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ABOUT THE SURGERY

AT WHICH HOSPITALS DOES ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR LAI OPERATE?

Associate Professor Lai operates at the following locations:

  • Jessie McPherson Private Hospital, Clayton

  • St John of God, Berwick

  • Cabrini Hospital, Malvern

BOOKING YOUR SURGERY

Once you and Associate Professor Lai have agreed that surgical treatment is appropriate and the best approach for your care, you will be given a hospital booking form.  Please work with our reception staff to complete this form, and once complete, leave it with us to notify the hospital and arrange your admission date.

Once a surgery date has been agreed upon, you will receive a quote for surgery from our administration team. Please familiarise yourself with the information regarding the cost of surgery and return the financial consent form. If you have any questions, please contact our admin team.

NO PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE?

Associate Professor Lai consults urgent patients without private insurance for brain conditions. If surgery is necessary and you do not have private health cover,  you will be placed on the surgical wait list at the Monash Public Hospital. There will be no charge to you for surgery performed at the public hospital. Depending on the urgency of your surgery, the wait time for your surgery may range from 1 to 6 months on average. Please note that whilst Associate Professor Lai will endeavour to perform your surgery personally at the public hospital, in some cases, your surgery may be done under the supervision of another neurosurgeon, or be performed by a trainee neurosurgeon under the direct supervision of Associate Professor Lai.

CAN I PAY FOR THE SURGERY MYSELF?

If you do not have private health cover, it is possible for you to directly pay for your treatment at a private hospital. This also applies to overseas patients, those with travel medical insurance and others who may not be covered by Medicare and therefore do not qualify for treatment in an Australian public hospital. The advantages of this option is that there is no prolonged waiting time and you are operated by the surgeon of your choice. If you are interested in this option, please discuss with our support team and we can arrange a quotation for you. Please note that the hospital generally requires an upfront payment prior to admission.

PRIOR TO ADMISSION

A day or two prior to admission you will be contacted by the hospital who will tell you the exact admission time and give you specific details about your admission.
Please ensure you have discussed and are aware of any medication you need to stop taking prior to surgery and when you should begin fasting. For your comfort bring an overnight bag with toiletries, clothing and any other personal items you may want during your stay in hospital.
Should you require any information or additional assistance throughout this time please do not hesitate to contact our office.

WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH MY MEDICATION PRIOR TO THE SURGERY?

It is important to tell Associate Professor Lai about any allergies you may be aware of and treatments or medications you may be taking (e.g., blood thinners including aspirin, warfarin, Plavix, Xarelto, etc), including non-prescription medications, vitamins, or herbal remedies (e.g., fish oil).This is because some medications may increase the risk of bleeding during and after the surgery and lead to unnecessary complications.

If surgery is indicated Associate Professor Lai will make a plan with you and any other relevant parties involved in your care, regarding when to stop any medications as necessary prior to surgery.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY HAIR DURING MY BRAIN SURGERY?

Usually, only a small area of your head will be shaved for the skin incision. The incision is specifically placed hidden behind your hairline such that when your hair grows back, the scar is not visible. It is not necessary to shave your head prior to the surgery.

WHAT HAPPENS IN THE RECOVERY ROOM WHEN I WAKE UP AFTER THE SURGERY?

You will wake up from the surgery in a recovery room, where special nurses monitor your progress very closely. Associate Professor Lai and his team will assess your neurological recovery and your nominated contact person (i.e. next of kin) will be contacted detailing the findings of the operation.

Within about 2 to 3 hours, you will be transferred back to the ward, where you will be carefully observed and monitored in a high dependency unit (HDU) by our specially trained neurosurgical nurses.

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING THE FIRST FEW DAYS FOLLOWING THE SURGERY?

It is common to have a dull headache (like a hangover) for the first few days. The wound, and especially your eyelid on the surgery side will be swollen and bruised. Your eye might be closed for a day or two. This may lead to discomfort and you may require painkillers during this period. The swelling and pain usually settle after 3 days.
It is expected that you will be sitting out of bed and walking the day following the surgery. A CT or an MRI brain may be performed the next day to confirm that the surgery has been performed satisfactorily.

WILL I BE DISCHARGED HOME WITH NEW MEDICATIONS?

You will be discharged home on your normal medications with some additional pain medications.  Typically, after one week when your pain is starting to settle, you can start to wean off your pain medications.  Occasionally, Associate Professor Lai may start you on an anti-seizure medication for 7 days to minimise your risk of experiencing a seizure following the surgery.

WHEN WILL I BE DISCHARGED HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL?

Most patients go home 2 to 3 days after the surgery. Occasionally a patient may require rehabilitation in the post-operative period, and this will be arranged by the Hospital Team.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Drop us a line and our support team will be happy to find the answer for you.