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What is a stay at the clinic like? Part 2.

Very often patients ask me to describe the day of the surgery. This is crucial, as it allows me to help the patient to tame the unknown and feel more confident. Upon arriving at the clinic to have a treatment, each patent knows exactly how to prepare. Every person who decides to get the treatment is given instructions and medical advice beforehand.

Usually following that: a few days before the treatment we recommend having certain tests done (general blood tests, blood coagulation time, bleeding time). We also recommend having an ECG (without description) and a breast scan (in case of breast surgery). On the day of the surgery we do take blood samples and, if it is recommended by the anaesthesiologist, chest ECG and chest x-ray. For patients who are over 40 years old, these tests are obligatory. These tests are already included in the total price of the treatment. In advance of the surgery, the patient is responsible to inform our doctor and our consultant of any serious diseases they have or any prescription medication they take. It is strongly recommended sharing all information about patient’s medical history.

Two weeks before the surgery, the patient should not be allowed to take any aspirin, paracetamol or other medications that contain acetylsalicylic acid. One also should not take vitamin E, omega fatty acids, garlic supplements and herbs. People who are smokers should abandon smoking for at least 4 weeks before the surgery. Consuming alcohol (less than three days before the surgery) is also forbidden. Using any narcotics is not recommended, and it should be reported to a member of the medical staff. It is recommended to take a vitamin C supplement three times daily starting a week in advance of the treatment. On the day of the treatment, the patient cannot consume any foods, drinks or chewing gum. The patient should not be wearing makeup or nail enamel (especially one in deep colour that covers the nail’s natural colour). For women, having your period on the day of the treatment unfortunately cancels the treatment. We cannot conduct the surgery while a woman menstruates. Because of all this, when we arrive at the clinic early in the morning, we are hungry and very commonly stressed (which is not the best combination). First we are greeted by administration staff, the consultant and nurses. We give our information to these people first, we get our blood tests done and have our medical chart prepared. Patients are given the medical chart to sign (including an agreement for the surgery, anaesthesiology overview, and so forth). These are followed by the consultations.

Our consultations are all the time for our patient. The plastic surgeon has to respond to each of the patients’ questions, explain how the surgery will go—the methods, risks, etc. It is important to note that at any given moment we have the right to withdraw from the treatment, as the decision of getting the treatment should reflect the patient’s complete readiness for a change. During or after consultations, if we are still ready for changes, we sign our doctor’s papers, make payment and wait for the surgery.

During that time, the clinic’s staff shows us our room, where we will spend at least 24 hours after the surgery. Nowadays, rooms in clinic usually have TV and bathrooms. After the surgery you are free to take a shower, or just relax, have a nap, watch TV or read. Right before the surgery, we will be seen by an anaesthesiologist, who will explain how the anaesthesia works and will answer our questions. A few minutes before the surgery you will be asked to change into a hospital gown (disposable pyjamas, slippers and head cap). This silly looking clothing (many people laugh at it) is extremely comfortable, and right after the surgery we can throw it away and put on our pyjamas. After putting on our special clothing, a nurse or an anaesthesiologist will invite us to the surgery room and the surgery will begin.

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