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Healthcare in Alanya – A Personal Perspective

One of the articles previously featured on our website was on the subject of Medical Tourism in Turkey –  this article stated that more than 500.000 tourists entered Turkey last year specifically for healthcare treatment. The primary reasons for the continuing success of this sector is quality of care, excellent rehabilitation facilities and value for money (relative to other popular medical tourism destinations).

On a slightly different, but related subject, i thought it might be appropriate to give you an insight into the Turkish healthcare system from a personal perspective.

I have had an umbilical hernia for the last couple of years – caused probably by significant weight gain and subsequent (significant) loss !!!

On the morning of 7th September, i was experiencing severe stomach pain and considered this serious enough to visit the local state (Devlet) hospital. Upon arrival, i was seen (promptly) and examined by Dr. Metin Çiftlik. Dr Metin advised that the hernia was the cause of the problem (something about the intestine pressing on the wall of the bowel) and that he would schedule me for an operation on the 19th September.

The 19th duly arrived and i got to the hospital at around 09.00. All appropriate tests were carried out (X-Ray, ECG and Bloods) and reviewed by the anaesthesiologist at around 4pm. By this time is was too late in the day for the operation to take place, so i was scheduled in for 09.00 the next morning.

08.45 Tuesday and a nurse entered my room for the donning of the obligatory surgical gown (you know – the one that barely covers your dignity !!!). I was wheeled off to the theatre and advised that a general anaesthetic was not necessary – instead i received an spinal epidural; this essentially blocks the sensation of pain by blocking  the transmission of signals through nerve fibres in the spinal cord (and the same as given to women during childbirth).

It felt very odd to be awake during the surgery, especially when you can feel the surgeon cutting and messing around (albeit painlessly) with your insides !!! Anyway, after approximately 1 hour of surgery (during which the anaesthetist and i discussed the fortunes of Crystal Palace F.C.), i was stitched up and wheeled back to my room to recover.

At this point, i had gone without food or drink for around 36 hours (having assumed the operation was to have taken place the previous day). The nurse advised that i was not permitted either until i had been able to have a bowel movement (to prove, presumably, that everything was in working order after the surgery !!!).

I finally had this movement at around 18.00 that evening, after which i was presented with dinner – this comprised stuffed auburgine, a bowl of rice and a glass of water . After having finished this, i was still very hungry, so i ventured outside of the building (complete with attached intravenous bag !!!) to the hospital cafeteria and gorged on a large tavuk durum (chicken kebab), washed down with a couple of cappuccino’s !!!

Dr Metin visited later that evening and advised that all was well and i could go home the next morning. After a restless night (i find it almost impossible to sleep on my back), i was advised that i could be discharged and that i was to return home for a few days rest.

Stitches were removed on Friday (30th September) and all is well. The only precautions are no lifting or exercise for the next month (as well as having to wear a medical corset for the same period).

In conclusion, it was generally a very positive experience, virtually no pain post- surgery and i now have a navel (bellybutton) for the 1st time in 2 years !!! Many thanks to Dr. Metin and the Devlet nursing staff for their pre and post-op care and also to Elite Group for their support during my absence.

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