Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Obesity surgery and Knee replacement in India- My Story



“You are a high-risk patient”, announced my general physician and as if to answer my quizzed look he continued, “189 cms and 315 pounds, your closest friend right now suffers from CAD, or cardio-vascular disease, so high-risk for Angina/ Heart attack or even stroke, and that should explain the chronic pain and clicking in your knee, you have worn-out cushion between the bones”, he explained calmly.

My knee pain was the only tangible result of my weight, my dangerously sedentary life style and of course the irregular and uncontrolled eating; it was the covert ticking time bomb that the doctor warned me about.

What seemed like a routine examination for my chronic knee pain and clicking, turned out to be a wake-up call for me. At a mere 47 years of age, the realization that my life was hanging on by just a thin passage of an unblocked vessel in my body, flipped things around.  

As I discussed, my health, I learned it was more complicated than I expected. Diet control alone wouldn’t help, rigorous training apart from time consuming would only further damage my knees.  

The definitive approach further added to my woes; Bariatric surgery and knee replacement both. After numerous calls to my medical insurance agent and pouring over my insurance papers, I was explained that obesity surgery was not covered in my plan and only part of the knee –replacement was covered since knee pain was because of me being overweight. 

Just as I was about to declare it a bleak outcome, a friend suggested that I “take a break”, much to my consternation, but as he spoke, a holiday seemed like the perfect idea.

Now don’t get me wrong it was by no means an imbecile escaping the crisis at hand.  My daughter and I swung into action. Boasting an exponentially growing industry of Medical tourism, with cost-effectiveness and treatment at par or in some instances evenbetter than most developed nations INDIA was our final choice.  

From the time I contacted IndiCure, to my arrival, treatment, recovery discharge and follow –up, I have never had a more hassle free and seamless experience especially in medical care, considering the complicated healthcare sector in Australia.

I was not apprehensive per-se, but the idea of a foreign land, language and two surgeries was unnerving to say the least. However, when we touched down, IndiCure representative was on time to receive us, wheeled us into our choice of accommodation that we had already decided upon right at the start. Much to my surprise it turned out to be not only super comfortable, hygienic and safe, but the staff were trained to deal with guests from all over the world with their preferences.

The next day was my appointment with the doctor in charge. Here, I need to mention that the hospital and its infrastructure with the patient care coordinators designated specifically for patients flying from abroad, got me to check if I had read something wrong in the initial cost assessment, how could something so efficient, precise, well planned and comfortable less than a fourth of  the cost of just the surgery alone in my country?  

Not only was the patient coordinator, updated with all my records , she knew my details at the back of her hand amiable, intelligent and confident about what was going to my next stop.

I was soon ushered into the doctor’s chamber. After the initial introduction, the doctor explained what they intended to do.  How long would be the recovery, post-surgical precautions that I would need to observe and lifestyle changes that I needed to make. He was sharp, professional yet compassionate, a super specialist with over 20 years of experience and had a reassuring demeanor, I was already sure that all was going to be well.

By noon, I was done at the hospital and much to my delight; IndiCure had booked both of us on a small tour around the city, in the evening. The vibrancy of Mumbai, threw me off, those few hours spent gaping and gawking took my mind off the hospital and the traces of pre-hospitalization anxiety.

Our transport to the hospital, that was thankfully very close by to our pad, picked us up. When we reached, my coordinator had already taken care of all the formalities, I signed a consent form, and I was in my room within the next 20 minutes. 

The functioning and infrastructure of the hospitals in India is commendable, not just on a relative note but on an absolute basis.  I was given comfortable accommodation, with provision for an attendant to stay, although it was neither needed nor advised. 

The next 24 hours were spent monitoring my vitals, administering the pre-surgical prophylactic drugs and two visits from my surgeon with his team. The next morning, I was wheeled in into the OT and well, can’t really recollect much of that but woke up in the recovery room, delirious and then in my hospital bed.  A hazy memory of doctors nurses and drugs to relieve post surgical discomfort, for the next few days.

Although, I wished to discharged sooner, thankfully the doctors insisted that I stay at least for 3 more days for observation, since my food intake had to be very precise.  After about 6 days, my knee replacement was done again with the same precision and accuracy. I stayed at the hospital for about 5 days for complete recovery and physical therapy for my new knee.   

It’s almost 6 months since my medical holiday and to think that all of it was organized by just one call and a few e-mails trans-Atlantic, at such an affordable cost, including the quick holiday at the breath-taking  retreat, post my discharge is my medical-fairytale!

This is a real story of one of our patients from Australia. For quality and affordable treatment options in India, write to us at info@indicure.com or call us at +91 93200 36777 or +1-877-270-2448 (US Toll Free) or talk to us at Skype @ Indicure



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