On arrival at the airport, you will be met by one of our couriers. He will be holding a name card with the New Leaf logo on it and your name. He take your case and make your journey as comfortable as possible to the hospital. He will drop you off at reception where you will be directed to your room and where you will meet the on-duty nurse and get settled in to your room. Food is not supplied on the first evening, so you may like to eat out or bring something with you.
The next day your surgeon will visit you to discuss your pre-operative tests, surgery, and answer any questions you may have. Pre-operative tests today include blood tests, chest x-ray, lung function tests, ECG, gastroscopy (a sedative can be requested), plus taking another medical history. You may go out to town to take a light meal this evening.
The next day is usually your surgery day. You will be taken to ICU for a few hours afterwards so you can be monitored closely. Some stay overnight here. Please advise your friends and family that you will be out of contact for up to 24 hours. On returning to your room, the nurses will take over your care, and make you as comfortable as possible. You will be given clear liquids to consume for the first 24 hours. Pain relief, anti nausea and sleeping meds are given by the nurses.
The following few days are about rest and recovery. The nurses will continue to monitor your progress, and liquids will now include diet shakes and soup. You may feel like going for a walk around the hospital or grounds, but please ask permission first.
On your last day or sometimes the Friday the surgeon will discharge you with a form to take to your GP, and some post-operative medication, then our courier will return you to the airport for your return flight.
Things to take on your trip
Sleepwear, slippers, underwear, toiletries, medication, dry mouth spray (not essential), towels, phone, charger and adapter, google translate on smart phone if possible, lip salve, non wired, comfortable bra, contact numbers, moisturiser, diet shake packs and mixer cup (for late arrival on Sunday and return journey), tea, coffee and powdered milk, a few euros and/or czech crowns, debit/credit card, payment method, any recent test results that might be of interest (blood, gastroscopy, other medical reports), laptop (not essential), loose clothing, pair of compression stockings/flight socks (not essential), washing soap, bag for dirty washing, baby wipes, reading material, passport and European health insurance card (E111), eye mask to allow sleep during the day.
Client experience – Patient of Dr Hruby, Panachova Hospital, Turnov
When I arrived some pre op tests were undertaken (blood samples, a blood thinning injection (in belly) blood pressure, weight etc.) This was because my operation was moved forward to Monday which can sometimes happen.
After all this was completed the nurses advised I could go out and we went to the square for our “last supper”; keep the meal light.
If operation day is tomorrow then Nil by mouth after midnight. You will be given a sleeping pill.
Monday (other tests above usually done on this day if operation on Tuesday) – Woken early with the nurse taking my temperature (this happened every morning I was there, but they were quiet when doing so, sometimes I didn’t hear them come in – it was usually around 5am) More pre-op tests were done – Lung test – which was blowing in to a tube and trying to make the bowling ball roll down the aisle to knock the pins over. We were also weighed again at this point, and blood pressure taken again.
Camera down throat ( – you are asked to swallow some spray that is placed in your throat to numb it and lay on the bed, the other nurse gives you a sedative and that is all you will remember before being put in to a wheelchair and being wheeled back up to your room. There is nothing to worry about. Expect to feel a bit giddy (like being drunk) for about 20 minutes afterwards, most people sleep for a couple of hours.
A nice lady will come in to ask about any previous operations, or anaesthetic you have had in the past and you are asked to sign some forms.
If operation tomorrow nil by mouth after midnight including water. You are given a suppository to empty your bowels the night before surgery. Hold on to this for as long as possible (I lasted 25 minutes)
Tuesday (or operation day) You will be given another injection in your belly you will have one of these a day for the whole time you are there. This is an anti-cogulent to ward against DVT’s. A few more standard tests are done and you are fitted with your cannula either in your arm or hand depending on where they find a vein.
You will be asked to pay the remaining balance on this day or maybe the day before.
You are asked by the nurses to shower. After doing so they will check that you have shaved your private area and then bandage up your legs, and dress you in an open back gown. You MUST not have any underwear on underneath. If you are menstruating please remember to take a tampon as they refuse to let you have a towel on.
