Brachytherapy cost in South Korea

What is brachytherapy?

Brachytherapy is a procedure of placing radioactive material inside the body of the patient to treat any sort of cancer. This process is often called internal radiation. Brachytherapy enables doctors to convey higher portions of radiation to progressively explicit regions of the body, contrasted and the regular type of radiation treatment (outer shaft radiation) that ventures radiation from a machine outside of your body. 

Brachytherapy may cause fewer reactions than does outer pillar radiation, and the general treatment time is typically shorter with brachytherapy.

Brachytherapy is used to treat several types of cancer, including:

  • Bile duct cancer

  • Brain cancer

  • Breast cancer

  • Cervical cancer

  • Endometrial cancer

  • Esophageal cancer

  • Eye cancer

  • Head and neck cancers

  • Lung cancer

  • Pancreatic cancer

  • Prostate cancer

  • Rectal cancer

  • Skin cancer

  • Soft tissue cancers

  • Vaginal cancer

Symptoms of Brachytherapy

A portion of the symptoms of brachytherapy is like those seen with outside pillar radiation treatment, in spite of the fact that they are typically less extreme. 

Instances of intense or prompt symptoms include: 

  • Nearby swelling

  • Nearby wounding 

  • Release in instances of vaginal or womb cancer. 

  • Semen might be stained and, in uncommon cases, may contain ousted pellets. Patients are in this manner encouraged to utilize contraception during sex. 

  • Bleeding

  • Pain and discomfort at the site of the implant

  • The general sentiment of weariness 

Brachytherapy utilized for uterine, cervical, vaginal or prostate disease can prompt momentary urinary manifestations including urinary maintenance, torment on pee, incontinence, and failure to pee. Brachytherapy for these tumors can likewise prompt looseness of the bowels, stoppage and some rectal dying.

Factors affecting the cost of Brachytherapy

There can be varied factors that affect the costing of the procedure and many time external circumstances play an important role. The exact factors are:

  • State of the art technology

  • Brachytherapy isotope used

  • Individual spending capacity

  • Hospital allowances 

Treatment and Cost

21

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

1 Day in Hospital

20 Days Outside Hospital

Treatment cost starts from

USD 17000

Hospitals

About the Brachytherapy

Brachytherapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy. It is also known as internal radiation therapy. Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment in which ionizing radiation is used to destroy cancer cells and shrink the size of the tumors. The conventional form of radiation therapy is external beam radiation that projects radiation from a machine outside of the body. In case of internal radiation or brachytherapy, radioactive particles or sources that are internally placed in or next to the tumour site, are used to destroy cancer cells. Brachytherapy helps deliver a high radiation dose to the tumor, with minimal exposure to the surrounding healthy tissues.It thus allows delivering high doses of radiation to more-specific areas of the body.

Brachytherapy can be used for effective treatment of cervical, prostate, breast, skin, lung, head and neck, and gum cancer, in addition to tumors located in other parts of the body. Brachytherapy for prostate cancer is a commonly performed procedure. It is also used for the treatment of gum cancer as well. Brachytherapy is an alternative treatment for gum cancer and is conducted who are unfit to undergo a surgery or do not need one.

Brachytherapy can be completed in less time than other conventional radiotherapy techniques. Brachytherapy for prostate cancer and other cancers is often performed on an outpatient basis and patients typically have to take fewer brachytherapy sessions, as compared to external radiotherapy treatment for cancer. This makes brachytherapy more accessible and convenient to many patients. Most of the patients are able to tolerate brachytherapy very well with fewer side effects.

Types of Brachytherapy

There are two types of brachytherapy treatment:

  • Temporary brachytherapy:

    In this method, highly radioactive particles are placed in a catheter or slender tube for a specific amount of time and then withdrawn. Temporary brachytherapy can be administered at either low-dose rate (LDR) or high-dose-rate (HDR).

  • Permanent brachytherapy:

    In this method, a radioactive seed or pellet is implanted in or near the tumor and left there permanently. After a period of several months, the radioactivity level of the implanted seed eventually diminishes to nothing.

How is Brachytherapy performed?

Brachytherapy treatment plan is created and governed by a radiation oncologist, who is a highly trained physician specializing in treating cancer with radiotherapy. The radiation oncologist will require a team, including a medical physicist, dosimetrist, radiation therapist, radiation therapy nurse and in some cases, a surgeon to conduct the procedure. However, the radiation oncologist is the one who evaluates the patient and determines the appropriate therapy, including how much radiation to deliver.

In permanent brachytherapy, needles that are pre-filled with the radioactive brachytherapy seeds are inserted into the tumor. Then the needle or device is removed, leaving the radioactive seeds behind. Sometimes these seeds may be implanted in sessions using a device that inserts them individually at regular intervals. An appropriate imaging means such as an ultrasound, X-ray, MRI or CT scan may be used to assist the physician in positioning brachytherapy seeds at the right place. After implantation, some additional imaging can be done to verify seed placement.

