Deep Brain Stimulation cost in South Africa

Deep brain stimulation is considered as one of the primary advancements in neuroscience and psychiatry, as it provides the necessary treatment for neurological disorders or imbalance in pathological activity of the brain. The stimulator is capable of analysis the brain activities, and providing necessary stimulation required for curing any abnormality. More than a hundred cases of Deep Brain Stimulation are reported across the world, with high success rates. DBS has proven to induce satisfaction among 92.5-95% of patients, however, it has successfully helped in reduction of symptoms in 75% of cases. However, in general, any DBS surgery cost varies approximately from $40,000 to $57,000 and depends on several factors.

What is Deep Brain Stimulation?

Deep Brain Stimulation involves the use of specific stimulating devices or electrodes that are affixed in necessary positions. The device studies the pathological activities of the brain and thereby controls the functioning to improve cognitive brain functioning as well as reduce symptoms of other disorders. The electrodes are however connected to a controller or pace-maker placed in the chest beneath the skin.

Ideal Candidates for Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery

For Deep Brain Stimulation to be performed, one has to be an eligible candidate for the procedure. Apart from certain disorders, DBS can also be performed to study and analyze brain activity in specific cases. Thus, ideal candidates for DBS procedure are individuals who:

  • Suffer from Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, dystonia, OCD, tremors.
  • Need analysis or treatment for major depression, persistent clustering headache, Huntington’s disease, addiction, post-stroke recovery, Tourette syndrome, multiple sclerosis, etc.
  • Are unresponsive or not completely satisfied with other treatments.
  • Need thorough monitoring of the brain activity to continue with regular activities.

Factors affecting the cost of Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery

The factors that closely affect the Deep Brain Stimulation cost are:

  • Type of disorder an individual is suffering from
  • Extent of DBS surgery required
  • Follow up treatments required post-procedure
  • Healthcare benefits availed
  • Surgeons or neurologists performing the operation
Treatment and Cost

21

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

2 Day in Hospital

19 Days Outside Hospital

Treatment cost starts from

USD 48500

Hospitals

About the Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a neurosurgical procedure that involves implantation of electrodes within the specific targeted areas of the brain. It is used to treat a variety of disabling neurological symptoms. Deep brain stimulation procedure can be opted for treating a number of neurological conditions, including Parkinson's disease, Essential tremor, Dystonia, Epilepsy, Tourette syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder and chronic pain. Deep brain stimulation uses a neurostimulator, commonly referred to as deep brain stimulator,  to deliver electrical stimulation to targeted areas in the brain that control movement.

The impulse sent by deep brain stimulator interferes with and blocks the electrical signals that cause tremor and other Parkinson’s disease symptoms. The targeted areas most often include the thalamus, subthalamic nucleus and globus pallidus. Deep brain stimulation procedure has a long history of research. It was first introduced in 1987 and The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved deep brain stimulation treatment for essential tremor and Parkinson's disease in 1997.

What is deep brain stimulation treatment?

Deep brain stimulation treatment is recommended for people who have had Parkinson’s disease for at least four years, are still getting benefited from medications, but have motor complications, such as significant on-off time periods. Brain stimulation therapy works by inactivating the parts of the brain that cause Parkinson's disease symptoms. However, DBS Parkinson does not damage the healthy brain tissue by destroying nerve cells. It blocks electrical signals from targeted areas of the brain.

Deep brain stimulation treatment has proven effective in most of the cases, but it could potentially result in serious complications and side effects. This is the main reason why deep brain stimulation treatment is used only for patients whose symptoms are not appropriately controlled with medications.

How is Deep Brain Stimulation performed?

During the deep brain stimulation therapy, the neurosurgeon first uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan to identify the exact target within the brain where electrical nerve signals generate the symptoms. Some doctors may use microelectrode recording (a small wire that observes the activity of nerve cells in the target area) to more specifically and precisely identify the target in the brain that will be stimulated during the treatment.

After identifying the targets in the brain, there are several ways in which the permanent electrodes are placed into the target areas. The patient is given a local anaesthetic before the procedure, and then the neurosurgeon implants electrode by making small holes in the skull. The implanted electrodes are connected with extensions (a thin insulated wire) connected with the stimulator. These extensions are passed by some incisions under the skin of the head, neck, and shoulder. Deep brain stimulator is a battery-operated medical device similar to a heart pacemaker. It is implanted under the skin near the collarbone or in the chest.

