A bone marrow transplant is a treatment therapy performed in cases of cancer or diseases related to the bone marrow. During this procedure, the donor or the patient stem cells are extracted from the bone marrow, which is filtered and then infused into the patient. These cells help the body make enough red blood cells, white cells, and platelets.
There have been quite a lot of advancements in technology to treat diseases over the past few years, which has helped save lives at large. Bone marrow transplantation, now known as stem cell transplantation has gained momentum over the years and has been successful in improving the quality of life of the patients.
Bone marrow transplantation is a treatment for those suffering from cancer. A stem cell transplant is associated with the development of new stem cells, which makes healthy blood cells. The process can be an autologous transplant, requiring a high-dose of chemotherapy; or it can be an allogeneic transplant, under which the patient receives the stem cells from a donor. If the patient has cancer in his/her bone marrow, the doctor usually recommends an allogeneic transplant.
Among many popular destinations for bone marrow transplantation, Singapore attains a position in the top five, exhibiting a high success rate. The medical centers here use state-of-the-art technology in treating patients suffering from leukemia and aplastic anemia. Quality treatment and low cost of the transplant makes Singapore one of the most preferred destinations across the globe, with patients traveling overseas to avail the same.
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.
Bone marrow transplant in Singapore involves a personalized treatment approach to potentially cure patients with certain blood cancers and immune system disorders that may otherwise prove fatal. The treatment offered to such patients in Singapore is tailor-made as per their individual clinical characteristics and need.
There are many hospitals for bone marrow transplantation in Singapore. The quality of services and the medical expertise available in Singapore can be compared to some of the most advanced countries in the world in terms of medical technology and treatment, including the US and Israel.
Many people across the world prefer to travel to or take their near and dear ones to Singapore to avail high-quality medical treatment. Patients suffering from blood-related disorders are no different. Singapore, as a country, has great medical expertise. The professionalism, skills, and the expertise of the doctors in Singapore continues to remain one of the best in the world.
Additionally, medical treatment can be availed quickly in Singapore. There is practically no waiting time and the patients to travel to the country to get treatment can seek medical and surgical attention almost immediately.
The cost of healthcare in Singapore is expenses, be it for bone marrow transplantation or any other procedure. However, the standard and quality of health care delivered to the patients in Singapore continue to remain unmatched and one of the best in the world.
Bone marrow transplant cost in Singapore is inclusive of the cost of hospitalization, chemotherapy required, processing of the stem cells, the medications, and the consumables required during the entire duration of treatment. Depending on whether the stem cells are coming from the patient’s own body or a bone marrow donor in Singapore or abroad, the cost may vary.
Overall, the bone marrow transplant cost in Singapore is expensive. It may start at around $80000. The cost of bone marrow transplant in Singapore depends on whether the patient is undergoing autologous or allogeneic stem cells transplant, on the exact condition of the patient, the disease or disorder being treated, complications involved, and the fees of the BMT expert.
Bone marrow transplantation is an expensive treatment, because of the complexity that it reflects. However, the cost of private bone marrow transplant in Singapore is much lower than that in the western countries. An allogeneic bone marrow transplant is usually more expensive than an autologous treatment, as in the former, a donor is required. So, patients who are travelling overseas to avail treatment in Singapore pay 50 percent of the amount charged in countries like USA and UK. This is one of the main reasons why people from all over the world travel to Singapore for a bone marrow transplantation.
Singapore is a highly popular medical tourism destination, especially because of the availability of advanced infrastructure, latest medical technology, highly experienced medical specialists, and state-of-the-art hospitals.
There are many hospitals in the country that offer bone marrow transplantation in Singapore. Stem cells transplantation is a highly sensitive procedure that should only be conducted at a well-equipped and advanced BMT unit. The best hospitals in Singapore for bone marrow transplantation are globally renowned for their advanced infrastructure, modern facilities, latest techniques, and the level of hygiene maintained by the staff.
Some of the hospitals that run bone marrow donor programme in Singapore, apart from the actual treatment include the following:
Gleneagles Parkway Hospital
Mount Elizabeth Hospital
Parkway East Hospital
Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital
Some of the best doctors for bone marrow transplantation in Singapore include the following:
Dr. Lim Ziyi, Mount Elizabeth Hospital
Dr. Lee Chi Wai Anselm, Mount Elizabeth Hospital
Dr. Ting Wen Chang, Mouth Elizabeth Orchard
The success rate of bone marrow transplantation is one of the best in the world. The success rate of autologous bone marrow transplantation is greater than that of allogeneic transplantation.
