Medical Notes - Travel

Planning your journey

Your Itinerary

You should plan to arrive in Cape Town at least 2 days prior to your intended surgery. To facilitate adequate recuperation and a comfortable return journey I recommend you remain in Cape Town between 1-3 weeks after surgery (see below).

Suggested duration of stay: This should be confirmed prior to making you flight reservations.

  • Eyelids  7-10 days
  • Breast Surgery 10-14 days
  • Facelift - 2 weeks
  • Abdominoplasty 2- 3 weeks

Medical considerations

If you have any medical conditions make sure you have informed me well in advance prior to your departure.

Please ensure that you have informed me of any medications or supplements you may be taking prior to your confirmation of surgery.

In certain instances you may be requested to consult your general practitioner or have blood tests prior to your departure.

Certain medications should be avoided for at least 2 weeks before surgery: aspirin or aspirin containing medications, (common in cold and flu medications) Anti Inflammatories, (Voltaren, Brufen, Vioxx, Norflex) arnica and some homeopathic or herbal remedies. T

hese may thin your blood and predispose to bleeding. Garlic and red wine should be avoided for 2 days before surgery. In the event that you develop a bacterial or viral infection (respiratory, skin etc.) your surgery may be postponed.

At your pre-operative consultation ensure that all your questions are answered and that you are confident that you understand your procedure, the risks and the likely post-operative course.

medical notes

The better prepared you are, the easier it will be.


Please note that some procedures (e.g. facelift, abdominoplasty) may not be performed at all in smokers.

In these cases a month's abstinence prior to and after surgery is mandatory.

The Economy Class Syndrome - Thromboembolic Disease

What is it?

Prolonged immobility on a long-haul flight and sitting with bent legs with compression of the back of the knees by the front edge of the seat can obstruct the flow of blood in the leg veins. This may initiate the process of thrombosis (clotting) of the leg veins resulting in their blockage.

How can this be avoided?

Predisposing factors should be modified:

  • Discontinue oral contraceptives / stop smoking / try to achieve your optimal weight

Precautions during your flight:

  • You should purchase and use full-length Anti-Embolism (TED / DVT) stockings for the duration of your flight, during and after surgery.
  • Drink lots of water and not alcohol as this dehydrates your system.
  • Take along your own bottled water.
  • Walk around as often as possible during your flight to keep your blood circulation going (get an aisle seat).
  • Avoid sleeping tablets as they result in prolonged periods of immobility.
  • While you are in your seat, alternately contract and relax different muscle groups, especially those of the lower legs, this helps the blood flow in your legs

When you arrive in Cape Town:

  • Go for a brisk walk soon after arrival to assist the circulation in your legs.


The day of surgery

  1. You should not have anything to eat or drink for 6-8 hours before your surgery.
  2. Take a shower before surgery.
  3. Avoid make-up.

What to bring with you

  • Slippers & light dressing gown
  • Basic toiletries
  • Loose clothing with buttons or zippers - avoid pull-over clothing
  • Sunglasses & scarf for facial surgery.
  • Any current medicines
  • ID Document
  • Payment of the theatre fees (as per your quotation) may be made before surgery by EFT (please bring proof of payment) or by Credit Card on the day of your surgery. If you are intending to pay by any other means please ensure this is cleared with the theatre management.

What not to bring with you

  • If possible leave valuables at home.
  • No weapons of any description are allowed.
  • No smoking is permitted in the Renaissance Institute


  • Do not expect to see the result immediately. Some procedures may take months for the results to become evident.
  • Plan for total rest for 2-3 days after surgery.
  • Pain / discomfort is maximal during the first 2-3 days following surgery. You will be comfortable taking regular pain medications.
  • Swelling is maximal for the first 3-4 days and resolves over the subsequent 2-3 weeks, depending on the procedure.
  • Bruising generally takes 2-3 weeks to settle.
  • Some patients may feel depressed for a day or two post surgery, this is quite normal.