Brachytherapy cost in Tunisia

Treatment and Cost

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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method, highly radioactive particles are placed in a catheter or slender tube for a specific amount of time and then withdrawn.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 Tunisia?

The Brachytherapy package cost in Tunisia varies from one hospital to another and may offer different benefits. There are many hospital that cover the cost of pre-surgical investigations of the patient in the treatment package. The Brachytherapy procedure in Tunisia 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 Brachytherapy in Tunisia.

Which are some of the best clinics in Tunisia for Brachytherapyt?

Brachytherapy in Tunisia is offered by multiple hospitals across the country. Some of the best hospitals for Brachytherapy in Tunisia include the following:

  1. Hannibal International Clinic
  2. Taoufik Clinique
  3. Clinic Soukra
How many days does it take to recover post Brachytherapy in Tunisia?

While the speed of recovery may vary from patient to patient, they are still required to stay for about 21 days after discharge. This duration of stay is recommended to complete all the necessary follow-ups and control tests to ensure that the surgery was successful.

Which are some of the other popular destinations for Brachytherapy?

While Tunisia is considered to be one of the best destinations for Brachytherapy 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 the other popular destinations 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 Tunisia apart from the cost of Brachytherapy?

There are certain additional cost that the patient has to pay apart from the Brachytherapy cost. The extra charges may start from USD 50 per person.

Which are the best cities in Tunisia for Brachytherapy Procedure?

Some of the best cities in Tunisia which offer Brachytherapy are:

  1. Carthage
  2. Tunis
  3. El Manzah
  4. Marsa
  5. Soukra
How many days does one have to spend in the hospital for Brachytherapy in Tunisia?

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 Tunisia?

There are more than 3 hospitals that offer Brachytherapy in Tunisia. The above listed hospitals are approved to perform the surgery and have proper infrastructure to handle Brachytherapy patients. These hospitals comply with all the rules and regulations as dictated by the regulatory bodies and medical association in Tunisia

FAQ's Related to Tunisia

Which are the popular multispecialty hospitals in Tunisia?

We bring to you the popular multispecialty hospitals in Tunisia:

  1. Hannibal International Clinic, Tunis
  2. Cinic Soukra, Soukra
  3. La Centre International Carthage Medical, Monastir
  4. Clinic Alyssa, Tunis
  5. Taoufik Clinique, El Menzah
  6. Eureka Esthetique, Marsa
  7. Polyclinique L'Excellence, Mahdia
  8. Clinique Avicenne, Tunis
  9. Taoufik Hospital Group
  10. Clinique De L`espoir, Tunis
  11. Ennasr Clinic, Ariana
  12. El Manar Clinic, Tunis
  13. Polyclinique les Jasmins, Tunis
  14. Pasteur Clinic, Tunis
  15. La Clinique Mediterraneenne, Tunis

It is widely known that hospitals and clinics in Tunisia function with unmatched service delivery and bring a personal touch to the treatment of patients. The finesse and efficiency with which multispecialty hospitals in Tunisia diagnose and treat health conditions is admirable. The advanced healthcare infrastructure in the hospitals and clinics in Tunisia makes for a pretty good reason for you to get your healthcare in the country.

Why should I opt for healthcare in Tunisia?

The advanced healthcare infrastructure in the hospitals and clinics in Tunisia makes for a pretty good reason for you to get your healthcare in the country. The hospitals and clinics in Tunisia have not only the most qualified medical and paramedical personnel but quality administrative professionals as well making Tunisia a good choice for your healthcare. You can choose to get healthcare from Tunisia because of the lower costs, lesser waiting times and an all embracing approach to healthcare right from consultation to treatment follow ups or rehabilitation. The safety, security and the cleanliness standards of Tunisia and healthcare in Tunisia respectively makes it an attractive destination to get your healthcare from.

What is the quality of doctors in Tunisia?

