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Planning for Medical Tourism
Although medical traveling is lucrative and allows patient and person to improve the quality of life, there are certain ‘must know’ measures which need to be carefully evaluated to ensure successful outcome and stay away from disastrous medical tour. In order to avoid being trapped in lucrative advertisement highlighting tall claims and benefits of traveling abroad for surgeries (medical tourism), the medical tourist must have well thought out research and understanding of the particular surgical procedure. Having said that, careful pre-planning and following specific set of precautions will be of real help full to avoid post- surgical complications at new place and to ensure successful outcome of the treatment.
Once decided to travel abroad, the basic groundwork and pre-planning are of highest importance for the smooth sailing of medical travel. The guidelines that will help to have successful and fruitful medical journey are as mentioned below:
Pre-planning will mainly involve carrying out proper research to select appropriate destination and the surgeon (see our medical tourism consulting service). The relevant information can be collected by consulting own doctor, discussing with friends or by visiting relevant websites. In addition to this, it is also important to collate details on various medical tourism packages, special health travel deals and available discounts to make the right deal with keeping balance between quality of care and affordable price. Medical tourist should focus on the following while selecting destination, hospital and doctor:
- The selection of the destination should be done after gathering details on weather, local laws, language and hospitality of the country of interest.
- The selection of hospital should be done after thorough evaluation of infrastructure, availability of state of art technology and skilled staff, reputation, accreditation, affiliation to associations, standard of care etc.
- The selection of doctor should be done after knowing the educational, back-ground, work experience, testimonials and success ratio of the concerned surgeon.
- After narrowing the search to two to three surgeons, it is advisable to have personal talk with the doctors/ wellness experts either directly or through health travel- planning agency.
- Do not hesitate to ask questions until one is convinced of the selection of the surgeon.
- Wellness seekers can consult with over wellness experts or can contact us to connect with affiliates.
To know more about wellness Tourism see wellness center
At Setuhealthcare, detailed planning, multiple treatment options and hospitality are matchless and top the list of our success mottos.
Get ready to go
Keep important papers/documents ready
- To make sure you have a signed, valid passport and the required visa. It is better to have 2 copies of passport identification page that will be of great help if the passport is lost or stolen.
- To keep the scanned or photo copies of passport, passport photos, medical records, and paper tickets with the list of important telephone numbers in email accounts.
- To carry complete medical reports/doctors notes, as well as contact number of local physician. Also keep copy of all drug prescriptions with their generic names, as brand names may differ in the other place.
Health check up
- Get a complete health check up done to confirm that one is healthy enough to travel long duration flights. If you are traveling out of the country, you might need vaccinations or prevention medicine.
- Consult local doctor/medical specialist and get the required recommendations in writing.
- Take advice from your doctor if you are sensitive to climate changes, altitude and humidity.
- Become familiar with local conditions and laws.
- Do plan trip in advance so that one can have the best doctors, the lowest air fares and the best availability and rates of hotel
- Do consider traveling with a companion who can help you every step of the way
- Do engage a good health travel planner
- Do purchase some of the local currency of the place you are visiting in advance, so that
- One can have cash on arrival at the medical destination
- Don’t schedule your trip time bounding, spare 1-2 days extra to deal with any
- complication if arise
- Don’t share your personal details with strangers
- Don’t ever consume or bring illegal drugs with you, that may trap you in a big trouble
- Don’t leave your luggage unattended in public places
- Don’t accept packages from strangers, as those package may contained illegal stuffs
- Don’t wear flashy clothes and expensive jewellery, to avoid being a target of crime
- Deal only with authorized money exchanges agents
- If you get into trouble, contact your country’s embassy as soon as possible.
Things to avoid when your are in foreign country
- Avoid tap water in any form like ice, water by glass or mixed drinks and water used when brushing teeth.
- Always drink only bottled water of branded companies or boiled water.
- Drink safe beverages
- Hot beverages – like tea, coffee etc.
- Bottled or canned beverages
- Avoid eating roadside eateries, partially cooked/ raw dishes
- Avoid eating cut fruits/vegetables
- Avoid contact to mosquitoes, for that have plenty of mosquito repellent
- Wear long sleeves and long pants
- Sleep in a bed having mosquito protecting net
- Persons prone to skin rashes and other ailments caused by high temperatures should always apply sunscreen lotions, put on hats, dark glasses and carry plenty of bottled water with him.
What preoperative precaution patient should take?
- No tobacco: Stop smoking and avoid any type of tobacco consumption at least six weeks before the surgery. The nicotine present in tobacco affects the blood flow and impairs healing process.
- Patients should give a complete medical history regarding the past and present illness and the treatment taken before operation. Also, patients must mention of having diabetes or hypertension, with the detailed medication
- The patient must informed the surgeon regarding any problems, allergies, reaction or complications that have been experienced in past surgeries
- It is advisable for patient to learn and practice breathing exercises for a few days prior to surgery. In a different studies it has been proved that patients who undertook breathing exercises prior to surgery had less chances of lung infection and post operative fever with better surgical outcomes
- Make sure to ensure the availability of blood for transfusion (if needed) from the reputed institute before operation.
On the day of surgery
- Patient should not eat or drink six to eight hours before the procedure
- Reports of all investigations should be kept ready such as blood, urine or X-ray testing
- Patient should have taken bath the evening before or on the day of surgery
- Patient should report to the hospital on time, usually 3-4 hours before surgery
- Patient suffering from hypertension, diabetes and hyperacidity should take medicine after consulting to the surgeon.
Possible Post operative complications
The different physiological make up of each persons influences their ability to heal. Majority of the patients, who are undergoing surgical procedures, get well and go home. However, major complications can occur in the range of 3% to 16% and the rates of permanent disability or death are in the range of 0.4% to 0.8%.
The risk of developing the complication largely depends on age (elderly patients are more likely to develop complication), Pre-existing diseases (like diabetis, heart conditions, allergies, lung diseases), smoking or tobacco consumption, Obesity and the type of surgery (major or minor). Minor post operative/surgical complication:
- Pain in variable degrees
- Dryness of the mouth and throat
- Drowsiness, shivering, dizziness, and giddiness
- Feeling of weakness
- Urine retention- low out put of urine, urinary tract infection
- Confusion and disorientation
- Nausea and vomiting
Post operative care
To avoid the above mentioned post operative complications and ensure successful outcome, patient needs to follow the below mentioned precautions:
- Patients should be co- operative and follow the instruction given by the surgeon to have a positive outcome of the surgery.
- Follow the diet regime properly
- Take appropriate rest as advised by surgeon
- Learn and practice the exercises advised by physiotherapist regularly.
- Don’t roam around in sun and sand immediately after surgeries without consulting the doctor.
Coming back home
Contact your physician for physical check up, and ask if any blood test or radiological test needs to be done. It is possible for you to see yourself as more confident, energetically participating in the regular activities and more rejuvenated after your successful medical tourism holidays. For that, do more careful planning and preparation and you will have wonderful memories of your medical tour.
All the Best…. Have a Happy Medical Journey……