Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT) cost in South Africa

SRT or Stereotactic radiotherapy is a procedure of using several precisely focused beams of radiation to treat tumors as well as other related problems inside the brain, lungs, spine, neck, liver and other body parts.  

Moreover, it can not be termed as surgery as per the traditional manner since no incision takes place. Rather it uses 3D imaging for targeting high radiation doses to the affected parts with minimal effect on the healthy tissues in the surrounding of the affected part.  

Stereotactic Radiotherapy for the brain as well as the spine is generally completed in one session only. For other body parts like lungs, adrenal, in short, the soft tissue tumors require multiple sessions ranging from 3 to 5.  

Ideal Candidate for Stereotactic Radiotherapy 

Almost 5 decades past, stereotactic radiosurgery, pioneered as one less invasive as well as a safer alternative for the standard surgery of brain (neurosurgery), that requires incisions inside the skin, the skull, and the membranes that surround the brain as well as the brain tissue.

From then on, the practice of this stereotactic radiosurgery expanded widely in order to treat several different neurological plus other conditions, as mentioned below: 

  • Brain Tumor
  • AVM or Arteriovenous malformation
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Pituitary Tumors
  • Tremors
  • Other cancers

Researchers are further exploring the application of this stereotactic radiosurgery to treat numerous other ailments, including, breast cancer, prostate cancer, melanoma of the eye, lung cancer, psychological disorders like obsessive-compulsive disorder, and epilepsy.

Factors affecting the cost of Stereotactic Radiotherapy 

Several factors affect the stereotactic radiotherapy cost depending on the area and severity of the treatment. Such as:

  • Place of cancer
  • Type of treatment
  • Stage of cancer 
  • Available resources
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About the Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT)

Stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) is a type of technique used to precisely target radiation beams at the tumour. This is one of the latest innovations in the field of radiation therapy. Since this treatment requires special equipment, machine, and expertise, this treatment is not widely available across all cancer treatment hospitals.

SRT involves treatment of a tumour with the help of a special machine known as a linear accelerator (LINAC). This machine is used to deliver external radiation therapy in the case of normal radiation therapy and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).

SRT treatment involves of small daily doses of radiation, which are also known as fractions. The patient may be advised to undergo anywhere between 3 to 30 fractions in a day, depending on the extent of cancer and the size of the area that is being targeted. SRT is mostly used for the treatment of smaller lesions and tumours and is less than 3 cms in size.

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) are types of SRT. SRS is also known as Gamma Knife surgery. It involves exposing the tumour to a very high dose of radiation in one to five fractions. Gamma Knife surgery is usually used for the treatment of a tumour in the central nervous system (CNS).

On the other hand, SBRT is a special procedure used for the treatment of tumours located outside the central nervous system. In this approach, radiation is delivered through different directions or positions of the body. It can be used for the treatment of small tumours in the lungs, pelvis, prostate, pancreas and other organs as well.

SRT is mostly used for the treatment of the following conditions:

  • Secondary brain tumours
  • Small lesion or brain tumour that has a well-defined edge
  • Glioma that may have returned after months or years of treatment

Gamma Knife surgery is different from CyberKnife radiation. The latter is used for the treatment of cancerous and non-cancerous tumours as well as other medical conditions. CyberKnife treatment is actually a frameless robotic radiosurgery system that delivers a high dose of radiation to the targeted location.

How is Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT) performed?

Just before the surgery, the radiographer will fit the head frame or the mask in case it is being used for other parts of the body. This is done to restrict the movement so that the targeted location stays in place. You may receive a local anaesthetic before the placement of mask or head frame.

You are placed on the radiotherapy table as soon as the frame is in place. A typical session lasts for just 10 minutes or more, depending on how much radiation is scheduled to be delivered.

