Turkey is a treasure trove of traditions, spices, street food delights and destinations for any intrepid tourist. It’s a mix between the familiar and the exotic, ranging from the bustling streets of Istanbul to the serene and relaxed Roman ruins spread around Turkey’s Western and Southern coast. Turkey is a fairly large country with 75 million inhabitants. The country spreads between Europe and Asia, with 97% of the country on the Asian side – Asian Turkey. Turkey is encircled and enjoys access to three different seas: The Black Sea, The Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean. Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and the largest city in Europe, regarding population – It has over 14 million people.
Turkey’s medical infrastructure has improved greatly beginning with the early 2000s and now is one of the biggest medical tourism hubs in Europe and Asia. Turkey has the largest number of JCI-accredited hospitals, second only to the USA and hospitals are more often than not part of international healthcare groups, following strict European protocols and regulations. Turkey has 28.000 medical institutions spread across the European and Asian side but some of the biggest private hospitals and medical centres are in Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya and Bodrum – these also happen to be some of the best tourist destinations in Turkey.
Sights to See
Bodrum is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Turkey, with its sandy beaches and small streets littered with traditional shops and elegant restaurants. The town used to be called Halicarnassus, and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus is one of the World’s Seven Ancient Wonders. Bodrum also features a castle built by the crusaders in the 15th century.
Istanbul is the home of several architectural treasures, including the Blue Mosque. The Blue Mosque was built on the orders of Sultan Ahmed between 1609 and 1616 and the Sultan’s body still resides within the mosque. The high ceiling is lined with more than 20000 handmade ceramic tiles, hence the name – The Blue Mosque.
Pamukkale, meaning “The Cotton Castle” in Turkish is a surreal destination in the country’s western region of Denizli, world renowned for its white terraces with warm spring water. The ancient Greek city of Hierapolis was built over the springs and Pamukkale was a renowned destination in antiquity as well. Tourists can visit the ancient Roman and Greek ruins of the baths, temples and theatres dating to the second century BC.
Things to Know
● If you don’t feel like waiting in a queue, you can get a VISA for Turkey online. The VISA usually costs around $20 for US travellers.
● Turkey’s population is predominantly Islamic so it’s a good idea to wear a headscarf while visiting mosques. Shorts or any other garments that fit under the knee are not prohibited by law but it’s considered good etiquette not to wear shorts for men or short skirts for women.
● You can change any sort of currency into the Turkish Lira – the Turkish currency just about everywhere. Most supermarkets and shops also accept credit cards.
● Roaming fees in Turkey can be somewhat expensive, so it’s a good idea to simply buy a new Turkish SIM card and use it while staying in Turkey.
● Turkey’s international calling code is +90.
● Electrical installations usually operate on 220 volts, 50 Hz and use European style plugs and European style sockets. Four and Five star hotels usually provide North American - 120 volts, 60 Hz sockets as well.
● Driving in Turkey can be a hassle sometimes, but very pleasurable at other times. Roads are usually in good shape and some roads actually lack traffic, so it can be a relaxing experience. In Turkey, people drive on the right, so that’s a detail you will need to keep in mind. In some areas, villagers made cardboard and marker pen signs in order to help lost tourist on their way.
● Renting a car in Turkey is quite simple and cheap. If you have the budget for a full insurance, you should definitely take it – if anything happens, at least you won’t have to worry about money.
● The Turkish Airlines Company, THY offers destinations to just about anywhere in the world with a total of 261 destinations. The company was founded in 1933 and features 285 passenger and cargo planes.
● Turkey uses the metric system which is easy enough to understand – 1 Km = 1000 meters, 1 Kg = 1000 grams, and so on. One mile equals 1.60 Km.
● Turkish people are warm and very hospitable - It is customary for people to hug and kiss both cheeks regardless of their gender.
● Turkish street food is very diverse, from the simple bagel-type snack Simit to the familiar pizza-type Lahmacun, there are tons of variants to just about anything.
● Turkish coffee is world renowned, but it’s also a bit different than say, its American counterpart - It is usually a strong coffee with a rich aroma, served very hot from a small traditional cup. Be careful not to drink any of the coffee grounds still in the cup.
