Bone marrow transplant (hematopoietic stem cell transplantation) is a medical procedure performed to change bone marrow that has become nonfunctional caused by disease, infection, or chemotherapy with a new one. This procedure includes transplanting blood stem cells, which travel to the bone marrow where they produce new blood cells and promote the growth of new marrow. Healthy stem cells may come from a donor for bone marrow transplant or your own body.
In the autologous stem cell transplant, the donor is patient himself. Stem cells are extracted before another treatment like chemotherapy and used later to help restore his health. In the second type, allogeneic stem cell transplant, donor and patient are two different persons. Most common reasons in which bone marrow transplant is performed are leukemia, aplastic anemia, immunological deficiencies, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and other diseases mostly related to blood cells, their functioning, and quality. For some diseases stem cell transplant remains the only possible cure.
Bone Marrow Transplant Cost in the UK
Bone marrow transplant surgery in the United Kingdom is usually covered by NHS. However, the national health system doesn’t work efficiently enough, which leads citizens to wait in line for a free place. Patients who are on the waiting list and can’t wait due to the progress of their disease are often forced to use the services of the private medical market, where the stem cell transplant cost ranges from €350.000 to €850.000.
Bone Marrow Transplant Cost in the United States
The USA is one of the biggest markets of services related to bone marrow transplants. However, the average cost for bone marrow transplant in credible, licensed clinics are quite high, reaching similarly to the UK from € 350.000 (for autologous stem cell transplant) up to €800.000 (allogeneic bone marrow transplant). Clinics providing services at lower prices usually operate without a proper license, exposing their patients to risk. Therefore, clients from USA form one of the biggest groups of medical tourists when it’s coming to bone marrow surgery.
Bone Marrow Transplant Cost in India
Bone Marrow Transplant is a definite treatment for many hematological diseases. With the increasing success rate indications for this procedure and its relatively low cost in the Indian subcontinent, an increasing number of patients are choosing this procedure.
The prices of Indian clinics for this procedure vary significantly depending on its type and popularity or quality of a clinic. In case of well-known facilities with an established reputation in destinations of India like Mumbai or Rajasthan, we can expect hematopoietic stem cell transplantation prices to be between €20.000 and €50.000. If we choose a less known clinic for this treatment, the cost of stem cell transplant may be lower by even 30%.
Bone Marrow Transplant Cost in Turkey
Turkey gained in recent years leading position in health tourism in the MENA region. High quality and affordable prices attract yearly thousands of patients, also those who search for bone marrow surgery. Due to the complex nature of this treatment, the price varies significantly; however, it is possible to estimate that prices start from €55.000. Many clinics are offering stem cell transplant instead of simple treatment offer packages including transportation and accommodation. Nevertheless, despite these additional costs, prices of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation remain significantly lower than the UK and US ones.
Bone Marrow Transplant Cost in the Other Countries
Apart from the highly preferred bone marrow transplant surgery destinations we have given the costs above, there are also some countries may be considering to visit for a bone marrow transplant operation. Here some examples of them:
• Bone marrow transplant cost in Pakistan starts from €10.000
• Bone marrow transplant cost in Bangladesh starts from €6.000
• Bone marrow transplant cost in Singapore starts from €70.000
• Bone marrow transplant cost in Nigeria starts from €25.000
• Bone marrow transplant cost in South Africa starts from €40.000
What Country Should I Choose for My Bone Marrow Transplant?
Choosing the country and clinic where we will undergo such a complex treatment isn’t an easy task. You may primarily need to be aware of the risks and side effects. Before a transplant, it is important to talk to your doctor about the possible side effects of the procedure. Side effects may last for a short-term like a few weeks or months such as mouth and throat pain, but it also includes long-term effects that last years or a lifetime such as Pneumonitis.
The success rate of a bone marrow transplant depends on first of all how closely the donor and recipient genetically match. Sometimes, it can be very difficult to find a good match among unrelated donors. After having a successful operation, there will be a recovery time needed as in every procedure. Typical recovery time for a bone marrow transplant is about three months. However, it may take up to a year for you to recover fully.
The process of comparing survival rates is complicated and depending on several variables, including disease type and stage, the patient’s age, and pre-existing medical issues. You may need to check the reported statistics of surgeons and clinics if it exists.
The patient has to balance the quality and the price while considering a bone marrow transplant. However, the high cost of a bone marrow transplant does not always indicate the high quality. Especially in the country scale, higher prices in USA or UK are dictated mostly by pay of specialists, the price of facilities and costs of obligatory insurances. In the same time, the cost of stem cell transplant in renowned Turkish or Indian clinic may be just a fraction of these costs, even including traveling expenses and accommodation. Therefore, rather than on general stereotypes about countries it is better to focus on finding high-end medical facilities which we can find in Istanbul, New Delhi, Antalya, or Mumbai.
This content is edited by Flymedi Medical Editors in February 2019.