Surgery in Taiwan


Yes, the nursing staff has some strange ideas about pain management. The doctors at NTU hospital have an excellent pain management programs though you have to pay more for the self-controlled pain management. Get it. It's worth it, and don't put up with any old-fashioned ideas from the nursing staff.


I am an expert on operations. I was in on life support 5 years ago then slowly rebuilt.

I hated the drugs while the guy in the bed two stops up kept yelling out for more. He was a junkie.

I later learned that if you don't keep on top of the pain then it is hard later to get a level of relief. Pay for one of those self help things. I had that a few times. It wont dose you to close together if you keep pushing the button so is quite safe.

On a lighter note here are some stories of people who operate on themselves.


Anybody know of a vein specialist in Taipei area? I have had a large chunk of vein removed from my right leg in Canada because it was varicose and bothering me, and now the part that my BC medical wouldn't pay for because they though it was for esthetic reasons is bothering me. It's pretty minor surgery and I'll pay for it. Just need to find a specialist.


Healthcare system here excellent?!?

I see doctors make decision every day based purely upon thier own economic benefit. The infection control here is about the poorest I've seen and the misdiagnosis rate very high. It's not all the doctor's fault, the reimbursement system plays a part and so does the lack of gatekeeper.
Yes, some of that happens in the US and other places, but not ever remotely at the same level.

Taiwan healthcare covers 96% of the population yet Taiwan healthcare spend is a lower portion of GDP than any other nationalized healthcare system - about on par with Mexico. So....where do you think they are saving the money? Well, one they do it through re-sterilization of disposable items.


I'm also a survivor of an inguinal hernia operation. IMO it went excellent. I had it done at the Cathay Hospital in Hsinchu, it didn't cost me and arm and a leg and I had the best care. I even had my own private ward! After two weeks I was perfectly recovered and I haven't had any problems during the 10 months since the operation. One thing though, I went for weekly reflexology after the operation to help with the recovery process, so I don't know how much that contributed to my current state of health.


I had surgery to repair a shattered bone two years back as a result of a traffic accident. The quality of the surgery and follow-up was excellent. All of my questions about rehab and timelines were answered carefully.

However, if I never stay in another trauma unit for the rest of my life, it will be too late. Next time (hopefully there isn't a next time) I'm springing for a private room.



I also had an unpleasant experience with a doctor at the Adventist. The arrogant little bastard ended up wanting to have a fight with me in the corridor. Unfortunately I had a broken hand... The nurse from their "Priority Care Centre"* whisked me away before the doctor could do any damage.

*This is where you pay thousands of NT to jumpt the queue. Same crappy apathetic "I'm just a drug salesman" doctors, you just jump the queue.

I have [url= a rant on post-operative pain management[/url] and one on expat private medical insurance.


Heeding Lord Lucan's warnings elsewhere on post-op pain, post-op pain management is the first question I'm aiming at any dentist I plan to allow to perform hideous tasks on me. Actuallly, pre-during and post comfort will be discussed.

It's sound advice. I plan to be comfortably numb for a week at least when I get my teeth done in Thailand (just decided).



I have been a bit slow doing this. My web site is here . It has been up for a while, but only my brother has joined so far :frowning:


My son (just over 2) had an inguinal hernia op earlier in the summer. It went very well and we're happy with the pre-op, the op itself, and the follow up. It's a very standard procedure.


I just had a vague or maybe even a misdiagnosis from NTU hospital. Over the last 2 years (December, 2004 - until this month), I've dealt with pain in my right shoulder. I can't do much in the gym or even when I'm sleeping and wake up in the morning my shoulder aches. I visited NTU hospital 3 times and saw the same Doctor over the last 2 years. He told me I had a small piece of bone that was chipped and maybe even a mild separation. He gave me a non-steriod injection the first 2 visits and x-rayed the shoulder. Also gave me a perscription for voltaren.

Well, the pain has gotten worse. So I went to Mackay Hospital on Chung Shan North Road. They did a X-rays and an ultrasound and found that I DO NOT have a bone chip or even a separation.

The problem with my shoulder is that there is some arthritis in the AC joint. It's osteoarthritis and seems that it will get, and has gotten, worse. Especially with the rain and the cooler weather.

The Doctor at Mackay wants me to do some rehab - conservative treatment. But I tried that for about a year and it didn't really work. It's just getting worse.

My question is, which hospital would be the best for me to get arthoscopic surgery to take the arthritis out? I was looking at the Shin Kong Orthopedica Sports Medicine Clininc at the AIT website and there is a Doctor they recommend who works there.

Does anyone have any experience with osteorrthritis and getting treated for it in any of the Taipei hospitals?

The procedure I'm interested in is called resection arthroplasty.



I had laser surgery done to reduce the size of my tonsils. Pretty simple operation. I hardly get sick now, though, and I was really happy with my doctor. He’s in Tainan, and his hospital is in Pingdong. He also teaches, so he is able to explain things very well, plus his English is great. I’d recommend looking into it, for anyone who often suffers from throat irritation or colds, etc.
I can be emailed, if someone wants to know more.


