Medical Tourism: The Importance of Post-Operative Care Plan
You go for your medical tour, get operated, come back home, and enjoy the rest of your life hoping that you won't need another tour. Things don't go this way. Getting treated abroad is not easy, it's a bit more complicated. Apart from the complications we have discussed in previous papers, one thing you should consider is post-operative care. Most of the travelers ignore this and they are still doing well but post-operative complications have happened to few and you could be one of them. So it's better to plan your post-operative care.
Why is it so important?
Given below is an excerpt from a conversation between an interviewer and a plastic surgeon Rosie, Dr. Phillip Garcia's surgical assistant, who tells exactly what to expect through surgery day and what takes place in the days after!
"Day one after the surgery the caregiver brings the patient back to the office where they meet with their loved ones who are going to be helping them for the next two weeks with their post-operative care and I'll go into details. We will sit there and we'll talk about all the steps and give you a little demonstration. Want to make sure that once the patient leaves here that there is no doubt on how to do the proper cleanings. Doctor Garcia also provides his cell phone as well as mine. That way if the patient has any questions any concerns during the weekend they're more than welcome to give us a call and we can walk them through anything or come back to the office as necessary.
Week one after the surgery we remove the initial stitches depending on which procedure they've had of course. Week two we go ahead and remove any remaining stitches. Now it's the time when our patients go back to life. They can resume full activities after a full evaluation and being cleared. They can resume their normal activities and we explain what to expect after that and our next visit will be a month out of surgery which we would go ahead and evaluate again. I'll make sure the incisions are all inside to make sure that the swelling and the hard and bumpy areas are you know going smoothly as you're supposed to.
Two months after that which is your three months after surgery we take your pictures that will be your first before and after. It's when you really get to see you know the change, the upgrade. You come back six months after your initial surgery date we'll take your pictures again and then a year after your surgery. We take your last and final pictures that are your final results.
What I really love about working here is I get to see the whole process. It's amazing how patients come in on their first day and you know you hold their hand through the next couple of months and you're there constantly and to see the before and the after and to be you know participating with their whole journey. It's an amazing feeling and everyone here in the staff is very loving, very caring. The patient knows all of us. We know them, we know their family, and it's just a beautiful relationship."
Don't get excited!
Don't get excited or happy after reading this. This type of post-operative care is given to those who live in the vicinity of the surgeon or the medical facility. Surely this is not going to be the case when you travel abroad. As it's clear from the conversation that after the surgery you need to visit your operator frequently for over a year or until your scars get healed. You have to be present after a week, two weeks, 6 months, and so on. Now obviously you have to plan according to this. Otherwise, you will get a successful surgery but poor post-operative care which will eventually harm you. Once you return home, you will still be recuperating from your medical tourism procedure and therefore may not be in the best shape to take on extra stress and unnecessary tension. So it's good to have a plan for your post-operative treatment.
What's the plan?
It is quite obvious that you won't stay for 6 months or a full year in an unknown country. We mean if you can then it's the best thing you could do. But if not then the first thing is to identify your post-operative provider before you travel. Before you leave the country, it is very important to make sure that you will have an appropriate healthcare provider that will be able to look after your medical requirements once you have returned from your journey. In most cases people opt for their family doctor (as a healthcare provider) but if you want you can consult some professionals or good local doctors. You should discuss your complete plan and all the medical procedures you will be going through with him. This way he will be able to make optimum arrangements for your well being.
Moreover, it's good to keep all your medical papers in any digitized form. With the use of digitized medical documents, you can easily update their main doctor and their local doctor (post-operative healthcare provider) regarding your progress during the post-operative recovery phase. Also make sure you have all the prescribed medicines, medical supplies, and complete diet plans back at home before you leave your treatment facility. This way you won't need to travel again for medicines or medical supplies that are only available in that country. Further, it's necessary to inform your family members about your requirements so that they can complete all the preparations before ready for your return back home.
If you suffer from any complication then you should consult with your local doctor immediately, and follow their advice. Once you have recovered from any of the complications, get in touch with your treating doctor to try and understand what happened.
Therefore kindly make and follow a post-operative care plan if you want speedy and safe recovery.
Interview source: Garcia Facial Plastic Surgery (Youtube channel)