On June 17, 2014 I underwent surgery in Thailand for the removal of three piles. What follows is my narrative of that experience.
My story begins on June 7th when I noticed a painful external hemorrhoid and on June 12th I went to Nonthavej Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand to seek treatment. Upon examination three hemorrhoids were discovered and the Doctor recommended that I have surgery as soon as possible. The surgery was scheduled for June 12th.
In my narrative I will describe my surgery with the hope of giving anyone considering medical tourism a little information and insight into this facet of health care.
On entering the Hospital I first went to reception, where my wife, Tina (a Thai Citizen), helped me with the initial paperwork. For those not so lucky to have a Thai wife, the hospital has competent foreign patient representatives who speak English. Here is the reception area and some of the personnel working there.
After the paperwork at reception was completed one of the recptionists took us to the surgery department where a chest x-ray, blood work, blood pressure, temperature and an EKG were done. I then met with my cardiologist to discuss the surgery and my heart, blood pressure and cholesterol.
After testing we were taken to our private room on the 15th floor of the hospital. The room came with wi-fi, a refrigerator, a microwave, a hot water maker, a LCD television, a sofa for my wife, extra pillows.
My surgery was scheduled for noon, about 11:15 am the anesthesiologist came to my room, introduced himself and asked if I had any questions. At noon an attendant came to the room with a wheelchair to take Tina and I to the surgery wing on the second floor of the hospital. There I was prepped for surgery, then taken to the operating room given a local anesthetic, oxygen, and connected to monitor my blood pressure / heart rate. The surgery took about 2 hours and I was returned to my room and helped into bed.
The care I received from the many nurses and other staff members was phenomenal: it included twice daily sponge baths, at least 12 blood pressure / Temperature tests per day, three hospital gown changes per day, at least one bedding change per day, two room cleanings per day, and three meals and one snack per day. During the day there were at least five nurses at their station to care for 25 private rooms in this ward; at night at least three nurses were present. I only had to wait a few minutes after calling for a nurse, and they always arrived with a smile and gentle touch. It is amazing the care that can be given by an adequately staffed hospital.
I had three doctors attending me: a surgeon, a cardiologist, and an anesthesiologist. All three visited me at least once a day during my stay and answered my every question and concern.
My surgeon and his assistant
My Anesthesiologist and his assistant
My Cardiologist and his assistant
For those of you interested in Medical Tourism in Thailand: a summary of the billing for my surgery and two day hospital stay is here.
When I return to America I will submit a claim to Medicare and they will coordinate with my other insurance companies. Hopefully the coverage will be as good as what is covered in America. I will update this blog when reimbursement of my out of pocket expenses is made. At this time I am very satisfied with the cost and quality of my treatment.
If you have any general questions, feel free to contact me. I am no expert but am happy to relay the results of my experience to help you sort out the pros and cons of medical treatment in Thailand.