Brachytherapy cost in Switzerland

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
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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 Switzerland?

The cost of Brachytherapy in Switzerland may differ from one medical facility to the other. The top hospitals for Brachytherapy in Switzerland covers all the expenses related to the pre-surgery investigations of the candidate. The Brachytherapy procedure in Switzerland includes the fees of the surgeon, hospitalization and anesthesia as well. Stay outside the package duration, post-operative complications and diagnosis of a new condition may further increase the Brachytherapy cost in Switzerland.

Which are some of the best hospitals in Switzerland for Brachytherapyt?

There are many hospitals that perform Brachytherapy in Switzerland. Some of the most renowned hospitals for Brachytherapy in Switzerland include the following:

  1. Universitatsspital Basel
  2. Paracelsus Clinic
How many days does it take to recover post Brachytherapy in Switzerland?

Upon discharge from the hospital after Brachytherapy in Switzerland, the patients are advised to stay for about 21 days for recovery. This period is important to conduct all the follow-up tests to ensure that the surgery was successful and the patient can go back to the home country.

Which are some of the other popular destinations for Brachytherapy?

Switzerland 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. Some of the other destinations that are popular for Brachytherapy include the following:

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

Apart from the cost of Brachytherapy, the patient is also required to pay additionally for daily meals and guest house accommodation. These charges starts from USD 50 per person.

Which are the best cities in Switzerland for Brachytherapy Procedure?

There are many cities that offer Brachytherapy in Switzerland, including the following:

  1. Basel
  2. Lustmuhle
  3. Geneva
How many days does one have to spend in the hospital for Brachytherapy in Switzerland?

After Brachytherapy, the patient is supposed to stay for about 1 days in the hospital for recovery and monitoring. The patient is subjected to several biochemistry and radiological scans to see that everything is okay and the recovery is on track. After making sure that patient is clinically stable, discharge is planned.

How many hospitals offer Brachytherapy in Switzerland?

There are more than 2 hospitals that offer Brachytherapy in Switzerland. The above mentioned clinics have the required infrastructure and a dedicated unit where patients can be treated. Apart from good services, the hospitals are known to follow all standard and legal guidelines as dictated by the local medical affairs body or organization.

Who are the best doctors for Brachytherapy in Switzerland?

Some of the renowned medical specialists for Brachytherapy in Switzerland are:

  1. Dr. Ilker Acemoglu

FAQ's Related to Switzerland

Which are the popular multispecialty hospital groups in Switzerland?

Switzerland is one of the leading medical tourism destinations with top hospitals, such as:

  1. Paracelsus Clinic, Lustmuhle;
  2. Geneva Women Care, Geneva;
  3. Universitatsspital Basel, Basel;
  4. Klinik Hirslanden Zürich, Zurich;
  5. Lindenhofspital Bern, Bern;
  6. Hirslanden Klinik Aarau, Aarau

The country has more than 500 hospitals and boasts of some of the biggest private hospitals in the world. Around 12 hospitals are accredited and they adhere to international standards. With an increasing number of hospitals, healthcare has become more affordable and accessible in Switzerland. The hospitals have evolved into centers of competence for outpatient diagnostic and therapy. The multispecialty hospitals in Switzerland provide world-class treatment with the help of high-tech equipment, the latest medical technologies, and state-of-art infrastructure.

What healthcare accreditation standards are followed in Switzerland?

Healthcare facilities in Switzerland have to sign contracts on quality care in order to meet international standards. Healthcare accreditation is based on the model of the International Standards Organization. Healthcare accreditations are given according to the standard EN 45001 which acts as a benchmark for the quality of test results evaluated as per the set values and requirements, thus contributing to the evaluation of the technical competence of a provider. Healthcare standards act as a quality framework to effectively evaluate, control, and improve the standards of quality healthcare.

Why should I opt for healthcare in Switzerland?

A few reasons why Switzerland is leading the way in medical tourism are traditional values of quality, precision, cleanliness, research-focus, and highly qualified experienced staff. Backed with state-of-art infrastructure and exceptional research institutes, Switzerland offers quality medical care of international standards. Switzerland is popular for its excellence in new treatments and healthcare innovations. The country is flocked with several famous research institutes that focus on developing new medical technology. High level of privacy, quality treatment, and a wide spectrum of treatment specialties are some of the other factors that lead to Switzerland’s popularity in medical tourism.

Do hospitals in Switzerland accept health insurance?

Hospitals in Switzerland generally accept health insurance but always connect with your insurance company to check whether the treatment you want to undergo is covered at the hospital in the country. If it is an approved insurance provider, the hospital will request the GOP (Guarantee of Payment) from the insurance directly to commence your treatment cashless. It is important to note that there are many things that are not covered under insurance like cosmetic surgery, pregnancy and abortion, and diagnostic tests. If your insurance plan is not approved in Switzerland, you will have to pay for the treatment and later claim for reimbursement once you return to your country.

What are the popular procedures available in Switzerland?

The most sought-after procedures in Switzerland are:

  1. Cosmetic surgery
  2. IVF treatment
  3. Neurosurgery
  4. Obesity surgery
  5. Orthopaedic surgery

These procedures are performed with high precision and accuracy at high-standard clinics and hospitals backed by advanced technology, and well-trained doctors. A lot of people visit Switzerland for cosmetic surgery performed by highly trained surgeons with high precision and accuracy. The increasing popularity of IVF in Switzerland is mainly attributed to highly trained fertility experts, a large number of clinics, and personalized care.

Which are the most popular cities in Switzerland for medical treatment?

Top destinations for medical tourism in Switzerland are Basel, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano, Zurich, Lucerne, Bern. These cities have modern infrastructure, world-class hospitals, and highly trained doctors which contribute to providing quality treatment. These cities have modern infrastructure, world-class hospitals, and highly trained doctors which contribute to providing quality treatment. A large number of hospitals, scenic value, rich culture, availability of translators, and safety of tourists also contribute to the popularity of these cities in medical tourism.

Is it mandatory to take vaccinations before going to Switzerland?

The vaccines recommended by WHO and CDC are:

  1. Hepatitis A
  2. Hepatitis B
  3. Rabies
  4. Meningitis
  5. Polio
  6. Measles
  7. Mumps and rubella (MMR)
  8. Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis)
  9. Chickenpox
  10. Shingles
  11. Pneumonia
  12. Influenza.

Always have MMR and other routine vaccinations because some regions of Switzerland have periodic disease outbreaks. Vaccines and their dosage vary as per the traveler's age, immunization history, and current medical conditions. Pre-exposure vaccination against rabies and yellow fever is recommended before travel to Switzerland.

What is the process for obtaining medical visa in Switzerland?

A candidate needs to apply for a Schengen Visa for traveling to Switzerland to seek treatment. You are allowed to stay for a maximum of 90 days in Switzerland if you hold this visa. In case you have to stay for more than 90 days, you need to apply for a National Visa for Medical Treatment. You need to produce the below documents to apply for a medical visa:

  1. Full return flight reservation
  2. Proof of stay in Switzerland
  3. Signed official medical letter from medical institution
  4. Signed medical letter from a recognized local practitioner
  5. Passport
  6. Passport-sized photographs
  7. Online Application form

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