About 20 minutes before you are taken down for surgery you are given a pre med injection in your buttock. This may make you feel a bit drowsy.
Operation time – You will be wheeled down to theatre on your own bed. Once in the waiting area you will be stripped of your current gown, and put in to another one. There may be male doctors around just to be aware. You will then be placed on a new bed and asked to lay down. You will be wheeled in to the theatre when they are ready for you.
This bit can seems a bit daunting but don’t worry! I panicked as I couldn’t see Dr H in the room but there is nothing to be worried about.
You will be strapped in on one of your arms, where they will attach a blood pressure pad to you. They will cover your belly in yellow liquid which is to prevent infection.
Lots of things will be taking place to get you prepared for surgery. The lovely lady who came to see you previously to ask about previous operations will appear with an oxygen mask.
She will ask you to breath normally and explain that you will now be given the anaesthetic. This is the last thing you will remember. Operation usually takes 90 mins for a wrap and 60 mins for a sleeve.
Recovery – you will wake up in a room on your own bed. You may experience some pain at this point, let the nurse know, she tends to speak very good English in recovery. As soon as she sees you are awake and responding she will inject you in the buttock with Morphine/Pethadine to releve the pain. You stay here for about an hour and a half to recover and let the nurses monitor you. Most people do not remember any of this and wake up in their room. Once they are happy you will be wheeled back up to your room to recover further.
Day after surgery usually Wednesday – You are a bit sore, tender, and may feel sick or even be sick(i was lucky and didnt) you are going to be dizzy and light headed so rest as much as you can. Still you are not allowed any water or food so use your spray to help you. If you need assistance, are in any pain or feel sick, ring the bell the nurses will be there within seconds, no matter how small the job is – use the nurses you dont want to risk hurting yourself.
Another injection in the stomach and any extra pain relief is given to you. You are attached to a drip.
Dr H will visit.
Thursday – You are still a bit groggy and tired. Take it easy rest up, You can have some water today. Water only take it easy sip all the time. You are also given a sleeping pill later and a omeperazole to help with reflux. If in pain ask for pain relief, say the word pain and the nurses understand they will ask you at night too if you want some more pain relief. Use your buzzer as much as possible.
You will be taken down for an xray to see if there are any leaks. You will be asked to drink some liquid and will see it going down your throat and into your stomach on a screen (its pretty neat)
Dr H will visit.
Friday – you will be tried on some yoghurt drinks, protein shakes and soup. I didn’t like the soup and asked for an extra shake. Take it easy and sip all drinks don’t worry if it takes a while, I was taking 2-3 hours first of all. Get in as much as you can sip all day but take it slow. Your cannula may now be removed depending on how many liquids you are getting in.
Dr H will visit and discharge you with paperwork and tablets to go home with if you are leaving this day.
I left on the Friday but purely felt ready because my operation was a day early, I would have struggled otherwise and I had a good recovery with no sickness. I know its boring but try as much as possible to stay as long as possible and might be worth booking special assistance for the way home if travelling alone.
Saturday and Sunday – if you stay until the weekend, highly recommended! You will feel stronger each day and will be able to leave the hospital for short walks and wander round the grounds and into Turnov, take your time and don’t over do it but walking is good for you and helps to relieve any pain or discomfort you may be getting from wind.
Return to the airport – you will be collected between 3 and 3 1/2 hours before your flight is due. The driver should come and collect you from your room and help you with the luggage. If he struggles to find you, he may phone your mobile so please make sure it is switched on and close to hand. He will take you to the airport and drop you off near the departures area.
I found it a comfort to have someone with me but understand most do it alone.
If taking a partner they will be served breakfast (usually bread and fruit of some kind about half 7) then 11.30 a hot meal with side soup, and then half 6 a sandwich or some kind of snack. The food is typical Eastern European hospital food, so please set their expectations accordingly. However, there is a cafe in the reception area and vending machines and a Tesco Express in the square a 5 min walk away.
Dr H will get you a pre op talk and a post op diet talk as well before you leave, if more than one of you from the UK he will do this in group sessions.