Recovery from Deep Brain Stimulation

Typically, patients need to stay in the hospital until their incision-related pain is under control, they are able to eat, drink and walk. Mostly, the patients are required to stay for only one night at the hospital after the surgery, but some patient may be advised to stay for at least two nights. The patient will not be able to shower or wet the area around the incision until the wound has completely healed. Deep brain stimulation programming takes place about 3 to 4 weeks after the surgery and this is when the actual benefits of the treatment can be reaped.

After a few weeks of surgery, the neurostimulator (IPG) is activated by a specialist. The specialist can easily program the IPG from outside the patient’s body using a special remote control. The amount of stimulation is customized as per specific needs. Stimulation may be constant or the specialist may advise to turn the IPG off at night and back on in the morning, depending on the condition of the patient. The batteries of stimulator may last for three to five years. The IPG replacement procedure is relatively simple. Inform your doctor immediately in case you experience any problems related to speech, balance, and coordination or in case you experience mood swings, numbness, muscle tightness, or lightheadedness.


There are many  benefits of deep brain stimulation, including the following:

  • It gives patients an average of five more hours of symptom-free time every day.
  • It does not involve the use of medicine and most patients are able to reduce their medication usage after they undergo treatment, which means fewer drug-induced side effects.
  • It does not reduce future therapy options. It is reversible and the stimulator can also be turned off at any time if it is causing some uncommon side effects.
  • Deep brain stimulation systems are designed so that an MRI head scan is possible with proper safeguards.
  • Brain stimulation therapy does not require purposeful destruction of any part of the brain. Therefore, it has fewer complications than other therapies such as pallidotomy and thalamotomy.
  • The electrical stimulation is adjustable and can be changed as per the patient's disease response to medications change.

Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does Deep Brain Stimulation cost in South Africa?

The cost of Deep Brain Stimulation procedure starts from USD 48500 in South Africa. Deep Brain Stimulation in South Africa is conducted across several COHSASA certified hospitals.

What are the factors affecting the cost of Deep Brain Stimulation in South Africa?

Deep Brain Stimulation cost in South Africa varies from one hospital to the other. The Deep Brain Stimulation package cost usually includes all the expenses related to pre and post surgery expenses of the patient. The Deep Brain Stimulation procedure in South Africa includes the fees of the surgeon, hospitalization and anesthesia as well. Extended hospital stay, complications after the surgery or new diagnosis may affect the overall cost of Deep Brain Stimulation in South Africa.

Which are some of the best hospitals in South Africa for Deep Brain Stimulationt?

Many hospitals in South Africa perform Deep Brain Stimulation. Some of the most renowned hospitals for Deep Brain Stimulation in South Africa include the following:

  1. Ahmed Kathrada Private Hospital
  2. Life Kingsbury Hospital
  3. Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre
How many days does it take to recover post Deep Brain Stimulation in South Africa?

While the speed of recovery may vary from patient to patient, they are still required to stay for about 21 days after discharge. This time frame is important to ensure that the surgery was successful and the patient is fit to fly back.

Which are some of the other popular destinations for Deep Brain Stimulation?

One of the topmost destinations for Deep Brain Stimulation is South Africa. It has a variety of accredited hospital, affordable cost of treatment and some of the best medical fraternity. Some of the other popular destinations for Deep Brain Stimulation include the following:

CountryCost
IndiaUSD 25000
IsraelUSD 60000
MalaysiaUSD 45000
Saudi ArabiaUSD 42000
SingaporeUSD 55000
South AfricaUSD 48500
South KoreaUSD 60000
SpainUSD 85000
SwitzerlandUSD 62500
ThailandUSD 70000
TurkeyUSD 25000
United KingdomUSD 34500
How much are the other expenses in South Africa apart from the cost of Deep Brain Stimulation?

There are certain expenses additional to the Deep Brain Stimulation 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 cost in this case may start from USD 50 per person.

Which are the best cities in South Africa for Deep Brain Stimulation Procedure?

Some of the best cities in South Africa which offer Deep Brain Stimulation are:

  1. Durban
  2. Cape Town
  3. Johannesburg
  4. Lenasia
How many days does one have to spend in the hospital for Deep Brain Stimulation in South Africa?

After the Deep Brain Stimulation takes place, the average duration of stay at the hospital is about 2 days. 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.

What is the average rating of Hospitals in South Africa offering Deep Brain Stimulation?

The average rating for Deep Brain Stimulation 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.

How many hospitals offer Deep Brain Stimulation in South Africa?

There are more than 3 hospitals that offer Deep Brain Stimulation in South Africa. Such clinics have the required infrastructure and a dedicated unit where patients can be treated. These hospitals comply with all the rules and regulations as dictated by the regulatory bodies and medical association in South Africa

Who are the best doctors for Deep Brain Stimulation in South Africa?