● Turkish delight, as the name suggests, can be a really sweet delight for tourists. It is made from sugar, starch and just about any fruit or aroma imaginable, including walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, dates, lemon, orange, rosewater and many others. Turkish delight is usually served with coffee and it became popular all around the world, including in the Balkans region and as far as Brazil and North America.
Heart transplant surgery is an open heart surgery during which medical team consisting cardiologist and other doctors perform a heart transplantation for people whose own hearts are severely weakened by heart diseases. Those heart diseases may include congestive heart failures, repeating heart attacks and other heart failure symptoms.
Heart transplant procedure is a costly one and as long as it is not funded by public or private health insurance – unaffordable for most of the potential patients. For this reason, more and more people decide to undergo heart transplant surgery abroad, where the price of this heart surgery is much lower.
Heart Transplant Candidates
Candidates for heart transplantation are people who suffer from various heart diseases such as constant heart attacks and heart failure and their cardiologists are not optimistic about their chances to survive long. In such a case, a heart transplant procedure may save life and guarantee long years of good quality living with their families.
Am I Suitable for Heart Transplant?
A heart transplant is a serious, often dangerous open heart surgery and is not a solution to all heart diseases. Heart transplantation is recommended only when successive heart failures lead to severe heart disability and it is known that it will not continue to function for long. Additionally, cardiologists need to estimate whether a patient will survive a heart transplant procedure.
Preparing for Heart Transplant
Candidates for heart transplant surgery need to undergo a series of tests, through which doctors will find out if the heart transplant procedure is safe for them. Additionally, medical team who will perform heart transplantation searches for cancer cells since cancer makes this open heart surgery impossible.
In order to perform a heart transplant surgery, there is a need for a heart donor with compatible blood group. Heart donors are usually people with brain death, who themselves or whose families agreed for heart transplantation. Since there are more heart transplant patients than potential heart donors, some patients are unable to find a proper heart transplant in time.
How is Heart Transplant Performed?
The heart transplant procedure has usually three stages.
In the first stage of heart transplantation, a cardiologist together with medical team removes the heart from heart donor’s body. Then, a heart transplant needs to be transplanted within hours from removal and be kept on ice until the last phase starts.
In the second stage of heart transplant surgery, cardiologist removes the old heart from heart transplant patient’s body and plugs the patient to a machine which functions as a heart until the heart transplantation process is finished.
In the third, last stage, doctors place heart from the heart donor into heart transplant patient’s body and connect it with the blood circulation system. Then, the operation site is closed and this hard, although quite simple, open heart surgery is finished.
Heart Transplant Summary
Duration of Operation
Number of Trips Abroad
Back to Sports
Up to a case
Back to Work
Up to a case
Heart Transplant Recovery
For the first day or two, heart transplant patients are kept in intensive care in the case something goes wrong with the donor heart. Then, they are moved to normal rooms. Patients after heart transplant procedure usually stay in the hospital for up to a week and then they are being let home.
Heart transplant recovery is also a time to get used to a set of medicines one needs to take to avoid heart transplant rejection as well as other post-operational complications.
Some heart transplant patients decide to not work after the heart transplant surgery. However, some research results suggest that working after heart transplantation is perfectly normal and more than that – probably healthier for heart transplant patients.
Heart Transplant Risks and Complications
There are many possible complications of heart transplantation since it is a serious open heart surgery involving organ transplantation. To the most important risks belong heart transplant rejection. A set of immunosuppressing drugs have a task to prevent transplant rejection but still, they may not be strong enough. In such a case a new heart transplant or other solutions may be discussed. Other risks of heart transplantation include infections, heart diseases including heart failure and cardiovascular disease, as well as damage to other vital organs caused by medicines routinely prescribed to heart transplant patients.
Heart Transplant Side Effects
To major side effects of heart transplant surgery belong lowered immunity to infections caused by medicines which are supposed to keep the heart transplant patients’ bodies from rejecting donor hearts.
Heart Transplant Success Rates
As new techniques of heart transplant surgery and new generations of medicines are developed, the heart transplant success rate continues to grow. An average heart transplant life expectancy is as high as 9 years and grows. 1-year heart transplant success rate is at 87%, while 5-years heart transplant success rate is estimated to be 57%.