With Medical Travel, people are often concerned about a possible surgery mishap. It can be a scary process of going to another country and trusting a doctor you most likely haven’t met to provide you with a successful outcome. One of the biggest misconceptions and fears is that you could die during the surgery. Yes, that is certainly a risk, however, very uncommon. Less than 1% of people will die on the operating table. Most of the time the risk of death and complications occur after a patient is discharged to go home.
Post Operative Care
Preparing to recover after surgery is not just a mental thing to be ready for. Probably the most important factor is how your after care is structured. The 3 most common complications associated with death after a surgery are: major bleeding, heart damage and infection.
Surgery causes an inflammation reaction in your body. Immediately after surgery, you are most likely going to be on pain killers or Experal, an extended form of numbing medicine. These drugs can sometimes mask a significant complication such as coagulation, which can lead to blood clots or heart failure.
Research shows that the postoperative care in a home setting is where the focus needs to be. It is crucial that you have someone with you after surgery for a minimum of 24 hours. Forty-eight hours is even better to help you identify any signs of complications. Listening to your body and doing exactly what the doctor has told you in your post op instructions is important. Trying to do more than you are ready for, even at 5-6 weeks out, can cause a significant set back.
Surgery is a traumatic shock to your body. It needs time to heal. You might feel like you are ready to resume normal activities because you are experiencing little pain. This is greatly in part to the pain killers you are most likely taking. These mask the pain associated with your recent surgery. Trying to do more than you are ready to because you ‘feel’ great or have a good day, prior to your incision healing, can cause bleeding and/or even re-injury.
Sepsis is also a great concern. Most surgeries are now done on an outpatient basis, which reduces your chance for infection. However, that still doesn’t mean it can’t happen. If you are traveling out of the US and Canada, the risk for antibiotic resistant infections is much higher. To avoid this, verifying the hospital is JCI accredited will provide a piece of mind that their regulations are the same as those in the US and Canada should an infection occur.
Complications coverage is available if you wish to be protected in the event you do have a complication, even after you are back home in Canada. You can find more information about it here.