Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Connection (TAPVC) or Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR) is a rare congenital disorder characterized by a malformation in all the four pulmonary veins that carry oxygenated blood from the lungs to the atrium. The malformation is such that the veins do not connect to the left atrium perfectly.
In case of TAPVC, the four pulmonary veins drain into the right atrium because of an anomalous connection. There are different TAPVC types, depending on where and how the pulmonary veins drain into the right atrium. The common TAPVC types include supracariac, cardiac, and infracardiac TAPVC.
All types of TAPVC are corrected with the help of a surgery, which is conducted during infancy itself. Additionally, all types of TAPVC almost always have an atrial septal defect (ASD), which requires a separated surgery for its closure. An ASD is a hole between the upper two chambers of the heart. As a result, some amount of oxygenated blood from the right atrium is transferred to the left atrium and out from the body.
TAPVC is detected as soon as the baby is born or even before. The following are some of the main TAPVC symptoms:
TAPVC repair is conducted as soon as the condition is diagnosed, which may happen during pregnancy or after the birth of the baby. However, the exact time as to when the repair is conducted depends on the overall health of the baby. During TAPVC repair, the neonatal cardiac surgeons connect the pulmonary veins to the back of the left atrium to restore the normal flow of blood to the heart. Additionally, they also close off any abnormal connection between the pulmonary veins. The TAPVC repair procedure does not end there. The last step in the repair mostly includes the closure of the ASD. Prior to the surgery, the body of the child is connected to an artificial heart-lung machine. The machine is disconnected as soon as the normal beating of the heart is restored after making doing all the corrective repairs.
TAPVC repair success rate is excellent with over 95 percent success rate in children who are treated electively. A child or an adult may undergo TAPVR surgery successfully, however, that does not mean that it is fully cured. They will have to attend follow-up appointments with the surgeon in the future on a regular basis. The success rate, on the other hand, is low when the procedure is conducted on an emergency basis in critically-ill infants. Even if infants do survive after undergoing emergency TAPVC repair procedure, they will be kept under a prolonged post-surgery intensive care. They are also put on a ventilator machine to assist breathing.
Even is the repair is successfully handled, the patient is required to attend follow-up session with the surgeon for the rest of your life. During the follow-up appointments, the surgeon will check the progress and keep a tap on health conditions that may develop as the child grows into an adult. Most of the children who undergo TAPVC repair and ASD closure are able to grow and develop normally. Abnormal cardiac rhythm and obstruction in the pulmonary veins are the two post-surgical complications that may rarely occur.
TAPVC package cost in South Africa has different inclusions and exclusions. There are many hospital that cover the cost of pre-surgical investigations of the patient in the treatment package. Typically, the package cost of TAPVC in South Africa includes the expenses related to the surgeon's fee, anesthesia, hospital, meals, nursing and ICU stay. A prolonged hospital stay due to delayed recovery, new diagnosis and complications after surgery may increase the cost of TAPVC in South Africa.
After discharge from the hospital, the patient has to stay for another 18 days in the country for complete recovery. This duration of stay is recommended to complete all the necessary follow-ups and control tests to ensure that the surgery was successful.
While South Africa is considered to be one of the best destinations for TAPVC owing to the standard of Hospitals, and expertise of doctors; there are a select few destinations which provide comparable quality of healthcare for the procedure Some of such countries are:
There are certain expenses additional to the TAPVC cost that the patient may have to pay for. These are the chanrges for daily meals and hotel stay outside the hospital. The per day extra expenses in South Africa per person are about USD 50 per person.
Some of the cpopular cities in South Africa that offer TAPVC include the following:
The patient is supposed to stay at the hospital for about 3 days after TAPVC for monitoring and care. During the recovery, the patient is carefully monitored and control tests are performed to see that everything is okay. If required, physiotherapy sessions are also planned during recovery in hospital.
The average rating for TAPVC hospitals in South Africa is 2.9. This rating is automatically calculated on the basis of several parameters such as the infrastructure of the hospital, quality of services, nursing support and other services.
