Medical travel abroad can save your time and money. Today, medical tourism destinations are equipped with world class technology and provide high quality care to patients. The growth of medical tourism has also spurred the rise of tourism industry. Patients have nothing to complain about, in the luxurious and comfortable hotels and nutritious food lounges.
While the medical tourism industry is fairly infallible, a medical traveller must also ensure that s/he is prepared for the travel. Here is a list of essentials that medical tourists must pack, for their surgery abroad.
When seeking treatment abroad, you should find out which medical records are required. Always keep multiple copies of your medical records and reports with you.
The most important piece of info during a patient’s medical travel, are the medical history documents. These documents include:
Record of all pre-tests conducted
Medication prescriptions handed out
Details of complications during any surgical procedures that may have arisen
Pack multiple copies of all the documents. These copies should be kept in different travel bags for easier and foolproof accessibility.
Currency, both domestic and foreign - it is ideal to carry money in smaller denominations
Credit cards - Patients should check the credit limit prior to travel
Carrying tablets is preferable to liquids and gels. With tablets, there are no chances of leakages.
Wound dressings, alcohol wipes, gauze, tweezers, scissors and band-aid
Medication for allergy: Necessary precautions against adverse allergic reactions should be taken. For e.g., one should carry an Epipen for anaphylaxis.
Antibiotic for seasonal change: The destination country’s prevailing weather, common diseases, common pests, common allergens etc, should be investigated. If the patient is an infection-prone person because of low immunity levels, such as when undergoing chemo, then carrying a prescribed amount of broad spectrum antibiotics is highly advisable.
Over the counter medications: Decongestants, anti-diarrheals, mild laxatives, antihistamines, etc. are essential too.
Cough drops, antifungal ointments and antacids should be carried to prevent disorders.
Stomach medicines and motion sickness tablets
Additional medication: Patients, especially senior citizens may also have medical conditions like Diabetes, High BP, Alzheimer’s etc., along with the illness for which he/she is travelling for. Appropriate quantities of prescribed medications should be taken along.
Sunscreen, lubricating eye-drops and aloe gel also prevent sunburn and skin irritation.
Anti-insect jellies and insect repellents: Numerous diseases can be spread through pathogen carrying insects. It is best to be immune to their infection.
PS: It is better to carry sachets rather than bottles and boxes as sachets will occupy less space.
Pillows, bedsheets, headrests: These will allow you to stay in comfort throughout the journey. These also come in handy when your body cannot suit to foreign linen.
Wheelchair or any other device for movement, like a cane, as per the needs of the patient.
Slippers, soft socks, sweat pants and shoes : Comfortable clothing is essential to ensure that you remain mobile before and after the procedure.
Plastic containers: To carry medicines, food and supplements, these are handy, especially when you are unable to move around.
Charger, ear plugs and extra batteries
Paper and cloth towels, wash cloths
Food items: While hotels and hospitals will take good care of you before and after the procedure, it is wise to take certain food items with you if you don’t feel like eating foreign food.
This can include things like: protein bar, cereal, salad dressing, cheese, chocolate, frozen pasta, microwave dinners and pre made mashed potatoes.
Liquids : It is important to stay hydrated at all times. Things like protein drinks can help you provide energy when you are about to undergo a dental or cosmetic procedure or after it.
Sesame seeds, mint/ginger tea, raisins and prunes: These are stool softeners and help in avoiding constipation while you’re travelling abroad.
Vitamins and other calcium tablets
Paper plates, spoons and cups
Loose clothing: Button up pajamas, front button shirts, yoga pants, gowns and bathing robe allow complete range of movement of the patient. They also allow ease in moving around.
Sanitary kit: These are of utmost importance when the patient has to stay for a few days in the hospital.
These include: toothbrushes and toothpaste, facial wipes, hair brush, facial cream, elastic bands
Notepad and pencil: It is important to note down any recovery guidelines or medicine names that your doctor tells you.
Pain medication: For over 10 days immediately after any treatment, patients can experience pain. Patients should inquire with the surgeon about the availability of pain relief medication in the foreign country and pack the necessary antibiotics accordingly.
After the surgery, patient should check whether the prescribed medicine is available in the home country. If not, it is prudent to pack extra medication for pain-free recovery at home.
Ice packs: These are generally used to reduce swelling or pain in most cosmetic, dental and orthopedic surgeries.
Microwavable hot packs: This can provide relief from aching or sore muscles
Thermometer: Complete care of the patient is taken at the hospital. However, to prevent running around to the hospital time and again after treatment, it is ideal to keep a thermometer with yourself to check for flu symptoms.
Books, magazines, audio books: These will relieve stress after the procedure and allow the patient to avoid boredom, while facilitating complication free recovery.
DVDs, iPod and laptop: These can be a boon for patients who have had an orthopedic or cosmetic surgery on the arms, legs or lower body in general.