Disc Replacement in South Africa

Introduced recently as a modern treatment for severe cervical diseases, the disc replacement surgery has proven a boon to mankind. In this procedure, the diseased or damaged discs are surgically removed and replaced by artificial ones. The procedure henceforth enables the suffering individuals to attain partial or nearly complete mobility in the cervical/lumbar region. On the contrary, the prior treatments included fusing the adjacent cervical vertebrae instead of replacing or inserting any kind of artificial disc. The procedure was recently eliminated as it causes stiffness and immobility in patients post-surgery. However, the disc replacement surgery cost may vary from a minimum of $8000 to approximately $40,000 and higher. 

What is Disc Replacement ( Cervical /Lumbar)?

Cervical or lumbar disc replacement surgery is one of the most recent treatments included among spinal treatments. It is mostly suggested when a pressed nerve root, within a compact spinal canal, experiences enhanced pressure and causes extreme pain and inflammation. This may happen due to rapidly degenerating diseased cervical/lumbar disc which results in narrowing of the space. Hence, replacing the degenerated disc with an artificial disc restores the spinal health, thereby reducing the pain and suffering. 

Ideal Candidate for Disc Replacement ( Cervical /Lumbar)

Before suggesting an operation, the surgeon may evaluate the individual to determine the candidacy for the procedure. Hence, in order for the disc replacement surgery to be performed, the candidate must:

  • Experience recurring pain in the medial or vertebral region
  • Have degenerated resulting in narrowing of spinal canal
  • Be diagnosed with herniated cervical or lumbar disc that cannot be repositioned and needs to be replaced
  • Be diagnosed or detected as damaged.

Factors Affecting the cost of Disc Replacement ( Cervical /Lumbar)

Cervical disc replacement cost varies to a great extent as per the country where the procedure is being performed. Where countries like India, and Singapore offer affordable base rates, major countries like UK and USA charge extremes. However, the other key determining factors are:

  • Type of condition the candidate has been diagnosed with
  • Possibility of complications, of any
  • Type of artificial disc suitable
  • Extent of procedure required
  • Healthcare benefits availed and necessary.
Treatment and Cost

12

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

5 Day in Hospital

7 Days Outside Hospital

Treatment cost starts from

USD 10000

Hospitals

About the Disc Replacement ( Cervical /Lumber)

The spinal cord is a linear arrangement of many small bones known as vertebrae. These vertebrae consist of spaces between them known as intervertebral spaces. They are filled with cartilaginous structures that provide a cushioning effect to the vertebrae and support the movement of the spine. These cartilaginous structures are called Intervertebral discs.

Any pathology of the intervertebral discs such as disc herniation (slipping of the disc from between the vertebrae), ruptured disc, or degenerative disc disease may cause severe back pain due to nerve impingement, indicating the need for either partial or total disc replacement. In partial disc replacement surgery, only a portion of the cartilaginous disc is replaced by the artificial disc, while the total disc is replaced in the total disc replacement surgery.

Cervical disc degeneration and disc rupture may cause chronic neck pain radiating towards the arm.  Thoracic disc degeneration may cause chronic upper/ mid back pain while lumbar disc degeneration may cause chronic lower back pain.

 

Conditions that indicate the need for a disc replacement surgery:

  • Discitis (Inflammation of the intervertebral disc)
  • Scoliosis (abnormal spinal curve laterally)
  • Herniated disc in back (slipping of the cartilaginous disc into surrounding tissue)
  • Disc degeneration and disc rupture (infection of the intervertebral disc causing its degeneration.

How is Disc Replacement ( Cervical /Lumber) performed?

Depending on the site of injury, any one of the following three types of incisions are made:

  • For cervical vertebrae: Incision in front of the neck, at the level of the vertebrae
  • For thoracic vertebrae: Trans thoracic incision, at the level of the vertebrae
  • For Lumbar and sacral vertebrae: Abdominal incision, at the level of the vertebrae

Once the incision is made, the following steps are performed:

Step 1: The organs are retracted once an incision is made to enable visibility

Step 2: The damaged or protruding disc is removed

Step 3: An artificial disc in place of excised disc is placed

Step 4 The artificial disc is secured to the adjacent vertebrae

Step 5: A sealing material between the frictional surfaces of the artificial disc is placed, if required

Step 6: The incision is surgically closed

Recovery from Disc Replacement ( Cervical /Lumber)

You may be discharged after two to four days, after a thorough evaluation by the physical therapists. You are taught the proper techniques of getting in and out of bed before discharge from the hospital. You should avoid bending or twisting for the first two to four weeks to avoid straining the surgical site. You may be advised to use braces if your condition requires support in the lower back.

You may recover and get back to normal activities within three weeks after disc replacement surgery. Studies reveal that patients who successfully undergo total disc replacement surgery remain asymptomatic and free from chronic back pain for an average of 8.7 years.

The recovery time after total disc replacement is significantly less than that of spinal fusion surgery. The mobility is not compromised, and the prognosis is good. The success rate of the disc replacement surgery is around 98 percent.

 

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.

Our team of healthcare experts would be happy to assist you

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