Temporary brachytherapy starts with placing a delivery device, such as a catheter, needle, or applicator, into the tumor. Methods of imaging such as an ultrasound, MRI, or CT scan will help position the radiation sources correctly. The delivery device can either be inserted into a body cavity such as vagina (intracavitary brachytherapy) or applicators such as needles or catheters can be inserted into body tissues (interstitial brachytherapy). Device implantation will depend on the location of cancer.

Radiation using brachytherapy procedure can be delivered at three different levels:

  • High-dose-rate (HDR):

    HDR brachytherapy is given for over 10 to 20 minutes per session, but it can take several hours worth of preparation, which includes device placement. HDR brachytherapy is mostly conducted as an outpatient procedure, although sometimes patients are admitted for one to two days to have several HDR brachytherapy sessions using the same applicator.

    HDR brachytherapy delivers a specified dose of radiation to the tumor in a short burst using a remote-afterloading machine. This will help protect the patient from unnecessary exposure to radiation. This procedure can be repeated a couple of times on the same day.
  • Low-dose rate (LDR):

    LDR is delivered at a continuous rate of radiation for over 20 to 50 minutes. The patient needs overnight hospitalization so the delivery device can remain in place throughout the treatment. The radiation oncologist may insert the radioactive particle manually through the delivery device and remove the material and delivery device after the treatment.

  • Pulsed dose-rate (PDR):

    PDR brachytherapy is delivered in a similar way of LDR, but the treatment takes place in periodic pulses instead of continuous radiation. 

Recovery from Brachytherapy

For patients who have received brachytherapy for prostate cancer or any other types of cancer, limiting physical activity for at least three to five days is important. You can experience some level of grogginess after the procedure, however, it will last for only a few hours. You will be prescribed a few emergency medicines that you can take in case you experience pain or any other type of discomfort.

There are some side effects associated with all kinds of radiation therapy. However, the acute, sub-acute, or long-term side effects of brachytherapy depend on the location of the tumor being treated and the type of brachytherapy being used.

Some acute side effects of brachytherapy are

  • Localized bruising,
  • Bleeding, swelling,
  • Fatigue and discomfort within the implanted region.

But these are temporary side effects and usually resolve within a few days following completion of treatment.

Usually, brachytherapy does not cause any long-term side effects, but in a few cases, it may cause urinary and digestive problems. But in that case as well, long-term side effects are usually mild or moderate in nature and there are many palliative medicines that are available to cope with the symptoms.

Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the factors affecting the cost of Brachytherapy in South Korea?

Brachytherapy cost in South Korea varies from one hospital to the other. The top hospitals for Brachytherapy in South Korea covers all the expenses related to the pre-surgery investigations of the candidate. Typically, the package cost of Brachytherapy in South Korea 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 Brachytherapy in South Korea.

Which are some of the best clinics in South Korea for Brachytherapyt?

There are many hospitals across the country that offer Brachytherapy to international patients. The top hospitals for Brachytherapy in South Korea include the following:

  1. International St. Mary's Hospital
  2. Asan Medical Centre
How many days does it take to recover post Brachytherapy in South Korea?

After Brachytherapy in South Korea, the patient is supposed to stay in guest house for another 21 days. During this time, the patient undergoes medical tests and consultations. this is to ensure that the treatment was successful and the patient us safe to return.

Which are some of the other popular destinations for Brachytherapy?

South Korea is considered to be one of the best places for Brachytherapy in the world. This is because of the availability of some of the best doctors, advanced medical technology and good hospital infrastructure. However, there are other countries as mentioned below that are popular for Brachytherapy as well:

CountryCost
IndiaUSD 800
IsraelUSD 22500
SpainUSD 24000
ThailandUSD 4500
TurkeyUSD 4000
United Arab EmiratesUSD 6000
How much are the other expenses in South Korea apart from the cost of Brachytherapy?

Apart from the Brachytherapy cost, the patient may have to pay for additional daily expenses such as for guest house after discharge and meals. These charges starts from USD 50 per person.

Which are the best cities in South Korea for Brachytherapy Procedure?

Some of the best cities in South Korea which offer Brachytherapy are:

  1. Seoul
How many days does one have to spend in the hospital for Brachytherapy in South Korea?

The patient has to spend about 1 days in the hospital after Brachytherapy for proper recovery and to get clearance for discharge. 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.

How many hospitals offer Brachytherapy in South Korea?

There are more than 2 hospitals that offer Brachytherapy in South Korea. These hospitals have propoer infrastructure as well as offer good quality of services when it comes to Brachytherapy These hospitals comply with all the rules and regulations as dictated by the regulatory bodies and medical association in South Korea

Who are the best doctors for Brachytherapy in South Korea?

