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.
There are two types of brachytherapy treatment:
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:
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
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.
Brachytherapy cost in the United Kingdom varies from one hospital to the other. The top hospitals for Brachytherapy in the United Kingdom covers all the expenses related to the pre-surgery investigations of the candidate. The Brachytherapy procedure in the United Kingdom includes the fees of the surgeon, hospitalization and anesthesia as well. There are many things that may increase the cost of Brachytherapy in the United Kingdom, including prolonged hospital stay and complications after the procedure.
There are many hospitals that perform Brachytherapy in the United Kingdom. The top hospitals for Brachytherapy in the United Kingdom include the following:
The recovery of the patient many vary, depending on several factors. However, on an average, patient is supposed to stay for about 21 days in the country after discharge. This is important to ensure that the surgery was successful. During this time, control and follow-up tests take place to check for medical fitness.
the United Kingdom is one of the most popular countries for Brachytherapy in the world. The country offers the best cost of Brachytherapy, best doctors, and advanced hospital infrastructure. However, there are other countries as mentioned below that are popular for Brachytherapy as well:
|United Arab Emirates||USD 6000|
There are certain expenses additional to the Brachytherapy cost that the patient may have to pay for. These are the chanrges for daily meals and hotel stay outside the hospital. The extra charges may start from USD 50 per person.
Some of the best cities in the United Kingdom which offer Brachytherapy are:
The average duration of stay at the hospital after Brachytherapy is about 1 days for proper care and monitoring. The doctors team review the patient's recovery during this time with the help of blood tests and imaging scans. Once they feel that everything is on track, the patient is discharged.
There are more than 1 hospitals that offer Brachytherapy in the United Kingdom. The above listed clinics are approved to perform the surgery and have proper infrastructure to handle Brachytherapy patients. Additionally, these hospitals are known to comply with the international standards as well as local legal requirements for the treatment of patients.
The healthcare systems in the United Kingdom receive accreditation from QHA Trent and United Kingdom Accreditation Forum. QHA Trent has been established to focus on improving the quality of the healthcare industry and reducing all kinds of risks for patients, healthcare providers, and the general public. Special attention is given to quality improvement through the merging of various accreditation programs, regulatory bodies, and other inspection and improvement processes. KOIHA has a strict procedure for evaluating the healthcare system based on administrative management, quality of patient care, and performance management.
Superior healthcare infrastructure and medical technology innovations are some of the most important factors that make the United Kingdom one of the leading medical tourism destinations in the world. In the last few years, the country has seen tremendous growth in the medical tourism industry, mostly due to more investment in technology and communication and transport. The United Kingdom’s healthcare system has received worldwide recognition due to some unique aspects like appointments and same-day diagnosis, rapid response multi-disciplinary review teams, and emerging treatments. The country has internationally acclaimed institutions such as BUPA Cromwell, and Great Ormond Street, and The London Bridge Hospital. These healthcare centers are backed by world-class doctors and facilities.
The United Kingdom produces some of the finest doctors in the world. Medical training in the country is a highly competitive field and there are more doctors seeking to undertake training than in any other country. The quality of doctors in the country matches the international standards. Majority of them have been educated at premier universities. There are many skilled surgeons who have the capability to handle even the most complicated cases with great ease, particularly those associated with knee replacement, gallbladder removal, and hip replacement. The country also has some of the most renowned cardiologists, neurologists, gynecologists, and orthopedic doctors who have handled critical cases effectively.
Depending on the country you are from, you may be able to visit the United Kingdom without a visa or by applying for a visa waiver. People coming from Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates can apply for a visa waiver. The documents required for applying for a medical visa include:
You can extend your visa by 6 months if you need further treatment.
United Kingdom is a leading therapeutic center with many premium hospital groups as listed below:
The hospitals deliver excellent results with a wide spectrum of medical procedures and provide a unique experience by letting patients recover in a comfortable, modern environment. Some other reasons for the popularity of these hospitals are the efficiency of the nurses, doctors, and other healthcare staff, the food options, the safety aspects, the quality control, patient care, low mortality rate. To find the top hospitals in the United Kingdom, there are a few rating systems you can check. The current highest ranked hospital in the country is the Royal Berkshire NHS Hospital, ranked at 67 in the world. You can refer to the inspection ratings of the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The United Kingdom has received worldwide recognition for its excellence in procedures like:
Breast augmentation and breast reductions are the top two surgical procedures in the country according to the BAAPS audit results. With recent developments in cancer care technology, the United Kingdom has been recognized as a leading country for effective cancer treatment. The United Kingdom attracts a large number of people for hip replacement. Around 50,000 hip replacement surgeries are performed in the United Kingdom every year.
The most popular cities that are preferred by medical tourists in the United Kingdom are:
Edgbaston Medical Quarter is the fastest growing healthcare hub which has a regional cluster of world-class hospitals offering quality treatment. Birmingham with modern infrastructure, top hospitals, better connectivity, and skilled doctors, has become a leading city for medical tourism. Attracting people from different corners of the world to seek treatment, London is the hub for world-class hospitals offering a number of procedures with high success rates.
Yes, vaccines are recommended or required for the United Kingdom. The CDC and WHO recommend the below vaccines for the country:
For effective immunization, a person should get vaccinated at least 8 weeks before the date of travel. In case you are suffering from a medical condition that restricts you from vaccination, you can be exempted from vaccination after a medical practitioner confirms the condition. You should keep yourself updated with a travel advisory issued by the government for complete information on vaccination.
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