The Importance of Planning Ahead
The ins and outs of what to consider when planning your surgery
Written by Patient Care Team Lead, Jonathan Corke , BN (Hons)
Published: Thursday, 10 June 2021
We always advise Medbelle patients considering any surgery, that it’s crucial to plan ahead. Juggling your own diary, surgeon availability, and hospital capacity are tricky! So we often tell patients that they should be planning at least 6 months in advance to make sure they’re on track.
Things to take into account before booking your treatment:
We find that patients don’t always realise just how many details need to be considered when planning surgery and can underestimate how long it takes to organise their procedure. Some patients can spend months finding a surgeon they really like; others struggle to find the perfect date for their procedure that works with their work and family life schedules - taking the time to plan (and plan intentionally) gives your brain more time to think and make well-informed decisions that will make your life easier in the long run!
Choosing your surgeon:
Finding the right surgeon for you is crucial. An expert and specialised surgeon will be the best person to help you achieve your goals, and getting to know them a little better through consultations will help you test the waters and find the perfect fit for you. All surgeons operate from specific hospitals and clinics, so deciding where the surgery will take place is also important to consider because this may impact your decision on which surgeon you’d like to work with.
After speaking with one of our Patient Care Advisers and finding a Medbelle surgeon who feels like a good fit for you, our aim is always to be able to get you in for a consultation with that surgeon within a few weeks. But sometimes, it can take longer - if your availability doesn’t quite match up with your chosen surgeon's diary, your initial consultation might not be as soon as you thought it would be.
In preparing for your procedure, whether you’re on a weight-loss journey, starting to give up smoking or researching all possible risks and complications of your procedure, be prepared for your surgery will help you get the most out of your procedure.
Booking your perfect surgery date:
Once you’ve made it to the consultation with your Medbelle surgeon, and you decide they are the right fit for you, the next hurdle is finding time in the surgeon's surgical diary that matches up
with your schedule and commitments for you to have your procedure. But, again, this part isn’t as simple as it seems! Surgeons’ diaries are booked up months in advance, and it can take months to organise the perfect procedure date. Then add in the diaries of the hospital or clinic where you’d like to have your procedure, the theatre staff and anaesthetist, and you’ve got a game of scheduling Tetris on your hands!
All patients live different lifestyles, and organising time off work for your recovery, childcare and an extra set of hands, whether it be a friend or family member, to assist you in your early stages of recovery, are all part of finding the right date for your procedure. If you’re working towards the date of a special event, planning ahead is even more important - you’ll want to be fully recovered and be able to see your results!
Finding that perfect few weeks off work and everything else in between can feel like you’re trying to make the stars align, and it’s much easier to dot all the i’s and cross the t’s if you plan ahead.
Did you know?
Most Medbelle patients want to have their surgery around the same times each year. Easter, the summer holidays and the lead up to Christmas are the most popular periods for patients wanting to have surgery. In order to have your procedure during one of these times, it’s crucial that you are well-prepared beforehand to be able to schedule your procedure.
On top of all this, financial planning is another fundamental aspect of organising a procedure. Looking at your saving goals and deciding whether to take up a financing plan to pay for your procedure are easier decisions to make if you have time up your sleeve. Financial obligations are just another part of this process.
Here’s a checklist to show you what you’re in for if you want to move ahead with any procedure:
☐ What procedure are you going to have that gives you the results you want?
☐ Which Medbelle surgeon is the best fit for you?
☐ When can you have your consultation? Do you need to travel far?
☐ How are you going to pay for your procedure? Savings? Finance?
☐ Where will the procedure take place? How far will you need to travel?
☐ Are there other health aspects you need to take into account before having your procedure?
Choosing a date:
☐ When will the surgery happen? Is the surgeon available?
☐ Is there theatre space at the hospital/clinic with the needed anaesthetist and other medical support?
☐ Can you organise the right time off work?
☐ What about childcare?
☐ Who can drive you to and from your procedure and help you in your early stages of recovery?
☐ Is the timing of your recovery important to you?
☐ Are you going away on holiday or working towards a special event?
At Medbelle, we are committed to ensuring that you feel ready for your procedure, and from our experience in helping thousands of patients across the UK, we know what it takes to make the stars align - we are here to help!
Need help in your planning process? Our Patient Care Advisers are always here to answer all of these questions and help you be in the best position when it comes time for your surgery.
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