What to expect as an Orthopaedic Surgery Patient
Here’s what you need to know…
- If you are considering orthopaedic (i.e. joint) surgery with SkyGen, this article will explain exactly what you can expect from start to finish.
- After your first enquiry, your SkyGen Client Manager will answer your questions, have your case assessed by orthopaedic surgeons at our partnered hospitals, discuss your surgical recommendation, organise your flights, accommodation and transfers.
- After disembarking your flight at Bangkok International Airport, a hospital representative will meet you and guide you through VIP Customs & Immigration clearance, and you will be taken to the in-hospital medical hotel.
- From your first consultation with your orthopaedic surgeon, everything will be discussed clearly and at any time you can ask any questions regarding your surgery and recovery.
- After your surgery, you will recover in the Intensive Care Unit, followed by 3-6 nights in a private hospital ward room.
- After your discharge from the hospital, you will spend the next 6 nights in the upstairs medical hotel, so as to still be in the hospital precinct.
- For a welcome change of scence, you will then travel for your final 6 nights to a luxury 5-Star hotel where you can get out and about prior to your final consultation and clearance to travel home.
- Upon returning to Australia you can re-engage with your trusted GP for medical care, and continue physiotherapy on your new joint.
- SkyGen will follow up with you at set intervals to track your ongoing progress.
Between Now and Departure
- Your SkyGen client manager will liaise with you in preparing everything for your medical travel journey.
- SkyGen will also liaise with the doctors and surgeons on your behalf to ensure all of your specific questions are answered.
- The orthopaedic surgeons at our hospitals will assess your Medical History Form along with joint scans and images to provide you with a surgical recommendation.
- If you have any underlying disease or illness, you may be required to get a standard blood test or ECG test to ensure that you’re fit and healthy for surgery prior to departing. In this case SkyGen will provide you with a letter requesting these simple diagnostics from your local doctor/GP.
- You can nominate your preferred surgery dates, and we will confirm surgeon/theatre availability. You can then secure your dates with a 20% deposit* (you will also read through and accept SkyGen’s Terms and Conditions, and submit copies of your valid passports. Minimum 6-months passport validity is required to enter the Kingdom of Thailand).
- SkyGen books and organises your luxury accommodation, bonus travel inclusions, return flights and complimentary airport/hotel transfers (as required) for you and your traveling party. We can provide corporate negotiated rates through our partners at Flight Centre for flights leaving all Australian and New Zealand capital cities. We will also assist with specific travel seating and mobility requirements depending on your case. Our patients are different from all other medical travellers in this respect.
- We can also discuss how the SkyGen Care Team will assist you with your medical travel experience on the ground in Bangkok.
- Final invoice balance is due 45 days prior to treatment (emergency bookings* excluded).
- You will receive a comprehensive Client Medical Travel Folio with all details of your trip no less than two weeks prior to your departure. This includes everything from treatment timetables through to emergency contacts, maps and helpful tourist tips.
- If you require mobility assistance at the airport, we will organise for an airline representative to meet you at the check-in counter with a wheelchair and escourt you all the way through to your flight. This is standard for our patients.
*Bookings made within 45 days of departure require a full payment of the medical travel package invoice in order to secure treatment dates and accommodation.
Upon Arriving in Bangkok
- Immediately upon disembarking your plane at Bangkok International Airport (Suvarnabhumi) you will be greeted by a hospital representative holding a card with your name on it. They will assist you by wheelchair or electric buggy through the VIP customs and immigration lines. These lines are reserved for foreign diplomats and provide added convenience for our patients.
- Your assistant will help you get your luggage, and escort you to the waiting hospital transport. You will be driven to your hospital (Bangpakok 9 International), where an international patient assitant will meet you at the front. You will then settle into the luxury medical hotel upstairs in the hospital building.
- On the morning of your consultation with your surgeon, your international patient assistant will greet you and escort you to meet your surgeon.
Note: We will be in constant contact with you, the hospital, and the hotel management staff before, during and after all stages of your treatment abroad. For information on how the SkyGen Care Team will be available to support and assist in your experience on the ground in Bangkok, ask your SkyGen Client Manager.
Your consultation, pre-operative diagnostics and surgery
- During your consultation, you will meet your specialist orthopaedic surgeon. You will have a physical assessment, thorough discussion, and examination of your medical scan images. The surgeons only use the highest quality titanium prosthetic implants from American companies such as Zimmer. Your international patient assistant will also be in the room with you, in case you need clarification on anything.