In the case of stereotactic radiosurgery or Gamma Knife surgery, several tiny beams of radiation are aimed at a tumour precisely. It can also be used for the treatment of specific conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, trigeminal neuralgia, and epilepsy. This lets the specialist focus a single dose of large radiation at a time to eliminate the tumour cells. In the case of stereotactic body radiation therapy,  several beams of radiation are targeted at the cancerous tumour from different directions.

Recovery from Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT)

Most of the patients are able to resume their normal life and work within two or three days of the procedure. The patients are usually discharged on the same day of the procedure. However, a few of them may be required to stay overnight is medically advised or needed.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the factors affecting the cost of Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT) in South Africa?

Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT) cost in South Africa varies from one hospital to the other. Some of the best hospitals for Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT) offer a comprehensive package that covers the end-to-end expenses related to investigations and treatment of the patient. The Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT) procedure in South Africa includes the fees of the surgeon, hospitalization and anesthesia as well. There are many things that may increase the cost of Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT) in South Africa, including prolonged hospital stay and complications after the procedure.

Which are some of the best clinics in South Africa for Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT)t?

Many hospitals in South Africa perform Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT). The top hospitals for Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT) in South Africa include the following:

  1. Ahmed Kathrada Private Hospital
  2. Life Kingsbury Hospital
How many days does it take to recover post Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT) in South Africa?

After Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT) in South Africa, the patient is supposed to stay in guest house for another 20 days. 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 Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT)?

South Africa is considered to be one of the best places for Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT) 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 popular destinations for Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT) include the following:

CountryCost
IndiaUSD 4500
ThailandUSD 5000
TurkeyUSD 5500
United Arab EmiratesUSD 14500
How much are the other expenses in South Africa apart from the cost of Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT)?

Apart from the Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT) cost, there are a few other daily charges that the patient may have to pay. These are the charges for daily meals and accommodation outside the hospital. These charges starts from USD 50 per person.

Which are the best cities in South Africa for Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT) Procedure?

The following are some of the best cities for Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT) in South Africa:

  1. Durban
  2. Cape Town
  3. Lenasia
  4. Johannesburg
How many days does one have to spend in the hospital for Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT) in South Africa?

After Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT), the patient is supposed to stay for about 1 day in the hospital for recovery 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.

What is the average rating of Hospitals in South Africa offering Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT)?

The average rating for Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT) hospitals in South Africa is 2.9. This rating is automatically calculated on the basis of several parameters such as the infrastructure of the hospital, quality of services, nursing support and other services.

How many hospitals offer Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT) in South Africa?

There are more than 2 hospitals that offer Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT) in South Africa. These hospitals have propoer infrastructure as well as offer good quality of services when it comes to Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT) Additionally, these hospitals are known to comply with the international standards as well as local legal requirements for the treatment of patients.

Who are the best doctors for Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT) in South Africa?

Some of the renowned medical specialists for Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRT) in South Africa are:

  1. Dr. Nirasha Chiranjan
  2. Dr. Ronelle De Villiers
  3. Dr. Koos Bouwer
  4. Dr. Bernard Donde
  5. Dr. Omondi Ogude
  6. Dr. Sudeshen Naidoo

FAQ's Related to South Africa

Which are the popular multispecialty hospital groups in South Africa?

The popular multispecialty hospital groups in South Africa are:

  1. Ahmed Al-Kadi Private Hospital
  2. Busamed Hillcrest Private Hospital
  3. Busamed Gateway Private Hospital
  4. Busamed Modderfontein Private Hospital
  5. Busamed Lowveld Hospital
  6. Lenmed Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre
  7. Busamed Paardevlei Private Hospital
  8. Life Bay View Private Hospital
  9. Lenmed Shifa Hospital

The performance of these hospitals have been evaluated on the below parameters:

  1. Providing clear information about medicines to patients
  2. Effective engagement between nursing staff/doctors and patients;
  3. Suitability of the hospital environment for meeting the needs of patients
  4. Effectively managing pain.

Providing world-class treatment, the hospitals comply with strict healthcare laws and also adhere to medical protocols and international standards to ensure quality care. The hospitals have world-class doctors and top-notch infrastructure and provide a wide range of facilities to meet the needs of patients.

