Superior vena cava is the large vein that carries deoxygenated blood from the head, arms, and upper body into the heart. If this vein gets obstructed, usually due to a malignant tumour, the condition is referred to as superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS), which symptoms include swelling of the face, neck, upper body, and arms and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
Patients suffering from symptoms mentioned above are advised to consult their doctors right away as SVCS places a person at a higher risk of life-threatening complications when not diagnosed and managed promptly. The condition is considered a medical emergency if upper airway oedema, decreased cardiac output, or brain oedema is observed.
Due to the potentially life-threatening complications of the condition, it is crucial that patients are able to access specialist care in a fully equipped medical facility. If not locally available, such patients can travel to Southeast Asia where Western standards of care is offered at a much affordable price, which is up to 75% cheaper than in the United States and Europe.
When seeking treatment for SVCS, patients can go to Thailand or Singapore where cancer treatment is a top medical specialty. These countries have several Joint Commission International (JCI)-accredited hospitals with dedicated oncology departments that offer medical, surgical, and radiologic treatment providing patients with a better prognosis. Such hospitals are also fully equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment including chest x-ray, computerised tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), venography, and ultrasound. These are used to accurately determine the cause of the condition and its severity so appropriate treatment can be provided. Aside from advanced diagnostic and treatment methods, such hospitals also feature cutting-edge facilities and multidisciplinary teams of specialists who work together to deliver the best possible treatment outcomes.