Neurosurgery in India
Neurological surgery is an alternative term for neurosurgery. One of the subspecialties of neurosurgery is a functional neurosurgery. The common diseases that come under the scope of this subspecialty are Epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, uncontrolled tremor, dystonia, spasticity, psychiatric disorders like obsessive-compulsive disorders and chronic pain. Today, we will discuss neurosurgery in India.
History of Neurosurgery in India
Neurosurgery in India has been practiced since ancient times with mention in epics that in 1800 BC, Jivaka (physician to the Lord Buddha) removed intracranial mass lesion through trephination.
The modern-day neurosurgery was started by Dr. Chandy in CMC, Vellore in 1949. Today there are more than 2000 neurosurgeons in India with an equally large number of neurosurgical centers, with high-end expertise.
The present-day functional neurosurgical activities were started across few centers in India that included Christian medical college, Vellore, SCTIMST, Trivandrum etc. The SCTIMST program offers epilepsy surgery and movement disorders surgery, the program at Vellore offers stereotactic surgery, X-knife treatment, and epilepsy surgery. The AIIMS program in Delhi offers movement disorders, chronic pain, and epilepsy surgery.
However, it was only at the Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre that a full-fledged functional neurosurgical program was established in 1998. It is among very few centers across the world to have the expertise of offering the entire spectrum of treatment under one roof.
The program is most comprehensive and is supported by specialist Neurologists in the field of Epilepsy, Movement Disorders, Headaches, Chronic pain, and pediatric neurology.
Expertise and Infrastructure
The doctors of India have the advantage of having profound clinical experience (due to large population base) coupled with training from more developed countries like UK and USA.
In the new millennium, the government restrictions have eased allowing for easy import of equipment, for e.g. 3T MRI machines, high-speed high definition CT scanners and various other investigative and therapeutic technologies. This has facilitated the hospital to acquire the latest technologies in patient care. Hospitals also have various levels of accreditation ranging from ISO certification, NABH accreditation, and JCI accreditation.
The medium of medical education has been English in India. This has facilitated interactions with foreign patients. People in India are very warm and hospitable and ensure that our visitors feel at home. India enjoys bright sunshine and moderate climate (e.g. Mumbai) making the stay pleasant.
Cost and treatment benefit
There is almost no waiting period for treatment in India. An epilepsy surgery investigation that would take 2 years in the UK can be wrapped up in 2 weeks in India.
Similarly, a Parkinson’s disease surgery whether it is deep brain stimulation (DBS) or a lesion, whose waiting period is around a year, can be performed by prior arrangement within a couple of months.
The cost of medical treatment in India is only a fraction of the cost in the Western world. An epilepsy surgery which would cost $40,000-50,000 dollars in the USA can be comfortably completed in $10,000-12,000, a DBS surgery can be offered in $20,000 or Intrathecal baclofen therapy (ITB) can be performed in $12000.
An advantage of Neurosurgery in India
Though other South East Asian countries offer some of the neurosurgical treatments, there are no centers that would be able to offer all types of neurological surgery treatments in a single institute.
The familiarity with the English language, hospitable people and patient-friendly hospitals make India an ideal choice for overseas medical treatment.
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