Korea Becoming Destination For Medical Tourism

by Kim Tae-jong ,  Korea Times | 2012-05-04

Fathema Ibrahim Ali Al Ali from the United Arab Emirates believes she has been given a new life in Seoul thanks to a successful kidney transplant performed by Korean doctors.

The organ transplant for the 35-year-old woman was conducted at Asan Medical Center, and she has shown signs of a fast recovery in resuming her previous activities and even adding some new ones after going back home.

“As I’ve experienced highly advanced Korean medicine myself, I’ll definitely promote the art of Korean medicine along with Korean electronic devices when I return to my country,” she said.

A week after the operation on Feb. 1, she started eating normal meals and taking walks, ready to get back to a normal life. But it was a very long and risky journey for her to receive a transplanted kidney from her brother due to various contraindications.

Although she had been in the end-stages of a renal disease, she was not considered a candidate for surgery because of the high risk of rejection by her immune system.

For her, the risk was much higher because she has suffered from diabetes from an early age and relied on dialysis for a long time. She was rejected by a hospital in the United States for such reasons.

“I was deeply discouraged and disappointed when I was rejected,” she recalled. “But I wasn’t too worried because I heard that the Asan Medical Center is famous for its excellence in kidney transplantation.”

Satisfied with the operation results, she is planning to receive another operation for a pancreas transplant to cure her diabetes.

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