For Surgeons

Overseas Information

Travel Advice for Overseas Patients


  1. Visit home doctor for a general check-up and discuss the proposed operation. Also discuss vaccination requirements, deep vein thrombosis risks, and malaria prophylaxis if visiting Northeast game parks. Haemoglobin and blood pressure should be checked, plus an ECG if aged over 50. A list of present medication and any allergies to be obtained. Sufficient medication for the entire stay should be brought.
  2. Weight loss is recommended if present mass is more than 10% above normal for age and height.
  3. Stop hormone replacement therapy and oral contraceptives at least 1 month before flying.
  4. Reduce or stop smoking.
  5. Take NO aspirin nor aspirin-containing medication NOR any patent or homeopathic remedies for two weeks prior to surgery.
  6. If intending to have an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) an injection of CLEXANE is suggested 4 hours before flying, and repeated 24hrs later. If possible, wear T.E.D. anti-embolism stockings on the flight. All patients should drink plenty of water, and avoid alcohol and sleeping tablets. Leg exercises and walking should be done during the flight.
  7. Full comprehensive travel insurance is highly recommended.
  8. Patients should arrive in South Africa at least 3 days before the proposed operation, to give time for initial consultation and assessment. Frequent and adequate exercise is emphasised.
Suggested duration of stay:

Minor Surgery: e.g. Eyelids and liposuction 7-10 days

Major surgery: e.g. Breast operations and Facelift 10-14 days

Abdominoplasty; 14-21 days

Long periods in a bus or car following surgery are to be strongly avoided.

Anti DVT precautions are recommended on the return flight and can be discussed with the surgeon.

10 February 2003