Some of the top doctors for Deep Brain Stimulation in South Africa are:

  1. Dr. KD Jivan
  2. Dr. K Ranchod

FAQ's Related to South Africa

Which are the popular multispecialty hospital groups in South Africa?

The popular multispecialty hospital groups in South Africa are:

  1. Ahmed Al-Kadi Private Hospital
  2. Busamed Hillcrest Private Hospital
  3. Busamed Gateway Private Hospital
  4. Busamed Modderfontein Private Hospital
  5. Busamed Lowveld Hospital
  6. Lenmed Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre
  7. Busamed Paardevlei Private Hospital
  8. Life Bay View Private Hospital
  9. Lenmed Shifa Hospital

These hospitals have taken the patient experience to the next level by ensuring the below things:

  1. Providing clear information about medicines to patients
  2. Effective engagement between nursing staff/doctors and patients;
  3. Suitability of the hospital environment for meeting the needs of patients
  4. Effectively managing pain.

The hospitals are bound to provide quality treatment as the government of South Africa has framed strict healthcare rules to ensure there is no quality lapse. The hospitals are backed with state-of-art infrastructure, the latest medical equipment, and well-trained doctors and offer world-class facilities to enhance the patient experience.

What healthcare accreditation standards are followed in South Africa?

In South Africa, the healthcare system is bound to follow standards set by the Joint Commission International (JCI) and Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COHSASA). To ensure that integrated and coordinated care is provided, COHSASA develops as well as measures standards in all areas and departments of a healthcare facility. The SafeCare program introduced by JCI, COHSASA, and SafeCare Foundation aims at using internationally recognized standards to provide 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.

Why should I opt for healthcare in South Africa?

A large number of medical tourists visit South Africa every year due to low-cost treatment and modern infrastructure. 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. In addition, South Africa’s liberal laws allow for the use of stem cells in medical practice, making it an invaluable destination for patients in need of advanced medical treatment. You get comprehensive treatment at world-class hospitals which assist you with all organization and administrative tasks and also provide you all-inclusive care and assistance on a 24/7 basis.

How is the quality of doctors in South Africa?

South Africa produces some of the finest doctors in the world who are well-trained and highly qualified to serve patients with quality care. Most of the doctors in South Africa are trained in foreign countries like Cuba and Australia which orientate them towards quality health care. The doctors deliver great results in dental procedures and fertility treatments and provide complete patient satisfaction through a holistic approach. The high quality of doctors in the country is attributed to factors like their patient-centric approach, incorporation of the human touch in treatment, education at reputed colleges, and adherence to global standards.

How to obtain a medical visa in South Africa?

You can avail a medical visa to South Africa and stay in the country for 90 days to seek treatment. Further extension of the duration of the stay is decided by the High Commission of the country where the patient belongs from. People who require medical treatment for longer than three months must apply for a temporary residency permit. 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:

  1. Passport
  2. Passport-sized photographs
  3. Online Application form
  4. Full return flight reservation
  5. Proof of stay in South Africa
  6. Signed official medical letter from medical institution
  7. Signed medical letter from a recognized local practitioner
What are the popular procedures available in South Africa?

Some popular procedures available in South Africa are hip replacement, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, total knee replacement, meniscus repairs. Cosmetic surgery and infertility treatment are some of the other popular procedures in South Africa which have a high success rate. Egg donation program is very popular in the country and you have an option of having either a surgical or non-surgical procedure, with very 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.

Which are the most popular cities in South Africa for medical treatment?

Some popular cities of South Africa that attract a huge number of medical tourists every year are Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Durban. Cape Town is a world-class tourism attraction and is home to a variety of people from different cultures, as well as some of the top-class doctors and state-of-the-art medical facilities in the world An efficient public transportation system, affordable accommodation, connectivity through airlines, and a wide range of food options are some of the reasons for the popularity of these cities among medical tourists. Johannesburg’s public and private healthcare industry coordinates with South Africa's medical schools to create internationally recognized medical specialists and the quality of medical care is on par with Great Britain.

Is it mandatory to take vaccinations before going to South Africa?

Yes, vaccination is mandatory before you travel to South Africa. Some of the vaccines recommended by WHO and the National Travel Health Network and Centre are 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. You need to go for typhoid vaccination if you are going to stay with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas. It is best to refer to the travel advisory to know in detail about the required vaccines. You can also get in touch with your doctor or the hospital in South Africa for more information on vaccination.