Even though it is not possible to deduce the exact success rate of the procedure because of the variables involved, overall, 80 to 90 per cent cases are successfully treated in Singapore (especially in the case of autologous transplant).
The first adult bone marrow transplantation in Singapore was performed in the year 1985, at the Singapore General Hospital. Since then, the treatment has proven to be significantly effective and has exhibited a decent success rate over the years. Not only that, the transplantation has been successful in improving the quality of life of the patients, and has given them a ray of hope to fight cancer.
A transplant is an ideal option for those suffering from leukaemia or lymphoma. In the case of an allogeneic bone marrow transplant, there arises the need for a donor. The Bone Marrow Donor Programme (BMDP) is the largest donor programme in Singapore, which has a total base of 30 million donors worldwide. The donor programme finds the right bone marrow donor in Singapore for the patient with the type of blood required for the transplant. Once the donor is found, the treatment proceeds.
Joint Commission International is known as the world leader in healthcare accredition and the hospitals in Singapore are also apprised by this agency. Healthcare quality and patient safety parameters are assessed by the Joint Commission International or JCI. Joint Commission International apprises hospital in Singapore on Organisation management and those hospitals that make the cut are the ones most sought after by everyone. It is only after stringent assessment measures that hospitals in Singapore are given the certification by the Joint Commission International.
The popular multi specialty hospital groups in Singapore are as follows
The patient ecosystem that frequents the popular multispecialty hospitals in Singapore is made up of international patients because of the high quality of medical care available. The quality of medical professionals and the wide variety of specialties covered by the Singapore multispecialty hospitals is the reason for the success of the popular multispecialty hospitals in Singapore. In the popular multispecialty hospitals in Singapore you get the best of medical treatment in short waiting times.
You must choose your healthcare in Singapore because of the excellent healthcare infrastructure that defines the Singaporean healthcare landscape. The healthcare community and healthcare providers in Singapore are best known for providing the best of clinical care and aiming for the highest clinical outcomes. The commitment to providing the best in terms of service quality is one of the most important reasons for anyone to choose Singapore as a healthcare destination. The ease of travel and access to quality healthcare are the reasons that make Singapore an attractive medical tourism destination.
Thorough professionals with great degree of practical knowledge in their area of specialisation is how the doctors in Singapore are defined. Precision and efficiency of treatment are the focus areas of the doctors in Singapore and assessed on these parameters Singapore can be said to have great quality of doctors. The doctors in Singapore deal with patients from various nationalities and have immense experience with innumerable international patients. The high degree of skill and being educated from the best of the educational institutions in the world ensures that the doctors in Singapore are of very high quality.
We bring to you the list of documents needed for your medical travel to Singapore:
Please create the document checklist before starting your journey to Singapore as a medical traveller. There are three types of documents that will cover your requirements during your medical travel to Singapore and these are your medical condition related documents, travel related documents and the ones related to your finances. Your travel documents should be aligned well with your visa requirements as someone who is traveling for medical purposes so that your treatment, stay in Singapore and your journey back to your home country is seamless.
The popular procedures available in Singapore are as follows.
It is their advanced education and training which ensures that the healthcare providers in Singapore are leaders in executing complex cardiology procedures. The precision and efficiency shown by doctors in the hospitals in Singapore in performing Orthopaedic surgery procedures has meant that they are one of the most popular procedures in Singapore. Singapore has long been famous for cosmetic surgery procedures some of which are:
The major hospitals in Singapore ensure that the stay is comfortable not just for the patient but even the people accompanying them by providing a number of additional facilities. Your medical travel and transfer process is sought to be made easy and effortless by the hospitals in Singapore by providing you facilities such as:
It is pertinent to note that hospitals in Singapore are always seeking to make your medical travel to Singapore easy by enabling private payment gateways and the wide availability of private insurance. Other facilities provided by hospitals in Singapore are health screening programmes, dietitians and presence of pharmacies in the hospitals.
Singapore has relaxed visa norms for many countries and you must check the visa requirements for your country before applying for a medical visa for Singapore We have listed here the required documents for medical visa for Singapore:
A medical visa application to Singapore takes five days to process unless you apply during peak periods or have submitted a visa application which is incomplete in some shape or form. Also, before applying it would be pertinent if you check the required fee for the medical visa to Singapore from your country. Please make sure that you submit your original bank statement with your visa application to get your Singapore medical visa.
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