There are more than 3 hospitals that offer TAPVC in South Africa. The above listed clinics are approved to perform the surgery and have proper infrastructure to handle TAPVC patients. Such hospitals follow all legal protocols and guidelines as specified by the local medical affairs body when it comes to the treatment of international patients.
South Africa is one of the leading medical tourism destinations with top hospitals, such as:
The performance of these hospitals have been evaluated on the below parameters:
Providing world-class treatment, the hospitals comply with strict healthcare laws and also adhere to medical protocols and international standards to ensure quality care. The hospitals have world-class doctors and top-notch infrastructure and provide a wide range of facilities to meet the needs of patients.
Joint Commission International (JCI) and Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COHSASA) are two healthcare accreditation bodies in South Africa. In order to ensure coordinated and integrated care is provided by healthcare facilities, COHSASA sets and assesses standards for all sectors and departments of a healthcare system. The SafeCare program launched by COHSASA, JCI, and SafeCare Foundation ensures the implementation of internationally recognized standards to improve health care delivery. Clinics and Hospitals that comply with standards are initially given two-year accreditations and this period is extended if they are consistent in providing quality care.
Affordable healthcare and superior infrastructure are the main reasons for the popularity of South Africa in the medical tourism sector. Medical tourists prefer South Africa for treatment due to many other reasons like world-class facilities provided by hospitals, advanced technology, global exposure of doctors, and accredited hospitals. Liberal laws for the use of stem cells in South Africa have helped it attract a large number of medical tourists for advanced medical treatment. The hospitals in South Africa strive to take the stress out of your medical holiday by helping you with all kinds of organization and administrative tasks, as well as provide all-inclusive care and assistance on a 24/7 basis.
The doctors in South Africa strive to provide quality treatment utilizing their deep subject knowledge and hands-on experience in handling various complex cases. Having trained in foreign countries like Australia and Cuba, doctors in South Africa use their global exposure in developing deep expertise in various procedures. Doctors in South Africa are known for their deep expertise in dental procedures and fertility treatments. South Africa has world-class doctors due to several reasons like their education at reputed colleges, adherence to global standards, patient-centric approach, and incorporation of the human touch in treatment.
You can get a medical visa to South Africa for 90 days. The High Commission of the country decides for how long a visa could be extended. People must apply for a temporary residency permit if they require medical treatment for longer than three months. The validity of a visa begins the same day it is issued by the High Commission in South Africa. A visa application is accepted until 30 days prior to the departure date. Below documents are required for applying for a medical visa:
South Africa is known to offer some procedures with high success rates, such as total knee replacement, meniscus repairs, hip replacement, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. South Africa has also gained popularity for delivering excellent results in cosmetic surgery and infertility treatment. Egg donation program is available at the majority of fertility clinics and you can opt for a surgical or non-surgical procedure, with quite low waiting times. The reasons for the popularity of these procedures are affordable treatment cost, speedy recovery, use of advanced technology, and highly trained doctors.
Top destinations for medical tourism in South Africa are Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Durban. Cape Town is the medical tourism hub visited by a large number of people from different ethnicity and cultures due to world-class doctors and state-of-the-art hospitals. The reasons for the popularity of these cities are multiple food options, connectivity through airlines, and cheap accommodation. Johannesburg’s public and private healthcare sectors work in coordination with South Africa's medical schools to produce internationally recognized medical specialists and the city’s medical care quality matches with that of Great Britain.
Yes, you need to get vaccinated before travelling to South Africa. WHO and the National Travel Health Network and Centre have suggested the following vaccinations: Yellow fever, hepatitis A, rabies and tetanus, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera. Infants of age 6 to 11 months should get a single dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before they travel to South Africa. Typhoid vaccine is recommended for most travellers, especially those staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas. You can connect with your doctor or the hospital in South Africa for the required vaccines. Also, refer to the travel advisory issued by the government.
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