What healthcare accreditation standards are followed in South Africa?

The hospitals in South Africa receive accreditation from Joint Commission International (JCI) and Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COHSASA). In order to ensure coordinated and integrated care is provided by healthcare facilities, COHSASA sets and assesses standards for all sectors and departments of a healthcare system. COHSASA, JCI, and SafeCare Foundation have come together to launch the SafeCare program to implement internationally recognized standards to improve health care delivery. Clinics and Hospitals that comply with standards are initially given two-year accreditations and this period is extended if they are consistent in providing quality care.

Why should I opt for healthcare in South Africa?

Affordable healthcare and superior infrastructure are the main reasons for the popularity of South Africa in the medical tourism sector. Medical tourists prefer South Africa for treatment due to many other reasons like world-class facilities provided by hospitals, advanced technology, global exposure of doctors, and accredited hospitals. South Africa has also liberal laws for the application of stem cells in medical practice, making the country a leading destination for patients who need advanced medical treatment. The hospitals in South Africa aim to destress your medical holiday by dealing with all of the organization and administrative tasks, as well as provide intensive care and assistance on a 24/7 basis.

How is the quality of doctors in South Africa?

The doctors in South Africa strive to provide quality treatment utilizing their deep subject knowledge and hands-on experience in handling various complex cases. Many doctors in South Africa receive their training in foreign countries like Australia and Cuba which provide them global exposure and make them more competent in handling cases with high precision and accuracy. Using a holistic approach, doctors have received worldwide recognition for delivering excellent results in dental procedures and fertility treatments. Some important factors which contribute to the production of good quality doctors in the country are education at premier colleges, adherence to global standards, patient-centric approach, and incorporation of the human touch in treatment.

How to obtain a medical visa in South Africa?

You can get a medical visa to South Africa for 90 days. The High Commission of the country decides for how long a visa could be extended. People must apply for a temporary residency permit if they require medical treatment for longer than three months. A visa becomes valid the day it is issued by the High Commission and not on the date of departure. Also, an application for a visa is not be accepted more than 30 days before departure. You need to produce the below documents to apply for a medical visa:

  1. Passport
  2. Passport-sized photographs
  3. Online Application form
  4. Full return flight reservation
  5. Proof of stay in South Africa
  6. Signed official medical letter from medical institution
  7. Signed medical letter from a recognized local practitioner
What are the popular procedures available in South Africa?

Some popular procedures available in South Africa are hip replacement, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, total knee replacement, meniscus repairs. South Africa has also gained popularity for delivering excellent results in cosmetic surgery and infertility treatment. Egg donation program is available in South Africa and it is even possible to select your donor, as well as gives you the option of having a surgical or non-surgical procedure, all with very low waiting times. Low-cost treatment, fast recovery, use of advanced medical technology, and highly trained doctors are some of the reasons for the popularity of these procedures.

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

The top-ranked cities that are most preferred by medical tourists in South Africa are Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Durban. Cape Town is the medical tourism hub visited by a large number of people from different ethnicity and cultures due to world-class doctors and state-of-the-art hospitals. The reasons for the popularity of these cities are multiple food options, connectivity through airlines, and cheap accommodation. Johannesburg’s healthcare system is on par with Great Britain and the city’s public and private healthcare industry works closely with South Africa's medical schools to create internationally recognized medical specialists.

Is it mandatory to take vaccinations before going to South Africa?

Yes, you need to get vaccinated before travelling to South Africa. WHO and the National Travel Health Network and Centre have suggested the following vaccinations: Yellow fever, hepatitis A, rabies and tetanus, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera. Infants of age 6 to 11 months should get a single dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before they travel to South Africa. It is always recommended that you get typhoid vaccination if you are going to stay with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas of South Africa. It is best to refer to the travel advisory to know in detail about the required vaccines. You can also get in touch with your doctor or the hospital in South Africa for more information on vaccination.