Carpal Tunnel Release cost in South Africa

Also known as Carpal Tunnel Decompression Surgery, the procedure is used for treating Carpal Runnel Syndrome. The condition is characterized by compression or increased pressure at the median nerve of the carpal tunnel which passes through the wrists. Carpal tunnel surgery is suggested in case of persistent pain the first three digits (thumb, index as well as middle finger) and ring finger (towards the thumb side). The pain is mostly accompanied by a feeling of numbness or loss of sensation, and tingling sensation. The surgery is very common with more than 500,000 surgeries being performed worldwide annually. On an average, the carpal tunnel surgery cost may vary from below $1000 to above $3979, as it depends on a number of factors. 

a. Overview

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that occurs when the nerve lying in the center of the arm and hand gets pressed by the structures surrounding it. There can be pain in the hands, wrists, and arms region, occurring due to this syndrome.

A physical examination helps to determine if the syndrome is associated with daily activities or to an underlying disorder and may rule out other painful conditions that mimic the carpal tunnel syndrome. Electromyography is often used to confirm the diagnosis. This involves using a thin gauged needle that is inserted into a muscle in the wrist. The electrical responses are charted and the effect of damage or severity of the syndrome is analyzed. Ultrasound imaging is also used to assess the nerve in the center of the wrist.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is usually the result of a mixture of things that increase pressure on the central nerve and tendons within the carpal tunnel, instead of pressure from within the nerve itself. This disorder can also occur due to hereditary causes. Other contributing factors include trauma or injury to the wrist that causes swelling, like sprain or fracture. This also occurs due to various medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, pregnancy, and obesity.

b. Carpal tunnel release in South Africa

The most common procedure that is performed for carpal tunnel release in South Africa is an open carpal tunnel release surgery. This is done through a little slit of roughly 2-3cm at the bottom of the palm. The muscle that is putting pressure on the nerve is separated, which relieves the pressure on the nerve in the carpal tunnel. The tunnel must be checked for any masses or other pathology that may be present and can be treated.

The operation itself usually takes ten to twenty minutes, but the patient has to undergo the entire treatment for forty minutes to an hour to incorporate the anesthetic and wake-up time. Keyhole surgery also can be performed using special equipment to separate the transverse ligament from within, but this is often rarely done due to the high costs of the procedure.

c. Cost Comparison

Accredited hospitals, treatment at an affordable cost, and the best medical facilities have made South Africa one of the top destinations for carpal tunnel surgery. The cost of carpal tunnel in South Africa starts from 1000 USD to 3700 USD. There are many factors that affect the cost of this treatment such as the hospital’s fee, surgeon’s fee, anesthesia, stay in the hospital, the type of procedure you opt for, the complexity of the problem, etc. Do consult with your doctor to determine the complete cost structure.

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About the Carpal Tunnel Release

  • Carpal tunnel decompression, popularly referred to as carpal tunnel release, is a surgical procedure conducted to relieve symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • A nerve called median nerve along with many tendons pass through a small tunnel called carpal tunnel from the forearm to the upper hand. This nerve controls the movement of your fingers except for the little finger.
  • Sometimes there is tremendous pressure on the nerve and it presses the nerve against the tunnel. This results in specific symptoms such as numbness, weakness, tingling sensation, or pain in the fingers. This is known as carpal tunnel syndrome.


Is carpal tunnel surgery compulsory?

The treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome depends on the severity of the condition and the duration of the symptoms. Generally, the physicians first recommend non-surgical interventions such as the use of corticosteroid injections and wrist splints to relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

A carpal tunnel treatment surgery is recommended in case:

  • You experience loss of function in fingers or hand because of nerve damage confirmed in a median nerve test.
  • Your symptoms do not subside. Wait for two to seven weeks after starting non-surgical treatment.
  • You have difficulty in performing daily activities ranging from reduced strength in the thumb, loss of feeling, and loss of coordination.
  • You are not able to get sleep properly because of the pain.
  • The main cause of this situation is rheumatoid arthritis.

