I always wanted to do a mini-lift and always knew that I would not trust the surgeons from my country because of too much risk. In my opinion, health is more important than money.
So, I started daily Web surfing searching for plastic surgery abroad.
In Israel, it was expensive and … too hot for me. Turkey was not considered in principle, the States are far away, and they are not famous for their high-quality plasticity. In the end, I doubted between France, Switzerland, and Germany.
I sent requests and received a response from France. They sent me a video of how the doctor was studying my case, which was very flattering to me because it’s always nice to understand that your question was approached seriously. Even before the answer from Germany and Switzerland, I already knew for sure that I would go to France.
I studied the profile of the doctor, and I really liked his attitude towards patients and his work. The cost was cheaper than in Switzerland and about the same as in Germany.
They sent me not only the video but also a price. I talked with the Russian-speaking doctor’s assistant. The total cost was 5200 euros, it included:
- Doctor’s consultation before the surgery
- Obligatory examination by an anesthetist
- Surgeon’s fee
- Two nights in a medical hotel.
- Post-operative consultation with the doctor
This price also usually includes all implantable material, for example, breast prostheses. However, the tests are paid separately, since they are prescribed personally to each patient depending on the risk factor. I paid for tests 37 euros.
Also, the cost does not include an accompanying interpreter who takes you everywhere and decides everything for you, you just have to go with him and do what he tells you. Such a friend costs about 1000 euros a week. Not knowing the language, I ordered an escort and, as it turned out, not in vain because many Frenchmen speak English pretty bad and in general, they are flying in the clouds.
You always have to be careful because, for example, you can pay twice for the same thing, and Frenchmen will not do it on purpose, they simply do not always know how much and to whom a foreign patient should pay.
They will distantly help you to arrange everything, book a train and hotel, but upon arrival, you will be led by the hand only for an additional payment to the maintainer, which, in principle, is logical.
In general, for the reservation of the date, I had to make an advance payment of 30 percent in any convenient way. The payment is not returned if the surgery is canceled. Prepayment serves as a compensation for a demurrage of operating unit and medical staff because during the operation you will be handled by about 20 different people. If you transfer the operation to a different date, it will also be for an additional fee, the amount of which depends on the date.
We made an advance payment 2 months before the operation. I was told to come at least forty-eight hours in advance for compulsory consultation with an anesthesiologist and a doctor, as well as for the testing.
Many French surgeons first ask to come to the clinic and only after 2 weeks, they will schedule you for the surgery, as in France, there is a law according to which the patient should have 2 weeks to think. It turns out that the patient signs the consent for the operation, and only after two weeks, the doctors have the right to operate. This practice is necessary in order to avoid rash decisions.
My doctor provided for everything, and the documents were signed retroactively. However, the consultation with the doctor before the operation will be decisive, since the doctor may refuse to operate you for various reasons. In this case, you will be returned the full payment.
Preparing for a trip
If you need a visa, the prepayment should be 100 percent, it is necessary for the embassy. After the prepayment of 100 percent, you are given a confirmation of payment and a reservation for the operation. Upon production of these documents, you will definitely get a visa.
Then you will need to book your plane tickets, and the surgeon’s assistant will help you choose train tickets and a hotel where you will stay for a couple of days before the operation and a few days after the medical hotel.
If you order an accompanying interpreter, he will meet you at the railway station. Landing on the train takes place right at Charles de Gaulle Airport, it is impossible to get lost, and therefore it’s better to fly from Charles de Gaulle, not from Orly or Beauvais Airport. For a separate amount, you can be met directly at the airport.
Preparing for the operation
We arrived in the evening. The following morning, we went to the anesthesiologist. You need to pass the ECG, they also examine you, weigh you, measure the pressure and ask VERY many questions. You will need to give your written consent for general anesthesia. You will be given an information letter about what anesthesia is and how it works. Then you pay an anesthesiologist’s fee for the operation.
I was operated on an outpatient basis, that is, in the evening I could go to a medical hotel. For those who stay at night in the clinic, there is a procedure for the reservation of the room, which is called pre-commission. You will have to pay for the clinic and for the room, I paid in the morning on the day of the operation, right before the hospitalization.
It will also be necessary to specify a contact phone number. The most convenient way is to give the number to your interpreter since they will call and remind you that tomorrow you have the operation, you need to wash up with Betadine and wear clean clothes.