Some of the best medical specialists for Brachytherapy in South Korea are:

  1. Dr. Kyung Hae Jung
  2. Dr. Park Jung Yeol
  3. Dr. Lee Il Kyun
  4. Dr. Kim Bo Wook
  5. Dr. Kim Kyu Rae
  6. Dr. Jung Won Kwak

FAQ's Related to South Korea

What healthcare accreditation standards are followed in South Korea?

Korea Institute for Healthcare Accreditation (KOHIA) and Commission International (JCI) are the two main healthcare accreditation bodies in South Korea. JCI has a strong framework for quality standards that accredited hospitals need to follow and there are about 29 JCI certified hospitals in South Korea. KOIHA evaluates healthcare facilities on stringent parameters such as administrative management and quality of patient care, and performance management. JCI and KOIHA certified hospitals need to follow the standards that require strict monitoring of all critical events so that quality care is ensured.

Why should I opt for healthcare in South Korea?

South Korea is considered one of the top destinations for medical tourists with superior infrastructure and most advanced medical technologies. South Korea has world-class hospitals with highly-trained doctors who strictly follows the medical protocols to ensure safe treatment with a high success rate. Proving quality care at an affordable cost, the country is declared most innovative in healthcare practices. South Korea is one of the most preferred medical tourism destinations in the world due to many other reasons, such as a wide range of food options, scenic value, affordable accommodation, visa availability, transportation facilities, and language assistance.

What is the quality of doctors in South Korea?

The well-trained and highly skilled doctors in South Korea use their deep expertise in performing various procedures with a high success rate. The world-class doctors in South Korea have earned degrees from reputed universities and have experience of working in different countries, which makes them efficient in handling even the most complicated cases with high success rates. The doctors strictly follow medical protocols and adhere to international standards to ensure quality treatment and complete patient satisfaction. The doctors focus on preventative medicine to check complications and believe in treating patients with a human touch.

When traveling to South Korea for medical treatment, what essential documents do I need to carry along?

Connect with the concerned authority to find out if you require any extra documents as each country has different documentation policies. Make a list of all the documents you might need in South Korea in order to make sure that you do not miss any of them. Some other things documents you may need are currency/forex card, travel insurance paper, international SIM card. When you are traveling to South Korea for medical treatment, you should carry essential documents like test reports, records, doctor referral notes, medical History, passport copies, residence/ driver’s license/ bank statement/ details of Health insurance.

What are the popular procedures available in South Korea?

A large number of people visit South Korea every year to avail procedures like:

  1. Forehead Augmentation,
  2. Eye-Widening Surgery,
  3. Jaw Reduction Surgery,
  4. Double Eyelid Surgery,
  5. Liposuction,
  6. Facial Plastic Surgery,
  7. Rhinoplasty,
  8. Hair Transplant, and
  9. Chin Augmentation

. South Korea has reported the highest per capita rate of plastic surgery, according to a recent survey and the country is flocked with a high number of cosmetic clinics. Other most sought-after procedures available in South Korea are hip and shoulder replacement, cancer treatment, organ transplant, and cardiovascular surgeries. South Korea attracts a large number of cancer patients every year because the country has delivered excellent results in cancer treatment with proton therapy and robotic surgery.

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

South Korea has some of the leading medical tourism destinations in the world, such as Seoul, Busan, Incheon, Daegu, Cheonan, and Cheonan. The reasons why these cities are more preferred by medical tourists are state-of-art infrastructure, large number of hospitals, and highly qualified doctors, all contributing to world-class treatment. Some other factors that make these cities popular among medical tourists are transportation facilities, a wide range of food options, cheap accommodation, language assistance. A large number of plastic surgeries are formed in Seoul every year and the city is flocked with several aesthetic centers.

How to obtain a medical visa for South Korea?

A person willing to visit South Korea for treatment has to adhere to strict protocols set by the Korean embassy. All necessary papers stating the medical reason and the referral certificate signed by the registered medical expert need to be produced. A medical dependent visa is given to people who are accompanying the patient traveling to South Korea for medical treatment. All necessary documents or letters providing the details of the treatment and signed/stamped by the hospital/doctor, a declaration from the patient or any family member is also required.

Which are the popular multispecialty hospital groups in South Korea?

South Korea boasts of having top-quality multispecialty hospitals, such as:

  1. Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Seoul;
  2. Asan Medical Centre, Seoul;
  3. ID Hospital, Seoul;
  4. International St. Mary's Hospital, Seoul and,
  5. Wooridul Hospital Seoul, Seoul.

Backed by state-of-art infrastructure and advanced medical technology, the world-class multispecialty hospitals in South Korea are able to provide unmatched treatment of international standards. The patient-centric hospitals strictly follow the healthcare standards and protocols set by certifying bodies to ensure quality medical care without compromising patient safety. With a wide range of specialities, the hospitals have reported high success rates with the help of highly-experienced doctors who are capable of performing even the most complex surgeries with high accuracy and precision.

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