Medical Tourism, Treatments and Surgery in Istanbul

(Istanbul, Marmara, Turkey)

Picture showing the Istanbul Spice MarketTurkey has long been an up-and-coming tourist destination and its largest city, Istanbul, is now branching out into the world of medical tourism. There are several top class hospitals in the city, and rates for procedures here are on par with those of South American countries. In short, it is much cheaper than the UK or the US.

Istanbul itself is a popular destination for culture vultures willing to try something totally different from the done-to-death European norm in the sun. The city has a good combination of high-end, low-cost chain hotels, together with fantastic sights and a busy international airport.

Istanbul is not overrun with world class hospitals, although those that cater to medical tourism are indeed world class. They feature state-of-the-art facilities and Western trained physicians able to perform a range of known treatment options.

Advantages of Medical Tourism

Turkey has much competition in Europe on the medical tourism front, although it edges out most with its combination of cheap prices and assured warm climate. Only Greece and Spain rival it with regards to weather, although both are more expensive.

Many operators offer medical tourism holidays to Istanbul from anywhere in Europe, as well as from the US. The total cost of the tour - including flights, hotels, sightseeing and treatment - is, almost without exception, much cheaper than treatment alone in the US.

Although the language barrier is the main drawback of a visit, nurses and doctors in Istanbul hospitals have usually been trained in another country and speak fluent English. A quick flight will get you down to the verdant south-western Turkish coast where there are top-notch beaches and resorts for recuperation.

Medical Procedures

Cosmetic surgery, dental care and eye surgery in Istanbul are the three most popular procedures sought in the city by medical tourists. Procedures in many other fields, such as IVF, cardiology, gastroenterology, neurology, dermatology, orthopaedics and ear, nose and throat specialist procedures (otolaryngology) are also offered. Also of note, natural hot springs near to the city are said to aid in psoriasis.


Turkey's foray into membership of the European Union has seen extensive upgrades to governmental and private institutions in all areas of infrastructure, including health. Most importantly from a medical tourism point of view, the top Istanbul hospitals have really come of age.

Some of these hospitals are in partnership with world facilities, such as the Harvard Medical Centre in Boston, and are staffed with conscientious, English-speaking doctors and nurses. They also have five-star facilities and accommodation.

One such hospital is the Istanbul Memorial Okmeydani. It is the most highly rated in the country, known for its dedication to cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, and IVF in Istanbul. The International Hospital-Istanbul is another high quality institution with many operating theatres and comfortable patient facilities.