If you choose to travel overseas for surgery, you will also need to decide where to stay for your recovery. Often, people will look for a place to stay on one of the many popular vacation rental websites, at a regular hotel near their surgery facility, or even try staying at family or a friend’s place nearby. While there may be certain personal circumstances that would cause you to prefer one of the former options, there is a fourth option that really should be your first consideration. A dedicated post-surgical recovery facility has many benefits that patients should be aware of and seriously consider in lieu of all other options.

Staff nurses and doctors
A fully-equipped recovery facility will not only have nurses on staff but doctors as well. After surgery, there is always the potential for complications. Staying in a facility that employs certified medical professionals is one way to increase your odds of an uncomplicated recovery.  Recovery facility personnel will know the best way to help you recover after your surgery and be more able to assess you or respond to small changes in your condition that can lead to serious problems if not caught early.

Lymphatic massages
After cosmetic surgery, lymphatic massages are an important part of your recovery. If you stay somewhere other than a recovery facility, you will have to either travel to get these massages or hire someone independently to come to you and perform them. Neither of these options is ideal. When you stay in a recovery facility, the staff will book these massages for you in house, and you will not need to travel anywhere. Many recovery facilities even have dedicated spas for the benefit of their patients.

Transportation
Many higher-end recovery facilities will have a driver on staff to shuttle you from the airport, drop you off and pick you up from your doctor’s appointments, and take you for other miscellaneous appointments as well. If you stay on your own, you will be responsible for finding your own transportation. This can add an unnecessary level of stress, especially if you are in a foreign country that you are unfamiliar with.

The language barrier
Having surgery in a country where you don’t speak the language can be challenging. Most reputable recovery facilities will have bilingual staff. This is very important when speaking to your doctor and nurses and receiving post-operative instructions. Also, a translator can make sure you understand your medication schedule and any food requirements.

Food and supplies
During recovery, your mobility may be limited. If you are not staying in a dedicated recovery facility, you will need to plan and budget for the preparation of food. Staying in a reputable recovery facility removes this concern from your mind as it is common for them to have chefs or cooks available to prepare high-quality, nutrient-dense foods for your benefit. You will also need to consider what supplies you may need, like garments, medical supplies, and entertaining recovery activities like books and movies.

All of these items will need to be purchased independently and ahead of your surgery should you decide to “go on your own”.

When you are traveling for a medical procedure, it is important to remember that after surgery you will be vulnerable, somewhat disabled, and, in some cases, unable to fend for yourself. Please keep in mind that if you are not familiar with the country you are traveling to and its safety, there are risks and consequences to staying on your own outside of a dedicated recovery facility. In addition to all the points mentioned above, you must also have a plan in case of an emergency. It is vital to know where the nearest emergency room (ER) is located and have a way to get there immediately at any time of the day or night, should the need arise.

The most important part of medical tourism is that you research your options extensively and plan ahead for all eventualities. Doing those two things will ensure you the highest likelihood of a successful surgery and safe recovery. In addition, spending your recovery in a reputable recovery facility will be easier, less stressful, and much safer.

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