Meeting with a surgeon
Then we went to the plastic surgeon. He examined me, answered all the questions, and I really liked him. The surgeon’s assistant prescribed me tests, tablets, washes. In the clinic and in the medical hotel, they had everything necessary, so everything I needed to buy – items for my personal care after leaving the medical hotel. There you also sign a consent for the operation and a document stating that you have been warned about possible risks. This does not mean that the doctor relieves himself of the responsibility. This only means that he warned you, and in case of a problem, you will have the proof of hospitalization and surgery. The contract is not signed, as contracts have a commercial basis, and medicine cannot be a commercial product in France, that is, the contract will be invalid.
During the stay, you will be given a folder in which different papers will be stored. You need to treasure it since these papers will confirm the fact of the operation. In case of dissatisfaction, your interpreter will help you make a complaint with the necessary authority for protecting the rights of the patient. This body is called HAS if the complaint is made at the clinic and it is called Ordre de médecins if the complaint is against the doctor.
You will also be given information in Russian about how the operation is going.
Visiting pharmacy and laboratory
The pharmacy is located near the doctor’s office, which is located in the heart of the city. The clinic is located outside the city, as it is really huge.
Tests can be got both in the clinic during the reservation of the room and payment, and in the laboratory near the pharmacy and the doctor’s office. In the pharmacy, we bought everything necessary. Special underwear, if it is a breast surgery, liposuction or abdominoplasty is also bought here. I really liked the underwear of the French brand Embody, which can only be bought in France. It is on magnets and with Lyons lace, I immediately wanted to get a beautiful breast but it is later.
Before the operation in the evening you cannot eat or drink anything, you must wash up with a special shampoo with iodine, and in the morning repeat this procedure.
I had one free day before the operation, during which we walked, went sightseeing and shopping. On this day, we took the results of the tests, as it was not far from our hotel. We chose the hotel right in the center of the city not to go far.
If you have an operation at 8 a.m., then you need to be at the clinic at 7 a.m. If you are hospitalized, you will most likely need to come to the clinic in the evening.
At 6.45, your maintainer will pick you up and take you to the clinic. There you give your passport, a referral to the operation, a confirmation of payment or you can pay in place if you have not already paid. Then you and your maintainer go to the room where the nurses wait for you to begin preparations for the operation. You will be given a magic pill to relieve stress, they will measure your pressure and temperature, give clothes to get changed. If you want, your maintainer will go with you to the operating unit and will hold your hand until you peacefully fall asleep.
After the operation, you’ll wake up in a special room, you will have indicators of breathing and palpitation. When you wake up under the supervision of the medical staff, you will be taken to a room where nurses will regularly come to you to ask if it hurts or not, nauseating or not. In the evening, you’ll be given some food, and the doctor will decide whether you can be transported to the hotel or not. If everything is all right, then your assistant will come and take you to the medical hotel. All the staff is very sympathetic and kind.
The difference between the medical hotel and the usual hotel is that at the medical hotel there is medical staff who regularly comes and keeps track of your condition. Even a doctor lives there and he will come to you in the morning and in the evening. The nurse will come about 3 times. There are also three meals a day, which are served on a silver tray. Each dinner is certainly accompanied by a glass of wine.
Your interpreter will regularly come to the hotel, ask what you need, and when he is not around, you can regularly communicate with him on Viber or WhatsApp.
I spent two days in the medical hotel but, as I understood, the duration may vary.
After the medical hotel, I needed to stay in the city for another three days until the final consultation, so we stayed at the doctor’s hotel, as without the nurse and the food the cost of the room was about the same as in a usual good hotel in the center of the city. The doctor’s hotel is on the estate, there are a castle, a forest, and a lake. This immediately reminded me of the place where French aristocrats lived. There’s no restaurant, but they can bring custom-made food to the hotel’s lobby bar. We did so.
Final consultation and departure
On Tuesday, the doctor was waiting for me for the final consultation, he told me that everything was fine and he sent me home. My maintainer took us to the station, and we said goodbye. It was a little sad and joyful at the same time, for all this time the maintainer becomes a real friend, because he was with me at the most delicate moment of my life.
I’m coming home
On arrival, I regularly wrote to the assistant surgeon if I had questions. One month later, I had an online consultation with the doctor. I did not doubt that the result would be good. It was not just an operation, but also a real holiday of a very high level. The main thing is not to worry because your health is in the hands of true professionals!