New avenues in Critical Care

That critical illnesses are on the rise is made even more pertinent by the increase in life expectancy

Doctor examining in laboratory

With the increasing incidence of these diseases, research keeps identifying newer ways to treat them. Some options available in India for treatment of critical diseases are listed below.


Increased public awareness and wider availability of screening tests has led to an increase in early detection of cancers, necessitating better biopsy facilities. Guided breast biopsies, colonoscopic polypectomy, colonoscopic sampling of suspicious lesions in the cervix are a few examples. Also, early diagnosis has allowed less radical treatment. Thus, the breast need not be removed in breast cancer cases; normal rectal function can be preserved in many rectal cancers and preservation of speech is a distinct possibility with cancers of the larynx [voice box].

As always, there is a downside to any good story. And here, it is the cost of treatment that plays spoilsport. What would cost a few tens of thousands of rupees a decade ago now routinely runs into lakhs.

Renal failure

There are two types of renal failure: Acute Kidney Failure, generally found in ICU patients due to sepsis and Chronic Kidney Failure, generally attributed to diabetes or glomerulonephritis. [Also read Chronic Kidney Failure]

Renal replacement is indicated for temporary periods in acute kidney failure. Permanent renal replacement may be required for chronic renal failure patients. Renal transplant is also a possibility. Haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis are two forms of dialyses for these patients. Haemodialysis generally involves three sessions of four hours every week. The approximate cost for dialysis is Rs 800-1000/session and that for transplantation is Rs 2.5-3 lakhs. In ICU patients, CRRT [continuous renal replacement therapy] is given with the specific machine, making it easy to manage critically ill patients.

Rates for procedures

A study of surgical treatments available in India reveals the following data.

The charges mentioned in this category can vary as per the quality of consumables.

Surgical Procedures Govt Set Up [high-end tertiary care hospitals] Rs Semi Private Hospital [Deluxe Room] Rs Private Hospital [Deluxe Room] Rs
Bypass Surgery 25,000 – 28,000 1,75,000 – 2,75,000 3,25,000 Plus
Angioplasty (with 1 stent) 5,000 – 10,000 1,50,000 – 2,00,000 2,50,000 Plus
Minimally Invasive Surgery 4,000 – 10,000 20,000 – 40,000 55,000 Plus
Bariatric surgery (Liposuction) Rarely done Rarely done 60,000 Plus
Bariatric surgery (Gastic Bypass) Rarely done Rarely done 4,20,000 Plus

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