- You will then be taken for your pre-operative diagnostics. This includes a blood test, electrocardiogram, chest and joint x-ray, meeting with cardiologist, and Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) treatment. If you have any underlying diseases or conditions requiring extra tests or specialist consultations, these will also be performed. Extra tests and medications will not be included in the standard package fee. Note: Sometimes these pre-operative diagnostics may be performed prior to the consultation with your surgeon.
- You will then be escorted to a comfortable waiting area, where you will change into your hospital garment and relax before surgery.
- If you are travelling by yourself, the hospital will have the contact details for your next of kin, and can get in touch with them once you have come out of surgery. SkyGen can also contact your family members if you require.
- After your surgery, you will be moved to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for your first night of recovery. This is standard procedure and allows for you to receive the highest level of treatment from the medical professionals.
Recovering from surgery in the hospital and medical hotel (located in hospital)
- After your first night in the ICU, you will be moved to your private ward room. The attentive nurses will always be available to assist you with walking to the bathroom, sponge bathing & hair washing, and requirement for additional pain medications.
- Your orthopaedic surgeon will check in on you, and you will start your physical therapy and movement of your new joint. You will also continue your treatment for DVT.
- You will have an International & Thai menu of healthy fresh meals to choose from, and you can even request additional food and beverage products from the Seven Eleven or Starbucks located downstairs within the hospital precinct.
- WiFi connection is freely available to all patients so they can keep in touch with friends and family back home.
- You will stay in the private ward room for 3-6 nights depending on your surgeons recommendation. Once your surgeon gives you clearance to be discharged, you will be moved to your luxury room at the medical hotel upstairs in the hospital building called The BP9 Residence.
- Here you can continue your physical therapy and practice moving around on your new joint(s). You will stay here for the next 6 nights and continue your recuperation knowing you still have access to your nurses and medical staff if required.
- The hospital also has a fully equipped day spa and impressive dental clinic. Many of our patients have opted for cosmetic dental treatments and relaxing massages while they are continuing their recovery.
Leaving hospital, moving to your luxury hotel and your final consultation
- After 6 nights of further recovery in the hospital’s medical hotel, our patients are transferred to a luxury 5 Star Hotel called The Aetas Bangkok.
Note: If you are taking a little longer to recover than expected, you’re welcome to stay at the hospital’s medical hotel for as long as you wish. This is sometimes the case with patients receiving bilateral joint replacement (both sides) or without a travelling companion to help them move around.
The Aetas Bangkok is frequented by Australian & NZ medical travellers from SkyGen & our partnered company CosMediTour, so the attentive staff are equipped to assist our patients. We also have our own staff at the concierge desk to help make your experience more enjoyable.
- Here, our patients enjoy a welcome change of scenery from the hospital precinct, and can relax by the hotel pools or get out and about around the city.
- Daily buffet breakfast is included for all of our patients, as well as complimentary massages and lunches for guests staying 7 nights or longer.
- Patients will usually stay at this hotel for 6-7 nights, and will be transferred back to the hospital for their final post-surgical check up with their orthopaedic surgeon before being given clearance to travel home.
- During this final consultation, it’s important to discuss prevention methods for DVT with your orthopaedic surgeon. This is important for your flight home and will likely include oral medications and compression bandages.
After Returning Home
Your SkyGen client manager will call you within one week of your return to follow up on your medical travel experience.
Re-engaging with your trusted GP
It’s important that you make an appointment to check in with your trusted GP upon returning to Australia. They will likely want to hear all about your experience as a medical traveller, and will also want to see the operation site to confirm everything is healing nicely. It’s important to talk to them about your ongoing DVT prevention treatments.
Continuing your Physical Therapy
A Physical Therapist is the American term for what we call a Physiotherapist here in Australia. It’s important that you continue your rehabilitation exercises for your new joint, and engage with your physiotherapist once back home. He/she is the best person to fast-track your progress in this area.
*Please read: Although the information provided on this page may describe a particular patient experience and/or outcome, readers must understand that each patient presents with a unique medical history and may be recommended a different treatment/surgery by their surgeon to that described above. Individual results may vary between surgery centre/hospital, surgeon, surgery type and patient. Although SkyGen agrees to share all updates from patients at their request, SkyGen does not endorse any physical activities attempted by patients following surgery which do not follow the explicit instructions provided by their surgeon. SkyGen encourages all patients to discuss the risks of such activities with medical professionals before attempting these themselves.