About 4 years ago, my left shoulder dislocated while playing basketball. It was maybe the 8th or 10th time it had dislocated in as many years. It really worried me – what if my should dislocated while doing the nasty in a ktv bathroom with a gangster’s girlfriend? – how would I defend myself? Or…what if it dislocated while swimming? It has happened once!

Well, after visiting the hospital and having my bones snapped back to where they should be, I asked a friend of mine about surgery. She is a head nurse and has been in the operating room many times.

Luckily for me, she could tell me "Dr. X is lazy. He takes too many smoking breaks during surgery and flirts too much with the nurses …etc. etc… Dr. A is so-so. And Dr. B is really good. He has good skill and regularly goes to conferences and trainings to get better and he specializes in sports medicine. "

Ok, so I went with Dr. B and was satisfied with the results. I have had no recurrence of dislocation and have regular range of motion in my left shoulder. It cost me something like NT$ 15,000 …

That was in Kaohsiung Medical University on Shirchuen Rd


I’ve been off colour for a bit.

Anyway I have come down from my mountian abode to Chiayi. I had some tests and xrays done yesterday. Hmm need some surgery.

Couldn’t check in immediatley as no spare beds but will be in for surgery today.

Chiayi Christian Hospital is where I’m at.

I have private insurance over the NHI as well. The staff are professional and being able to comminucate in Chinese has helped but many medical professionals speak enough English.

The doctor doing the surgery is from HK but we didn’t speak in English. Their real concern was how I would react to being under general but I have had several operations before for knee reconsrtuctions so thats not a problem.


I have a friend who lives in China (not chinese) who needs to have his gall bladder removed. He is scared to have surgery in China. I tried to ask in a couple of national hospitals here the approximate price of such a surgery for a foreigner with no national insurance, but noone gave me an answer, saying - he needs to be checked out first. (how much will the check up be they didn’t tell either). Are there any decent hospitals in Taipei specializing on treating foreign nationals, that could tell me how much will the surgery cost, including pretty much everything - tests, anaestesia, hospital accomodation etc? All he needs to know now is approximate price, to figure out which country in the region is better (and safer) to go to have a surgery. I will appreciate your help!


Lots of Docs in Taiwan are trained in the USA. I would head for this one: … -6818.html … %99%A2.pdf
My mother was diagnosed some years ago by the National Taiwan Univ hospital as having suffered a mild stroke. She had fallen on the floor and couldnt get up and we took her there. She got a bunch of meds and was told to check in with the local doc in Wanli later that day. We did, and the doc there (who was an old friend of the doc at NTU) confirmed the diagnosis and said that I should call him the next day. Well the next day he came over and said that we should do a cat scan on her brain because her symptoms could also be a brain tumor!!

We had that done at the ShinKong hospital (I picked it because it was brand new then and seemed to be well equipped). The doc was a very young (early forties) guy educated in the USA. I was thinking if he had enough experience as he was quite young to be a brain surgeon in my humble opinion). He took one look at my mom and said that he was certain it was NOT a stroke and a CAT scan was certainly the way to go.

We had to wait the standard seven days to get results (as this was not an emergency). But exactly seven days later when the doc was made known of the results he immediately called and said we must check her in that day without delay as he had found a very large tumor in my moms brain.

We checked her in right away. He then scheduled a very advanced look on the inside of the brain with this special machine that threads a camera inside your body , inside your brain from a vein in your leg. Amazing really.

She went in for a 12 hour surgury and was scheduled to be in ICU for 72 hours. She made a fantastic recovery and was in ICU only 24 hours and then special care for only another 24. About 3 days later released from hospital and been fine since. And its been ten years.

Insurance picked up almost all of the over one million Nt dollar cost (this wouldve cost the moon in the USA) cept for bout 100,000nt.

The hospital was first class all the way. I would recommend it.


I lived in Taiwan for 6 years and had no issues with the health system, I had several small incidents such as a broken rib, broken rotater cuff and pneumonia. Ironically I am now based in Shanghai and have a herniated lumbar disc that urgently needs surgery. I am returning to Taiwan to have the operation done in Taichung. The hospital here asked me for Rmb200,000 (NT$980,000) which shocked me. The hospital in Taichung has quoted me in the region of NT$175,000. Its not a matter of cost but of feeling safe with the Taiwanese surgeons. The hospital system can appear like a train station with people entering into your room whilst you are having a consultation with a doctor, these are small matters and in no way should they put you off from seeing a Taiwanese doctor or having surgery done in Taiwan.


I had a lumbar disc removed at the Taiwan University Hospital four years ago. During the first procedure, the neurosurgeon tried to remove only a partial amount of the disc. That procedure took seven hours. I still had the pain, so he removed the entire disc. That procedure took four hours. Two weeks in hospital and 11 hours of neurosurgery cost me NT$30,000!


Sounded like that wouldve been close to a million bucks in the USA.

A friends quick visit to the Emergency room where they just checked his vital signs and kept him there an hour or two. The bill was 17,000 US dollars !! Just for that. But it went to his insurance company.

Still 17,000 USd for nothing really.


The quality of care here is extremely high. I have been to hospitals in Taipei and Kaohsiung, and everytime I’ve gotten great care that is most importantly - VERY CHEAP! If I ever moved back to the US, I would probably save all my big surgeries for when I came back to Taiwan to visit friends.