I. Bring With You or Buy Upon Arrival:
1.1 A couple of short skirts or loose shorts
1.2 Long T-shirts
All the clothes you will bring must be fit for wearing of the metal correction structure on your legs. You will need short clothes above the knees level, and loose (elastic) shorts, pants, trousers or whatever you could pull over the 16-20 cm diameter structures on you legs.
2.1 Facial cleaning lotion and cotton pads
2.2 Wet facial towels
2.3 Highly moisturising body cream
Mind that during the first days after the operation you will most probably walk with crutches. You will appreciate having all the necessary refreshing products near your bed.
Your skin will need to be moisturised, especially your legs and your back as you will spend some time lying in the bed on your back, and the skin of your legs will be agressed a bit with the antibacterial products used during and after the surgery for medical purposes.
3.1 A mug
3.2 A big towel
3.3 A fork, a knife and a spoon
3.5 Shampoo and your habitual cosmetic products
There is a three-times-a-day catering at the hospital. The meals will be served in your room at 8 am, 1:30 pm and 5:30 pm. But you could always buy a stock of chocolate bars, coffee, cakes, fruit etc. You will have a fridge and an electic kettle in your room.
There are several stores near the hospital. The Park House shopping mall is quite a nice one. You can find everything you need there, and also have your hair cut, exchange money, buy Internet and telephone cards. You can get there either by trolleybus No. 15 (three stops form the hospital), or a taxi (2-3 euros one way).
To reach a taxi company you can call from the hospital, dial 9 to get out of the hospital tel system, and then dial 33-66-33, or 915-915.It’s may seem difficult, if you don’t speak a word of Russian. In this case you will just have to ask a Russian mate, or a hospital nurse. People are really very nice there and will be happy to help you with any quiery.
3. Telephone and Internet access
There is a telephone line in each room. You can make calls within Volgograd free of charge. But in order to call some other city in Russia, or some other country, you will need to buy a card. As mentioned before, these cards can be bought at the Park Haus mall. These are prepaid cards with a secret code which lets you make telephone calls or surf the Web. Their cost varies from 3 to 15 Eur. As an example, a three-euro card provides for a 30-minute conversation with France.
The Internet is accessible through a dial up connection. Broadband and wireless access will be available in the nearest future.
There is a TV-set in each room.
5. Safety box
No safety box in the room. You will be able to have your stuff kept by the nurse-in-chief during the operation day. But to be frank, the hospital rooms are safe and secure.
There is a private bathroom and WC in each room.
7. Money exchange
You can exchange money at the Moscow airport or upon your arrival to Volgograd. You will have to present your passport.
III. Administrative procedures
1. Your Flight
Please provide us with all the exact details of your flight itinerary; a hospital agent will come to pick you at the airport. The transfer from the airport to the hospital takes 15-20 minutes by car.
2. Passport registration
For those who need Russian visa - when in the plane, you will have to fill in a migration card. You will be given one. Please keep it, you will need it when in Volgograd. A hospital agent will need your passport and the migration card to register your stay in Volgograd with the local authorities.
3. Medical tests
You will have to pass the medical tests upon your arrival. This is to check your health before the surgery. You can make your stay at the hospital shorter by a couple of days, if you get tested for HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis B and C at your home place before the trip. It is extremely important though that these be recent tests results, not older than one week before the surgery.
You can pay in cash, or by bank transfer.
You will sign a contract made both in Russian and in English stating that you accept being operated, and bearing several clauses concerning your stay at the hospital.
1. Right Before the operation
An anesthesiologist will visit you right before the operation to measure your blood pressure, body temperature and check your general condition. You will have to sign an agreement stating you agree to the general anaesthesia and all the procedures the doctors will apply to you.
Upon your request an antistress sedative medicine may be prescribed to you in the evening preceeding the operation. It will help you to sleep well.
But as a rule, newcoming guys are quite relaxed and feel all right. While waiting for the operation day to come they spend time with some “long-term” patients ( those operated several days or weeks earlier ) and can see with their own eyes great post-surgery results and the excellent state of those who have already been operated. This contact is very important and fruitful and helps a lot to calm down.
One more important thing at this stage - do not eat or drink anything on the day of the operation.
2. During the operation
Not much to say. You will be asleep, and you will not feel anything.
3. After the operation
You will wake up in the post-surgery service; you will stay there untill the next day’s morning. Not much pain at this stage, you will have painkillers to help you, and you will sleep almost all the time.
The next morning you will be transferred to your room. Your doctors will come and show you how to use your crutches. Some people are able to walk to the bathroom with crutches on the first day after the operation. Some are not. It depends on each person’s individual characteristics. Anyway hospital nurses will be there to help you with everything you might need.
You could have painkillers if the pain is hard to bear. There are no special rules for this. Some people take painkillers three times a day for a week or more. Some take it only before sleep. Some don’t need them at all.
4. Correction period
The correction period starts on the 5th or the 6th day after the operation and lasts for 7 to 14 days according to what you need to achieve. This is quite a painful period, but don’t forget that as soon as it is over you will have straight legs!
You will have to try to walk during this period. Don’t stay in bed motionless, your legs will not be happy if you do so. Don’t be afraid to walk, the metal structure on your legs protects you from any danger – every metal branch on it can bear up to 160 kg of weight.
5. Fixation period
It will start just after the correction period and will last for three weeks or so. No pain.
You will start doing a special recovery physical training supervised by a specialist.
You will have to walk a lot. Some walk in the hospital coridors. Some go out to the hospital yard. Some take a taxi and do shopping or sightseeing in the city. People arround are quite used to seeing guys with metal structures on their legs. Or you might pull on very wide trousers.
In 50 days or so after your arrival you will be through and ready to live with your nice new legs!