Planning your operation
Planning your operation is very important, for you and for us. Please carefully read the following information.
Obligatory things to arrange:
- Anaesthesiology form: please complete the anaesthesia form online (for operations under general anaesthesia and local anaesthesia with sedation.)
- Preoperative tests: Only operations under general anaesthesia.
- Your stay in Belgium
These examinations are not included in the price.
All of these tests should be arranged by you in your home country. Your general practitioner in your home country could help you with this. One month before the operation you can mail us the results of these tests. Your blood test and ECG can be no older than 3 months. They are very important as the anaesthesiologist will not administer general anaesthesia without it.
- Electrocardiogram — Only when you are over 45 years old and will be administered general anaesthesia. Please e-mail us the report at least one month before the operation to allow us to make the necessary judgements.
- Blood test — For all patients of all ages who will be administered general anaesthesia. Please email the results at least one month before your surgery. We really need the results of these examinations as our anaesthesiologists will not administer anaesthesia without. The tests we need are: Hb, haematocrit, APTT/PTT, platelets, fibrinogen, creatine, urea, electrolytes (ex. potassium, Chlorine), HIV and Hepatitis C.
- Orthopantomogram of the lower jaw — Only for patients who will undergo a jaw or chin recontouring. You can bring this image with you or email it to us. It is best to ask your dentist for this.
Why is it that you do not ask for the blood group?
In o2 Clinic, we have needed to do a blood transfusion for a patient twice so far. You see that chances are very low. If it would be necessary, the blood lab will ALWAYS do a cross test with the blood of the patient before giving the blood so why test it before? In case of acute need for blood, we give blood of the O-negative group. This occasion has never occurred in our practice so far (but Dr van de Ven’s blood group is O neg which means he would be able to give his own blood…).
When do you need to have the results of the blood tests? What if the results are abnormal?
If the results of your tests are all within normal range, you can bring them to your preoperative consultation so we can add them to your file. It is not absolutely necessary to scan them and send them by email. In case some of the results are clearly abnormal you should ask your GP or a specialist if it has any consequences for the planned surgery. Per definition 5% of the test results is out of normal range. That means that very often this bears no consequence.
Planning your stay in Belgium
- Duration and typical stay — You will receive a planning document with all your appointments in Antwerp five to seven after receipt of your booking deposit.
- Transport to Belgium — Belgium is easy to reach from all countries.
- Your stay in our guesthouse — For patients of Dr Bart van de Ven, most of the proposals include your stay in our guesthouse. Some patients of Dr Doornaert will have to book their stay in the guesthouse, you can find on your proposal if your stay is included or not.
- Things to bring — We made a checklist of things you might want to bring with you during your stay in Belgium.
Frequently asked questions
- What if I take any coagulant like Aspirin or Sintrommitis? Do I have to stop taking them?
Please contact the doctor who prescribed this medication to you and ask him if you can just stop taking it for a while. Ideally, we would like you to stop taking Aspirin as of ten days before the surgery until three days after.
If you take Sintrommitis, it should be stopped a few days before surgery. However, often you will need some other anticoagulant that is more controllable to replace it. Your doctor will give you the correct instructions.
- Do I need to remove nail polish prior to surgery?
The reason this is sometimes requested is for the anaesthesiologist’s monitoring of the pulse oximeter, which measures the level of oxygen in the blood. This can also be monitored and measured by attaching the sensor to the toe or earlobe, so our anaesthesiologist does not request to remove gel nails.
- What happens if I need to see a doctor when I return to my home country?
We would advise you to see your GP or the doctor that is on call. We would then discuss the problem with this doctor once you have been seen, and recommend the appropriate treatment. In extremely rare cases it might be necessary for you to come to Antwerp.
- When will I be able to get up and walk around after the surgery?
In the hospital, once the catheter has been disconnected, you should gently work up to getting out of bed and walking around a bit, unless your doctor advises differently. Listen to your body carefully and get plenty of rest, but do not stay in bed all day. After a few days you will feel like going outside, which you should do.
- Will I be able to eat?
If you have not had any treatment involving your teeth, such as a sliding genioplasty or orthognathic surgery, you will be able to eat normally quite soon. Due to the effects of general anaesthesia, you should only feel nausea for the first few hours. You may prefer to eat softer or mashed foods initially if you have intra-oral sutures. Patients should prepare accordingly in advance and purchase juices, yoghurt and soups to have during for the first few days after surgery.
After a sliding genioplasty you should be very careful not to put too much force on the lower jaw, e.g. by eating raw meat (steak) or biting an apple. The jaw is really weak in the chin area and it will take about six weeks until it has regained its original strength.
- What kind of pain can I expect?
Pain is surprisingly mild, considering the extensiveness of the surgery performed. Many patients do not speak of pain at all but rather of discomfort. With normal pain suppressants and anti-inflammatories, any pain and swelling can be well managed.
- When should I expect to return to work?
Normally our patients return to work after two to six weeks, depending on the extent of surgery.
- What about smoking?
As smoking counteracts wound healing, we strongly advise against smoking during the three weeks before surgery until three weeks after. Smoking dramatically increases the risk for skin necrosis and should be avoided at all times.
- How long should I stay in Belgium after surgery?
When you have had extensive surgery, you will be able to fly home eight days after surgery.