The practical training and long term experience of doctors in Tunisia enables them to work well under pressure for long hours which translates to great results. The right approach to education is followed by doctors in Tunisia who are well educated and enhance this education as they continue to practise medicine leading to content patients. The doctors in Tunisia are not just well educated and experienced but good managers. This becomes especially relevant when as a patient you find they are in charge as they liaison with doctors, healthcareprofessionals and as the head of the team that is treating you. The doctors in Tunisia are great at leading medical, surgical teams and are experienced in liaising with doctors and healthcare professionals giving you the confidence as a patient that you are in good hands.

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

Please find here the list of essential documents that must be with you on your medical travel to Tunisia:

  1. Visa
  2. Passport
  3. Credit Card/Debit Card/Net Banking
  4. Sufficient finances to cover your expenses
  5. Medical Reports
  6. Referral from hospital from country of origin recommending your treatment
  7. Return flight tickets
  8. Accommodation proof

Please ensure that the documents you carry to Tunisia must cover the requirements of the journey from your country of origin to your treatment and the journey back home. The Government of Tunisia is making an effort to make sure that your medical travel to Tunisia is made easier. It is introducing the online visa application for Tunisia where your short term visit for medical tourism is preceded with a hassle free visa process. An essential document for your medical travel to Tunisia, the medical visa would now be easier to get with the introduction of a more seamless online visa application process.

What are the popular procedures available in Tunisia?

We have listed here for your convenience the popular procedures that are being performed in Tunisia:

  1. Breast Cancer Treatment
  2. Fibroid Removal Surgery
  3. Knee Replacement
  4. Hip Replacement
  5. Spinal Fusion

It is no wonder that Spine and Orthopaedic procedures are giving the edge to the medical travel industry in Tunisia. A combination of wonderful medical providers and application of advanced techniques has ensured that Breast Cancer treatments in Tunisia are drawing a lot of medical tourists. The types of popular procedures being performed everyday in Tunisia are growing in number and scope but of the existing ones, gynecological procedures such as fibroid removal surgery are performed routinely.

Is it mandatory to take vaccinations before going to Tunisia?

We have mentioned here for you the vaccinations that are important for you to take before you head to Tunisia.

  1. Chickenpox
  2. Shingles
  3. Pneumonia
  4. Influenza
  5. Hepatitis A
  6. Hepatitis B
  7. Typhoid
  8. Rabies
  9. Meningitis
  10. Polio
  11. Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR)
  12. TDAP (Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis)
  13. Covid19

The recommended and routine vaccinations before medical travel to Tunisia are advised by CDC: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US agency and WHO: World Health Organisation, a UN body. When you are traveling to Tunisia, there are some vaccines that help you be proactively protected from ailments and are considered mandatory or routine and there are others that are suggested for certain potential hazards like Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid and Rabies. It is always wise to get vaccinated before going on your medical travel to Tunisia whether recommended by any health agency or not.

What are the other facilities provided by hospitals in Tunisia?

Whenever you are in the process of deciding to go to Tunisia for medical travel, the many additional facilities extended by the hospitals make the decision easier. We have outlined for you the various additional facilities that are there in the hospitals in Tunisia:

  1. In house laboratories to run tests
  2. Language proficient interpreters
  3. Accommodation for patients and co-travellers
  4. International and local travel assistance
  5. Hospital transfers
  6. Pharmacies managed through computerized systems

As an international patient availing any treatment option in Tunisia, you can avail virtual consultations before you begin your treatment and virtual post procedure evaluations and follow ups as well. Good health options like dietitians, physiotherapists and prayer rooms for those religious souls are present in the hospitals in Tunisia.

What are the major medical tourism destinations in Tunisia?

The potential of Tunisia as a world class medical tourism destination is because of the synergy of the tourist attractions in its many governorates with the outstanding healthcare infrastructure available. The medical tourism destinations within Tunis are outlined here:

  1. Tunis
  2. Monastir
  3. Bizerte
  4. Sousse
  5. Tabarka
  6. Sfax
  7. Gabes
  8. Jerba
  9. La Marsa

In the 2020-21 Medical Tourism Index listing 46 countries, Tunisia has a good ranking of 38. This is because of the focus on healthcare, having good relationships with the European union and Arab nations and a strong tourism industry. Good healthcare at economical costs, effortless visa process and the hospitable nature of the people in Tunisia have made Tunisia an attractive medical tourism hub.