The carpal tunnel treatment surgery is an open technique. The surgeon may make a cut in the transverse carpal ligament that forms the roof of the tunnel. The carpal tunnel treatment allows more room for the median nerve and the tendons to pass through the tunnel. Thereby, the pressure on the nerve is reduced causing relief from the symptoms.

How is Carpal Tunnel Release performed?

Carpal tunnel surgery is a simple outpatient procedure. You can go to the hospital, get the surgery done, and walk back to home on the same day.

On the day of the surgery, the area to be operated is cleaned with an antiseptic solution to avoid the chances of contracting an infection. The anesthetist administers a local anesthetic injection to numb the wrist area. This is done so that you do not experience any pain during the procedure.

A small cut is made in the palm near to the wrist area. Once the transverse carpal ligament is visible, a small cut is made in the ligament. This relieves the pressure on the nerve. The skin is put back and stitched together in its original position. A bandage is placed on the palm.

 

Are there any other techniques?

The following are the two alternatives to the open carpal tunnel surgery:

Endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery: The surgical procedure is similar to that of open surgery but the entire surgery is performed by looking at the camera. A small incision is made and small instruments with a camera attached to them are placed inside. The incision is small and damage is minimal. It gives you a chance to recover faster than the open technique. The healing is better and minimal pain is felt.

Key hole surgery: In this procedure, a smaller incision than normal is made on the palm. A special instrument with a light at one end and microscope at the other end is placed. This gives the doctor a chance to see the carpal ligament and carefully guide the tools to cut the targeted area.

Recovery from Carpal Tunnel Release

The symptoms are usually relieved immediately after the surgery or in most cases, within a few months. You may feel numbness in the fingers for the next 15 to 16 hours.

  • Keep your hand in a raised position for two days so that there is no swelling.
  • The stitches and the bandage should be kept intact for 10 to 14 days. Make sure that you keep the area clean and dry.
  • The doctor will fix the next appointment after two weeks of bandage removal during which he or she will inspect the healing process.
  • You have to go through the rehabilitative physical therapy that includes mild exercises to prevent stiffness.

The time you take to recover from carpal tunnel surgery depends on the severity of symptoms you had before the treatment.

  • If you had moderate symptoms, on the non-dominant hand, or your daily activities are limited, you can recover in one or two days.
  • If you had moderate to severe symptoms, on the dominant hand, or your daily activities are intensive, you may have to wait for 6 to 12 weeks to recover completely.

Does it come back?

  • In very rare cases, symptoms such as pain and numbness may come back
  • You may not get back complete strength in the thumb if the muscles have been severely damaged

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the factors affecting the cost of Carpal Tunnel Release in South Africa?

Carpal Tunnel Release cost in South Africa varies from one hospital to the other. The Carpal Tunnel Release package cost usually includes all the expenses related to pre and post surgery expenses of the patient. The comprehensive Carpal Tunnel Release package cost includes the cost of investigations, surgery, medicines and consumables. Stay outside the package duration, post-operative complications and diagnosis of a new condition may further increase the Carpal Tunnel Release cost in South Africa.

Which are some of the best hospitals in South Africa for Carpal Tunnel Releaset?

Carpal Tunnel Release in South Africa is offered by multiple hospitals across the country. Some of the best hospitals for Carpal Tunnel Release in South Africa include the following:

  1. Life Kingsbury Hospital
  2. Ahmed Kathrada Private Hospital
  3. Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre
How many days does it take to recover post Carpal Tunnel Release in South Africa?

After discharge from the hospital, the patient has to stay for another 14 days in the country for complete recovery. 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 Carpal Tunnel Release?

One of the topmost destinations for Carpal Tunnel Release is South Africa. It has a variety of accredited hospital, affordable cost of treatment and some of the best medical fraternity. Some of the other destinations that are popular for Carpal Tunnel Release include the following:

CountryCost
GreeceUSD 1000
HungaryUSD 3500
IndiaUSD 2800
LithuaniaUSD 3400
PolandUSD 3000
SingaporeUSD 3000
SpainUSD 6000
ThailandUSD 5000
TunisiaUSD 2000
TurkeyUSD 3000
United KingdomUSD 3200
How much are the other expenses in South Africa apart from the cost of Carpal Tunnel Release?

