Stem cell transplant is one modern technology that is undergoing rapid improvements. It is said these days that instead of investing in various life insurance policies that are making the rounds in the market, to secure the future and precious life of your child go for stem cell technologies. This can later cure him or her from any life threatening terminal disease like cancer. Stem cell transplant has been used in recent times as a cure for cancer, but the technique is different from the stem cell bank that is maintained these days for new born.
The bone marrow which is part of the bones is responsible for making blood cells. It is soft and spongy tissue lodged inside the bone having hematopoietic stem cells. These cells either turn into bone marrow cells or can turn into any other kinds of cells or the blood cells. But there are certain forms of cancers that can keep these cells from developing normally.
A patient is recommended to get a blood as well as bone marrow stem cell transplant if they are in a condition which prevents the body from producing new healthy blood cells. Some of the conditions and diseases that prevent the bone marrow from doing so are given below:
The oncologist or hematologist shall decide for a stem cell transplant for a patient depending upon overall age and health, severity of the diseases and other treatment possibilities.
So the stem cell transplant is a kind of treatment to treat blood disorders or any types of cancer. Even blood diseases are also treated with transplants. Previously patients had to undergo a bone marrow transplant due to the fact that stem cells are collected from the bone marrow. But today stem cells get collected from the blood. And for this particular reason they are now called stem cell transplants. Nowadays stem cell therapies are used to combat hair loss and many other aesthetic related issues.
Some of the different types of stem cell treatments available are discussed below
Autologous transplant: These kinds of transplants are known as auto transplant. This kind of transplant has the scope of very high dose chemotherapy paired with autologous stem cell rescue. In this process usually the doctors treat the cancel and then make use of the stem cells from the patient itself. From the blood, stem cells are collected and the health care team then freezes it. These cells are usually placed back in the blood after thawing them in the frozen state post the chemotherapy. The cells take almost 24 hours to reach the bone marrow and start multiplying to give rise to healthy blood cells.
Allogenic transplantation: This is better known as an allo transplant medically. In this case stem cells are obtained from another individual. But this individual needs to be someone with whom the bone marrow of the patient matches. Due to presence of proteins in white blood cells called the human leukocyte antigens (HLA) it is important that bone marrow matching takes place. The most compatible stem cell donor will have the HLA matching with that of the patient.
But the process of matching can also give rise to a very severe condition named graft versus host disease or GVHD but then it is not very likely. In this kind of a disease the healthy cells obtained from transplantation will start attacking the cells of the patients. In such cases siblings are considered to be the best match. And if they are not available then some other close family member can also work. Once the donor is fixed then the patient starts receiving chemotherapy session with or without radiotherapy. The other person’s stem is then placed in a vein via a tube. These cells unlike the previous ones are not frozen so they can be given immediately after the completion of chemotherapy.
There can be two types of Allo transplantation depending upon the age, condition and the disease that is being addressed:
The first kind is ablative where high dose of chemotherapy is used and in the second kind milder doses of chemotherapy is employed.
When the assigned health care team is unable to find a matched adult donor then are other options that must be considered like the Umbilical cord blood transplant and these days cancer centers all around the globe make use of cord blood.
Parent child transplant and haplotype mismatched transplant: In these kinds of transplants which are commonly employed the match found is 50% instead of 100% and the donor can be a parent, child or brother and sister.
The first step in bone marrow transplant is to reduce the tumour so that the stem cell transplant success rate is improved. The process of harvesting stem cells takes around three to four hours, depending on the number of stem cells collected. The entire process may take around three to five days to complete. Blood count is daily monitored during collection of stem cells to ensure that it does not go below the admissible levels in the donor, which may contribute to anaemia.
A catheter is placed in the donor’s arm during the actual stem cell transplant procedure. The catheter is connected to a special machine that separated stem cells from the blood. After extracting the stem cells, the remaining blood is infused back into the donor's body.
The stem cell concentration in the bone marrow is almost 10 to 100 times more than the levels found in peripheral blood. The hip bone is considered to have the greatest amount of marrow in the active state and a large number of stem cells can also be extracted from there.
The process of harvesting the stem cells from the bone marrow is carried out in an operating room. The donor is given either general anaesthesia, an epidural, or spinal anaesthesia.
The surgeon makes a number of punctures over the skin covering the pelvic bone. A special kind of needle attached to a syringe is then inserted through these punctures. The needle penetrates the bone marrow and blood is drawn out along with marrow through the syringe. The process is continued several times to ensure enough numbers of stem cells are collected as required for the transplant. The whole duration can last for a period of one to two hours. The amount of blood and marrow removed will vary according to the weight and concentration of stem cells in the marrow of the donor. At the end of this procedure, the surgeon covers the puncture region with pressure dressing and bandages. The collected cells are filtered to separate fat particles and fragments of bones. The donor is taken to the recovery room where the hospital team checks for signs of pain, bleeding or any other side effects of the procedure. The donor can leave the hospital in a few hours after his or her body has recovered. But in some cases, they may be required to stay overnight for better monitoring.
The hip area of the donor remains sore for a few days and it is important to take medicines as directed to relieve the pain. Until the blood cell counts increase, doctors may suggest iron supplements t to enhance the ability of the bone marrow to replenish blood cells.
High dose of chemotherapy is given to the patient immediately after stem cell collection or can even be done at a later stage. Stem cells are injected into the bloodstream of the patient after the completion of high dose chemotherapy. These stem cells travel all the way to bone marrow to start producing new blood cells, which is important as a number of healthy blood cells are lost during high dose chemotherapy.
