Total Hip Replacement in Bangkok Saves Queensland Man $50,000

Many Australians travel overseas for their orthopaedic surgery to save time and money. But one Queensland man never could have dreamed of the savings ahead of him once he’d booked his total hip replacement with the World Orthopaedic Medical Travel Centre in 2016.

At 69 years of age, Queensland man Ronald was struggling to maintain the active lifestyle recommended to him.

Doctors, dietitians, physiotherapists and personal trainers love to hurl exercise recommendations from every corner of the healthcare industry.

For Ronald, exercising more wasn’t even an option.

But Ronald wasn’t lazy. Nor was he one to intentionally avoid physical activity.

Ronald’s struggles were due to his severe hip osteoarthritis, diagnosed in early 2016.

Already working a physically demanding job near his hometown in Central Queensland, Ronald was relying on strong pain medication to do things most of us take for granted.

Working, walking and even sitting for any period of time was causing Ronald excruciating hip pain and discomfort.


Ronald Survey Before Travel

Above: Ronald’s self-reported pain levels living with hip osteoarthritis

So Ronald turned to his doctor and, as anticipated, received the news that he’d need a total hip replacement.

Luckily Ronald had health insurance, right?

Ronald did have health insurance.

But, as is the case for many Australians needing orthopaedic surgery, Ronald’s health insurance cover was as useful as a paper teapot.

They’d cover him for pretty much everything except for orthopaedic surgery.

“I don’t know why I’ve been paying health insurance all these years,” Ronald told WO.

Returning to his doctor, the estimate for his hip surgery was presented to him.

Total hip replacement in Australia = $65,000

Stunned, Ronald and his wife Cathy fast looked elsewhere for an immediate solution to Ron’s debilitating hip pain, which had now started to affect his ability to work.

“The public waiting list will take at least a year, we just can’t wait that long,” said wife Cathy.

After speaking to friends about their limited options, the couple looked overseas for solutions and called World Orthopaedic (formerly SkyGen Orthopaedic).

Within one phone call, Ronald and Cathy quickly discovered they could be saving up to $50,000 off of their orthopaedic surgery bill.

Not only would they save money, their surgery could be booked within 2 weeks.

Their surgeon back home wasn’t even available for a consultation for another month.

“All things going well, Ronald could be back home, weeks into his recovery before that next available appointment with his local surgeon.”

After an even bigger boost of enthusiasm resulting from speaking with previous patients, Ronald quickly had his preoperative checkup performed and was cleared for his operation overseas.

With the unwavering support of his wife Cathy by his side, the couple were soon off to Thailand.

Arriving at the Hospital in Bangkok

Following their guide through the Bangkok airport, Ronald and Cathy were met by their driver who’d take them to Bangpakok International Hospital.

The couple soon checked into their Hospital Residences for the night before Ronald’s preoperative checkup.

Ronald met his surgeon Professor Pibul Itirivavong (MD) and was immediately impressed.

“[Professor Pibul] is fantastic, I really get along with him. He’s obviously great at what he does.” said Ronald

With all test results agreeing with those from back home, Ronald was prepped and ready for surgery the next day.

The surgeon reported a successful surgery, and Ronald started on his road to recovery.

As with all patients Ronald’s next 1-2 weeks consisted of:

  • Complimentary physical therapy at the hospital
  • Relaxing in his private suite with his wife
  • Exploring the hospital, its cafes and international menus, and
  • A final consultation with the surgeon before heading back to the airport

Testimonial after his total hip arthroplasty

Once arriving back in Australia, Ronald checked in with his doctor and continued his rehabilitation as if he’d had surgery locally.

A month later, Ronald touched base with us to give us an update on his progress.

His pain report had changed, significantly:

Ronald report after hip replacement

Above: Ronald’s self-reported pain levels after returning from hip surgery overseas

Ronald’s wife Cathy also sent us the following thank in an email:

…On behalf of my husband Ron and myself we would like to thank you so much for all your help and support. When we decided to have the surgery overseas it was with much apprehension and anticipation. All I can say is that from the moment we were met at the airport the support and information we were given was amazing and did not stop until we landed back in Australia. The hospital and accommodation was amazing and the medical staff were all great.

We would go back if we were in need of other medical procedures. I don’t believe you can print this but by chance I myself ended up in hospital not long after we arrived home. I would not go back to a public hospital here in Australia again for anything.

We are happy to talk to future patients that are considering the same thing to let them know of our positive experience.



Every patient is unique and results may vary between surgery centre/hospital, surgeon, surgery type and patient. Patients may be recommended a different treatment/surgery by their surgeon to that described above depending on their specialist assessment. All surgeries carry elements of risk. Before committing to any surgery either locally or abroad, make sure that you understand these risks thoroughly by discussing your circumstances and recommended surgery independently with a trusted medical professional.  

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