DBS treatment. Companies that produce these devices have regional prices, so the device cost is different in every country. In Turkey, device costs are particularly affordable compared to other countries.

In addition to affordable device prices, the Turkish Lira’s exchange rate and the government incentives allow foreign patients to get the same DBS treatment they can get elsewhere in the world at a significantly low price point. For more information about Deep Brain Stimulation cost in general, you can check out our dedicated article.

Is there a Deep Brain Stimulation package available in Turkey?

Yes, there are Deep Brain stimulation treatment packages available in Turkey.

Our DBS treatment package includes the pre-op consultation, pre-op brain imaging, pre-surgical tests and exams, the surgery fee, the surgeon’s fee, the device and all of its components, the hospital stay, device programming, accommodation at a 4 or 5-star hotel, transfer between the airport-hotel-hospital, and translation services.

Are there any additional costs?

Additional costs come up only when a patient must get supplementary treatment after surgery such as physical/occupational therapy, speech therapy, psychiatry, and dietician support to be in well enough condition to travel back home.

After surgery, we inform patients if they need supplementary treatment, and they are free to refuse or go through with the service. No additional costs are added to the total without explicit and informed consent.

Does insurance cover Deep Brain Stimulation in Turkey?

No, there are no insurance plans available in Turkey to cover the cost of Deep Brain Stimulation for foreign patients. Your travel insurance, or tourist health insurance also can’t cover the treatment costs.

How much does Deep Brain Stimulation battery replacement cost in Turkey?

Deep Brain Stimulation battery replacement cost in Turkey is around $15.000-$35.000.

Which Deep Brain Stimulation devices are used in Turkey?

The Deep Brain Stimulation devices used in Turkey are made by Boston Scientific, Abbott, and Medtronic. DBS devices produced by Chinese companies are also available but are not recommended.

For our patients, we only use rechargeable and MRI-compatible DBS devices produced by Boston Scientific and Abbott for longevity, patient comfort, and safety. 

How to choose the best doctor and hospital for Deep Brain Stimulation in Turkey

There are 4  criteria you should look out for when choosing a hospital or a doctor for Deep Brain Stimulation treatment in Turkey besides the good reviews and ratings.

First, make sure you’re getting the treatment in a JCI-accredited hospital or a university hospital. These hospitals are held to higher standards and provide excellent care.

Second, choose a doctor who performs neuromodulation procedures such as DBS regularly. The surgery outcomes will be better if the surgeon has more practical experience.

Preferably choose a doctor who’s also a faculty member at a university. Professors need to be up to date with the most recent theoretical and practical information in the field.

Lastly, your doctor should be a trainer for at least one DBS device manufacturer. This shows their advanced understanding of the device and its treatment mechanisms.

What are the travel details you should know before coming to Turkey for Deep Brian Stimulation?

The travel details you should know before coming to Turkey include basic information such as the language, currency, and visa information. 

The official language of Turkey is Turkish, and English is widely spoken in tourist areas. The currency of Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TRY) represented by the symbol ““. Payments can be made in cash or credit, MasterCard and Visa credit cards are widely accepted in almost all places. 112 is the contact number for all emergencies in Turkey.  For electricity-powered devices, type C or type F plugs are used. A direct flight to Turkey is available in more than 120 countries via Turkish Airlines.

Patients traveling to Turkey should be aware of the visa requirements. Depending on your country, you might need to get a pre-approved visa, apply for an electronic visa, get a visa upon arrival, or travel visa-free.  Here are the government resources for visa information and application:

Is there a waiting time to get Deep Brain Stimulation in Turkey?

No, there are no waiting times to get Deep Brain Stimulation in Turkey. We will put you in the earliest time slot available that also suits your schedule. You’ll be having the surgery 1-2 days after arriving in Turkey. 

What should you bring to Turkey for Deep Brain Stimulation?

Here are the 4 things you must bring with you to Turkey for Deep Brain Stimulation surgery: 

  • Your care partner is essential to your recovery process, we can’t offer treatment to patients who can’t bring a care partner with them to Turkey.

  • A recent MRI scan allows the surgeon to assess your condition. 

  • The current medications you’re on that can last you for at least 3 weeks.  

  • Previous notes from your neurologist or psychiatrist are helpful for assessment.

How long do you stay in Turkey for Deep Brain Stimulation?

You’re going to stay in Turkey for a minimum of 3 weeks. These three weeks include a 1-3 day hospital stay, 10-15 days of recovery, and 5-7 days of device programming

We have to wait 10-15 days after surgery to program your device so we can find the right setting after the therapeutic effect of the surgery wears off. For programming, you’ll have 2-3 appointments with 1-2 days in between to find the correct settings.

You might need to stay in Turkey for an additional month if your doctor decides you need physical therapy before you can travel back home.

We recommend patients and care partners take enough time off, and budget accordingly for the treatment duration.

Which records and items will be given to you in Turkey after Deep Brain Stimulation?

The reports and items that you can bring home include papers you must add to your medical records, papers required for travel, and device items:

  • Hospital discharge papers

  • MRI scans

  • Surgery reports

  • Fit to fly report

  • Device components (patient programmer and charging station)

  • Device warranty documents

How do Deep Brain Stimulation follow-ups work after you return home?

We’ll require that you come back to Turkey for a check-up 1 year after surgery. You can always make a quick online appointment, or come to Turkey in case of an emergency.

In which cases do you need to travel back to Turkey?

In cases where there is a problem with the battery or the stimulation parameters, you should come back to Turkey. These situations can include battery replacement, adjusting stimulation parameters and medications, or stimulation-related side effects such as dyskinesia. 

Should you come back to Turkey for battery replacement?

Yes, you should come back to Turkey for your battery replacement. Since we only use rechargeable batteries, they can last up to 15-20 years. But when needed, it’s best for the same surgeon to perform the battery replacement, as some doctors might refuse this procedure on the basis that it was performed by someone else previously. 

Can you see a local doctor when you get back home?

Yes, you can see your regular medical team. However, if you’d like to see a doctor for adjusting your stimulation settings, it might be difficult. Most doctors might not want to mess with the parameters done by another doctor.

Can you see a local doctor to alter medication doses?

Yes, you can see your local doctor to adjust your medications. But as we have said, most doctors will not want to mess with the medication dosages and stimulation parameters if they were calibrated by another doctor. 

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