Until the bone marrow is in a position to make sufficient blood cells, the patient is at the risk of contracting infections and diseases. Therefore, the patient is kept in an isolation room following stem cell transplantation to protect him or her from contamination. The stay in isolation room lasts for over a week or until the level of blood cells is back to normal again.
Isolation is more important in the case of allogeneic stem cell transplant than autologous stem cell transplant. This is the reason why some hospitals do not prefer to keep a patient who has had an autologous transplant isolated.
During the recovery period, only one or two visitors are allowed to visit the patient. Those who are already ill should strictly avoid visiting the patient. There are a few hospital who conduct autologous stem cell transplant on an outpatient basis. However, the patient must come for follow-up 0vists regularly for monitoring of their health.
In Israel, the average starting cost for Bone Marrow Transplant is USD 98000. Only some of the best and certified hospitals in Israel perform Bone Marrow Transplant for international patients.
Bone Marrow Transplant package cost in Israel has different inclusions and exclusions. There are many hospital that cover the cost of pre-surgical investigations of the patient in the treatment package. The treatment cost usually includes the expenses related to hospitalization, surgery, nursing, medicines, and anesthesia. A prolonged hospital stay due to delayed recovery, new diagnosis and complications after surgery may increase the cost of Bone Marrow Transplant in Israel.
After discharge from the hospital, the patient has to stay for another 90 days in the country for complete recovery. This time frame is important to ensure that the surgery was successful and the patient is fit to fly back.
While Israel is considered to be one of the best destinations for Bone Marrow Transplant owing to the standard of Hospitals, and expertise of doctors; there are a select few destinations which provide comparable quality of healthcare for the procedure Some of such countries are:
Apart from the cost of Bone Marrow Transplant, the patient is also required to pay additionally for daily meals and guest house accommodation. These charges starts from USD 50 per person.
There are many cities that offer Bone Marrow Transplant in Israel, including the following:
After the Bone Marrow Transplant takes place, the average duration of stay at the hospital is about 30 days. 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.
There are more than 2 hospitals that offer Bone Marrow Transplant in Israel. The above listed hospitals are approved to perform the surgery and have proper infrastructure to handle Bone Marrow Transplant patients. Additionally, these hospitals are known to comply with the international standards as well as local legal requirements for the treatment of patients.
The hospitals in Israel follow the healthcare standards set by Joint Commission International (JCI). JCI is an independent organization that accredits and certifies healthcare organizations across the globe. Hospitals completely adhere to the policies set by accreditation bodies to cater to desired needs of patients and to set quality benchmarks in the healthcare industry. Healthcare standards help hospitals to evaluate, control, and improve the standards of quality healthcare.
The best multispecialty hospitals in Israel are:
Different kinds of surgeries are performed at these hospitals and they have a wide range of several specialties. Highly skilled and trained doctors at these hospitals are efficient to handle even the most complicated cases. The hospitals provide world-class treatments at an affordable cost.
Israel is a highly popular medical tourism destination with world-class infrastructure and top-notch hospitals. Israel has the best hospitals which provide world-class medicine with a personal touch to patients from across the globe. Patients from different parts of the world, such as the United States, and Nigeria, Russia, Ukraine, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, visit Israel every year. Several other factors contribute to the popularity of Israel in medical tourism, including the best medical infrastructure, highly qualified doctors, cheap accommodation, transportation facilities, and a wide range of food choices.
Board-certified doctors have the ability to practice at the top of their profession and also ensure high-quality care to their patients. The highly trained doctors have strong subject knowledge, and their vast skill set and area of expertise. They have received education at premier institutions and have comprehensive training. Israel has top quality doctors who are very efficient in handling even the most complicated cases with ease ant this quality is attributed to their experience of working in several countries.
When you are traveling to Israel for medical treatment, carry documents like passport copies, residence/ driver’s license/ bank statement/ details of Health insurance, test reports, records, doctor referral notes. You are eligible for receiving quality treatment in Israel once you have all the above-listed documents. You need to pay extra attention on packing when traveling to another country for medical treatment so that you do not miss any important document. The required documents might vary with your destination, so it is always suggested to check with the concerned authority.
The popular procedures available in Israel are:
With high success rates, the popular procedures are performed by highly qualified doctors with great precision and accuracy, ensuring complete patient safety and fast recovery. Besides introducing a unique technology for safe hernia surgery with minor complications and fast recovery, Israel has achieved a milestone in bone implants done through tissue engineering technology. According to a study, the most common treatments in Israel are Botox injection and other fillings, along with hair implants.
A large number of international patients visit some selected cities in Israel like:
These cities are the best therapeutic centres in Israel because of their cultural and natural beauty and offer medical tourists the best options for seeking effective treatment, along with recreation. These cities are backed by one of the finest hospitals in the world that offer a wide spectrum of treatment options at affordable cost and are equipped with modern infrastructure, highly experienced doctors, and a wide range of facilities. A number of other factors that make these cities the top destination for medical tourists are affordable accommodation, transportation facilities, a variety of food options, scenic value, and availability of language assistance services.
To make patient’s hospital stay memorable, healthcare facilities in Israel offer all modern facilities, such as visa assistance, travel arrangements, airport transfers, coordination of all medical appointments, accommodations for patients and companions, international staff translators, shopping and recreational options, Internet with wi-fi, mobile sim cards, lockers, and a variety of food options. The facilities and amenities that hospitals provide to their patients are pocket-friendly and are at par with international standards. The hospitals are equipped with well-trained staff who help patients connect with their distinguished physicians, supply cost estimates, and schedule appointments and admissions that meet the patient’s travel dates.
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