Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Transsphenoidal Surgery in India

From http://harlandics.com/transsphenoidal-surgery-in-india-global-healthcare-at-low-cost/

India is fast emerging as one of the most sought after global health destinations for transsphenoidal surgery

It has outgrown its mentors in their own feat. Medical tourism is no longer confined to people combining their surgery with quick visits to the Taj Mahal. Low cost treatment is the main appeal that pulls medical tourists to India, but this is no longer the only attraction. It boasts of a very strong medical infrastructure that provides state-of-the-art international standard services to several patients who throng India for an attractive amalgamation of cost-effective and world-class treatment. The costs incurred in medical treatments here, are almost one-tenth of what patients have to spend in most of the western countries. Most of the medical tourists find the infrastructure and technology at par with that in USA, UK and Europe. The good facilities provided in India for transsphenoidal surgery are certainly beneficial and also the skyrocketing medical costs and long waiting lists to get treated by the specialists in the western countries are helping medical tourism industry.

What is transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary adenomas

Pituitary adenomas are benign tumors which arise from the pituitary gland itself. They are almost never malignant. Pituitary tumors can be either secretory or non-secretory, referring to whether they overproduce pituitary hormones. Secretory tumors cause disease because of the excess quantities of hormones which they secrete (release) into the bloodstream. The most common type of secretory pituitary tumor is termed a prolactinoma. Excess prolactin in the blood may lead to irregular or absent periods in women, decreased libido and erections in men and infertility or milk production in men or women. However, there are excellent medicines available to treat this disorder, so surgery is rarely needed. Most patients with prolactinomas are treated by endocrinologists, who are medical specialists in gland and hormone disorders.

How is this surgery performed?

Most pituitary tumors can be removed transsphenoidally. The approach is through the sphenoid sinus, one of the facial air spaces behind the nose. Rarely, a craniotomy is required, where the skull is opened to reach the tumor. There are three basic approaches to the sella, which is the bony cavity in the skull base where the pituitary gland is located. Many neurosurgeons now use a direct transnasal approach, where an incision is made in the back wall of the nose and the sphenoid sinus is entered directly. It is also possible to make an incision along the front of the nasal septum, and make a tunnel back to the sphenoid sinus. Finally, it is possible to make an incision under the lip and approach through the upper gum, and enter the nasal cavity and then the sphenoid sinus.

A growing number of uninsured and underinsured Americans are seeking low cost quality medical care and surgery in India. It has the top-notch centers for open heart surgery, pediatric heart surgery, hip and knee replacement, eye surgery, dentistry, bone marrow transplants and cancer therapy and virtually all of India’s clinics are equipped with the latest electronic and medical diagnostic equipment. Medical procedures like transsphenoidal surgery in India cost approximately 20% to 30% compared to the ones in America.

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