There are certain expenses additional to the Carpal Tunnel Release cost that the patient may have to pay for. These are the chanrges for daily meals and hotel stay outside the hospital. These charges starts from USD 50 per person.

Which are the best cities in South Africa for Carpal Tunnel Release Procedure?

Some of the best cities in South Africa which offer Carpal Tunnel Release are:

  1. Lenasia
  2. Johannesburg
  3. Durban
  4. Cape Town
How many days does one have to spend in the hospital for Carpal Tunnel Release in South Africa?

The patient has to spend about 1 days in the hospital after Carpal Tunnel Release for proper recovery and to get clearance for discharge. This phase is important to ensure that the patient is recovering well and is clinically stable. During this time, several tests are performed before the patient is deemed suitable for discharge.

What is the average rating of Hospitals in South Africa offering Carpal Tunnel Release?

The average rating for Carpal Tunnel Release hospitals in South Africa is 2.9. Several parameters such as hospital infrastructure, pricing policy, quality of services, politeness of staff etc. contribute to the rating.

How many hospitals offer Carpal Tunnel Release in South Africa?

There are more than 3 hospitals that offer Carpal Tunnel Release in South Africa. The above listed hospitals are approved to perform the surgery and have proper infrastructure to handle Carpal Tunnel Release patients. 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 Carpal Tunnel Release in South Africa?

Some of the top doctors for Carpal Tunnel Release in South Africa are:

  1. Dr. Chris McCready

FAQ's Related to South Africa

Which are the popular multispecialty hospital groups in South Africa?

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

  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

These hospitals have taken the patient experience to the next level by ensuring the below things:

  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.

The government of South Africa has strict healthcare regulations in place which all hospitals need to follow to ensure quality treatment. The patient-centric hospitals are equipped with superior infrastructure, high-tech medical equipment, and highly trained and qualified doctors, providing a unique patient experience.

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). To ensure that integrated and coordinated care is provided, COHSASA develops as well as measures standards in all areas and departments of a healthcare facility. The SafeCare program launched by COHSASA, JCI, and SafeCare Foundation ensures the implementation of internationally recognized standards to improve health care delivery. Hospitals and clinics that initially and meet standards are awarded two-year accreditations and as the journey in excellence continues, awards of longer duration are given.

Why should I opt for healthcare in South Africa?

South Africa is gaining global attention for medical tourism due to affordable treatment costs and world-class infrastructure. 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’s recent advancement in stem cell therapy has made it one of the most preferred countries for seeking 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?

With quality at their core, the well-trained and highly qualified doctors in South Africa provide world-class treatment. 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. The high quality of doctors in the country is attributed to factors like their patient-centric approach, incorporation of the human touch in treatment, education at reputed colleges, and adherence to global standards.

How to obtain a medical visa in South Africa?

A person can apply for a medical visa to South Africa for a period of 90 days. The High Commission helps one decide for how long a visa can be extended. People must apply for a temporary residency permit if they require medical treatment for longer than three months. The validity of a visa starts the day it is granted by the High Commission and not on the date of departure. Also, visa applications will not be accepted more than 30 days prior to departure. Here is a list of documents that you will require for applying 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?

A large number of people visit South Africa to avail procedures like anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, total knee replacement, meniscus repairs, and hip replacement. 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?

South Africa has a number of modern urban centers, such as Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Durban. Cape Town is a world-class tourism attraction and is home to a variety of people from different cultures, as well as some of the top-class doctors and state-of-the-art medical facilities in the world Most of these cities have an efficient public transportation system, cheap accommodation options, and connectivity through airlines. Johannesburg’s public and private healthcare sectors work in coordination with South Africa's medical schools to produce internationally recognized medical specialists and the city’s medical care quality matches with that of Great Britain.

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

Yes, vaccination is compulsory before visiting South Africa. The vaccines recommended by WHO and the National Travel Health Network and Centre are Rabies and tetanus, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera, Yellow fever, hepatitis A. Make sure that infants of age 6 to 11 months get measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before they travel to South Africa. Typhoid vaccine is recommended for most travellers, especially those staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas. You can connect with your doctor or the hospital in South Africa for the required vaccines. Also, refer to the travel advisory issued by the government.