International Medical Travelers Guide to Traveling Overseas for Treatements

Friday, August 21, 2009

If you are traveling abroad for medical reasons for the first time, here are certain pointers to overcome Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

Precautions to avoid DVT

  • Take short walks down the aisle on the plane.
  • Exercise the muscles of your lower legs, which act as a pump for the blood in the veins.
  • Wear loose fitting clothes.
  • Drink enough water.Avoid alcohol & other caffeinated drinks.
  • Avoid sleeping pills
  • Wear graduated compression stockings if you have other risk factors for DVT
  • If you have a history of DVT you may need heparin injections.
  • Seek urgent medical advice if you develop swelling or pain in your calf/thigh or encounter breathing problems

You are more likely to have DVT if you have...

  • A blood clot in a vein before
  • A family history of blood clots in veins
  • You have an inherited condition that makes your blood more likely to clot ( thrombophilia)
  • You have blood diseases
  • You have cancer, or have had cancer treatment
  • You have circulation problems or heart failure
  • You had recent surgery or an injury, especially to your hips or knees

General Tips and Instructions for Medical Travelers

  • Verify your overseas travel fitness with your doctor based on your current medical condition.
  • When you decide to continue your treatment abroad, keep your local doctor informed to ensure you continue your follow up treatment without a hitch.
  • While selecting the international hospital that's right for your needs, you should consider the hospital's accreditation, awards and recognitions, infrastructure and equipment etc.
  • Study the credentials and experience of the doctor who will treat you thoroughly
  • Educate yourself on the procedure and compare your expectations with what's achievable by the surgery. Also be clear about follow-up care needed, time required for recovery, physical therapy etc.
  • You should understand that in most cases the final decisions on your treatment will be made only after the doctor meets you and examines you in person. It is possible that your doctor, upon examining you, may decide that you are not fit for surgery, or may recommend a course of treatment different from what you had planned.
  • You must ensure that you always carry the necessary documents with you, in person. It is recommended that you carry copies of these documents, while storing the originals in a safe place.
  • Records like X-Rays, MRI's, health histories, photographs, immunization records, prescriptions and any other health records relevant to the surgery. Remember to carry all these medical reports and any medicines in your carry-on luggage.
  • Passport and visa: You will need a passport for yourself and your travel companion (if any). Depending upon the country you are traveling from, you may or may not need a visa.
  • Credit cards, debit cards and travelers checks: Bring some local currency, travelers checks and one or two major credit cards and debit cards.
  • Carry your driver's license and make sure it will remain valid while you're traveling.

Our Cardiac Medical Breakthroughs

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The Four Prong Strategy

Nobody wanted to treat a 12 year old girl with a Congenital Cardiac defect of criss-crossed ventricles and arteries. Medication could do little if not much and a temporary fix of the valves would only buy time. The team at Wockhardt Hospitals wanted more for the girl and thus took on the challenge to give her back the normal life of a 12 year old. It took a whole year of tests and scans and 4 high risks surgeries to re-arrange the girl's heart. The girl has completely recovered and has gone back to her life of a normal 12 year old.

The Radio Maze Therapy:

Heart Specialists at Wockhardt Hospitals have found an extremely advantageous surgical procedure which will offer a permanent solution during Atrial Fibrillation - an abnormal fast beating of the heart caused by disturbed electrical discharges. The surgery uses the technique of Irrigated Radio Frequency Modified MAZE Procedure, which is performed to treat Atrial Fibrillation along with an Open heart surgery for valve replacement.

Wake Up to a New World:

A 78 year old patient walked into Wockhardt Hospitals with chest pain. An emergency angiogram indicated the urgent need for a bypass. The problem? He was a smoker and affected lungs meant that he could not tolerate general anesthesia. Plus there were other complications like diabetes and renal problems which eliminated the heart lung machines. In most other hospitals, this would have been the end of the story. But the Wockhardt Cardiac Team came up with a medical plan to perform a Minimally Invasive Coronary bypass without general anesthesia or a ventilator support, using the technique called high Epidural Analgesia. The operation lasted 45 minutes and was a success - and the patient was awake all through.

Brains Behind The Heart

A 22 year old was brought to Wockhardt Hospitals with a rare condition. He had a cancerous tumour in his heart - a condition that is normally found in the brain. In fact, it's so rare that there isn't even enough medical literature about it. But that didn't stop Wockhardt Hospitals Cardiac Team. In an epic surgery that lasted longer than 6 hours, the tumor was successfully removed and a large part of the heart was literally rebuilt.

The 900gm Miracle:

Most hospitals wouldn't operate on a baby, who was just four months old and weighed a mere 900 grams - just about the size of a palm. The baby's heart was one-inch-long and had a one - centimeter fungal mass in the right chamber, which had infected his blood.

An open heart surgery was his only chance of survival, but was risky, considering his loss of weight. Understandably it was a risk that most hospitals were unwilling to take. They wanted to wait till the baby gained more weight, which meant they needed more time - and time was something that was not available.

But the team at Wockhardt had belief - belief in their skills and a strong one that they would be able to save the baby's life. The six hour surgery was a success and the baby - the 900 gram miracle, was reborn.

Lifestyle Diseases Linked to Renal Complications

Doctors are worried over the sharp rise in the number of patients with kidney complications, which they attribute to lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension and obesity. The trend has triggered more patients landing up at nephrology departments units in several private hospitals.

Doctors perceive a paradigm shift in the cause of kidney diseases over the past few years. Earlier, only infectious diseases caused renal complications, but now, lifestyle diseases are more to be blamed for increasing Kidney Complications.

According to Arup Ratan Dutta, chief nephrologist at Wockhardt Hospital and Kidney Institute,Kolkata , several organs of the body get affected if high blood-sugar level persists for a few years. ?More than 30 per cent of the patients on dialysis are diabetic and the number is increasing fast.

Dr Arup Dutta Dutta attributes the rise in cases of kidney complications in the metro cities two principal reasons. First, the average longevity of a person has increased. Advances in medical science have lengthened the lifespan of patients suffering from hypertension and diabetes.They are living long enough to develop complications like chronic renal failure. he pointed out.


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