Stereotactic Radiotherapy (SRT) 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.

Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the health care infrastructure of South Africa / Why should opt for South Africa as a destination for your medical treatment?
Like most countries, hospitals in South Africa are based upon public and private healthcare systems. There are three main levels of healthcare based upon the payment method of the patient.
  • The full paying patients are those who usually prefer to be treated by a doctor working in the private sector. They can also be funded by an external source. Many non-South African citizens also prefer this treatment service.
  • Fully subsidized patients are those who have been referred from a Primary Healthcare Service Hospital.
  • Partially subsidized patients are patients whose costs are subsidized based on the amount of their income.
The public healthcare system has three main centers for health under its wing:
  • Clinics - These are run by trained professionals and nurses. They can serve as the first point of contact for a patient.
  • Community Healthcare Centre - This is a bigger setup, complete with full-fledged services and doctors and nurses.
  • Hospital - A patient usually gets here after a referral from a clinic or community health center. One can also go in for emergencies. A hospital provides various services like performing surgery and treating chronic illnesses.
Hospitals in South Africa are gearing up to tackle major illnesses and to provide better treatment options. The South African government is also working to introduce policies and towards accommodating more patients from all across the world. It is a great country to find affordable treatment options.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in South Africa? Are they JCI certified? What is the quality of the support staff in the hospitals
The Joint Commission International (JCI) accredits and certifies most health care organizations and programs all around the world. Joint Commission International Accreditation and Certification is recognized as the global leader for health care quality of care and patient safety.
Are the doctors/surgeons in South Africa of the best quality?
Doctors associated with Medigence are of the best quality. We hope to give our patients a pleasant experience and the best doctors we can find. Since South Africa has a lot of requirements in the field of healthcare, the country attracts doctors from all over the world to contribute their services. This can help to ensure that even you receive the best quality of doctors.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in South Africa?
One can apply for a visa to South Africa for a period of 90 days. The High Commission of India can then help one decide for how long a visa can be extended. This usually differs from person to person. The Medical Visa allows a person to stay for a maximum of six months with a valid visa. After this, one can go to the FRO office ( Foreigner’s Registration Office ) or FRRO (Foreigner's Regional Registration Office) and request for an extension. Do note that the validity of a visa begins on the day it is issued by the High Commission of India and not on the date of departure. Applications for visas will not be accepted more than 30 days prior to departure.
What support services does MediGence provide in the United Arab Emirates?
MediGence enables you to plan and manage your medical decisions better. These are some of our services offered:
  • Expert Opinion
    We help you seek an Expert Opinion on your diagnosis and treatment from an experienced team of doctors at MediGence and specialists from a reputable hospital.
  • Hospital Recommendation
    We recommend a hospital or a healthcare institution that is best suited for you, based on your ailment and its criticality.
  • 360-degree Hospital Review
    We give you a transparent and holistic view of the hospital and its infrastructure, accreditation, facilities, and expertise to give you confidence.
  • Doctor Validation and Communication
    We share a comprehensive profile of the treating doctor and also arrange a call to clear queries regarding treatment if needed.
  • Options to Choose From
    Based on your choice of destination and other preferences, we provide you multiple options with respect to hospitals and doctors to choose from.
  • 24X7 Patient Care Support
    A dedicated patient case manager stays in constant touch with you to help you at every step of the decision-making process and resolve queries that you may have.
  • Transparent Treatment Cost and Other Expenses
    We give a clear and accurate indication of the total cost of treatment including treatment, stay, meals, and other expenses.
  • Visa Assistance
    We provide and help prepare documentation for visa approval and coordinate with the embassy to expedite the visa process.
  • Accommodation Arrangements
    We propose to you a choice of accommodation based on your preference such as long stay, short stay, or luxury properties.
Which are the best cities in South Africa for medical treatment?
While many cities are striving to create some of the best hospitals in South Africa, Durban, Lenasia, and Cape Town already have some very good hospitals for treatment in South Africa. Located in Durban, Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre is a reasonable and affordable hospital in South Africa. Life Kingsbury Hospital in Capetown provides a holistic healing environment for patients. One can also opt for the Ahmed Kathrada Private Hospital in Lenasia. This hospital has been running for nearly 30 years now and various medical facilities can be availed from here.

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