Deep Brain Stimulation in Tunisia

Treatment and Cost

15

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2 No. Travelers

5 Day in Hospital

10 Days Outside Hospital

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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

What is the health care infrastructure of Tunisia / Why should opt for Tunisia as a destination for your medical treatment?
Hospitals in Tunisia are developing and trying to meet the international standards of healthcare. Although there is a basic set up in most of the hospitals for treatment in Tunisia, one can still expect scope for improvement. The Ministry of Health, along with the Government of Tunisia is making effective changes for the healthcare sector. The private hospitals in Tunisia are also undergoing a robust change to provide effective healthcare and treatment in Tunisia.

Like most other countries, hospitals in Tunisia have a private and public healthcare system. Hospitals in Tunisia include three levels of care: primary, with a network of 81 clinics and 2091 basic health centers; secondary, with 109 district hospitals; and tertiary, with 33 regional hospitals and 24 modern CHUs, according to MoS figures.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in Tunisia? Are they JCI certified? What is the quality of the support staff in the hospitals?
The Joint Commission International (JCI) is a global leader in health care accreditation. JCI accreditation is considered a gold standard in worldwide health care. It provides the most skilled and experienced healthcare professionals in the medical industry, as evaluators of the rigorous international standards in healthcare quality and patient safety.
In Tunisia, there are no JCI accredited hospitals but 4 private hospitals are certified ISO and OHSAS (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series).
Are the doctors/surgeons in Tunisia of the best quality?
The hospitals in Tunisia have seen a constant change in terms of development and technology. Most doctors that are trained in the country understand the needs and requirements of people and are able to diagnose and treat them well. There are various surgeons that fly in from other countries as well to treat patients. This was brought about due to the economic reforms and various expats residing there. The varying levels of health organizations provide reasonable means of treatment for any patient. There are also trained paramedical and emergency service staff in this country.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in Tunisia?
Patients who wish to visit Tunisia for medical purposes must contact the Embassy of Tunisia in their home country. One is required to have a valid passport. Those applicants must submit their visa application forms in person together with the following documents:
  1. A duly completed application form with one picture (within a white background).
  2. Original biometric passport and one copy. Passports should have a validity of at least one year from the date of your visa application submission.
  3. Medical certificate stating the type of illness and the treatment to be carried out. This document has to be in English or Spanish language.
  4. Letter from the hospital in Tunisia stating the appointment date and whether the treatment expenses have been already paid in full.
  5. Proof of financial means which enable the applicant to meet life needs while in Tunisia (salary certificate if working, bank statement for the last six months, property deeds, commercial license, other sorts of income).
  6. Travel insurance.
  7. Proof of accommodation (hotel reservation, etc)
  8. Applicants are advised that ALL PASSPORTS HAVE TO REMAIN at the Embassy premises while the visa application is under process (between 10 and 15 days), and therefore cannot be retrieved unless very special and urgent circumstances might arise.
  9. The Embassy has the right to require from the applicant any document that it may deem relevant in order to resolve the visa file.
What support services does MediGence provide in Tunisia?
MediGence enables you to plan and manage your medical decisions better. These are some of our services offered:
  • Expert Opinion
    We help you seek an Expert Opinion on your diagnosis and treatment from an experienced team of doctors at MediGence and specialists from a reputable hospital.
  • Hospital Recommendation
    We recommend a hospital or a healthcare institution that is best suited for you, based on your ailment and its criticality.
  • 360-degree Hospital Review
    We give you a transparent and holistic view of the hospital and its infrastructure, accreditation, facilities, and expertise to give you confidence.
  • Doctor Validation and Communication
    We share a comprehensive profile of the treating doctor and also arrange a call to clear queries regarding treatment if needed.
  • Options to Choose From
    Based on your choice of destination and other preferences, we provide you multiple options with respect to hospitals and doctors to choose from.
  • 24X7 Patient Care Support
    A dedicated patient case manager stays in constant touch with you to help you at every step of the decision-making process and resolve queries that you may have.
  • Transparent Treatment Cost and Other Expenses
    We give a clear and accurate indication of the total cost of treatment including treatment, stay, meals, and other expenses.
  • Visa Assistance
    We provide and help prepare documentation for visa approval and coordinate with the embassy to expedite the visa process.
  • Accommodation Arrangements
    We propose to you a choice of accommodation based on your preference such as long stay, short stay, or luxury properties.
Which are the best cities in Tunisia for medical treatment?
Tunis is the largest country and capital of Tunisia. This country is located in the northern region of Africa and is the best city for treatment in Tunisia.

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