Finding the right surgeon is one of the most important decisions you will make as part of your surgery journey. For some people, this may mean travelling interstate.
Here is what you need to know…
1. Be prepared:
Make sure you have a consultation with the surgeon over the phone or Skype before you make the financial commitment of flying over for surgery.
Be prepared for the fact that things may change once you have been assessed in person by your surgeon.
Be clear about your post op instructions and your post operative appointments. Some surgeons will require you to fly back at least once for a post op appointment in person, others wont. Make sure you are clear on this during your phone consultation.
2. Bring a friend or travel buddy:
You will need someone to pick you up from the hospital in order to be discharged. The hospital or surgeon will not let you go home without a chaperone, so make sure you have this organised in advance.
If you are travelling solo, let your surgeons office know and they should be able to put you in touch with an in home nursing service for a fee.
3. Don’t over do it post op:
Although you may feel great it is important to rest up. It may feel like you are on holidays but post op is not the greatest time to be going out shopping or sightseeing. Get all of this out of the way in the days prior to your surgery. You don’t want to increase your chances of complications.
4. Be prepared at the airport:
Regardless of the surgery that you have had, you wont be able to lift, push or pull your luggage. If you are flying home solo, a small hand luggage suitcase with wheels is ideal but ask the flight attendants for assistance putting and retrieving your luggage from the overhead locker.
Check with the airline what their policy is when flying home post surgery. They may require your doctor to provide you with a medical certificate.
Depending on the length of your flight or the type of surgery you have had, compression stocking might be a good idea to wear on the plane. Discuss this with your surgeon or nurse.
5. Hope for the best but plan for the worst:
Let your GP know that you are travelling interstate for surgery so that in the event of unforeseen complications, they can liaise with your surgeon for appropriate post operative care.
Make sure you have enough funds set aside to travel back to see your surgeon in the unlikely case of post operative complications.