The information on this page is the usual process from start to finish and may answer any questions you may have. It is also a good reference guide for when you are leaving, have arrived or during your stay in Malaysia.
Once payment has been received you will be provided your surgery confirmation. This will include your accommodation and Concierge confirmation. You should contact us immediately if there are errors or issues.
Visa: No visa is required for visits under 3 months for Australian, New Zealand, UK, USA and Canadian passport holders.
Passport: You will need a minimum of 6 months on your passport before it will expire. If you do not renew, you may be barred from entry. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is in order.
You should check with your mobile phone provider about potential costs for using your phone overseas. Companies like Telstra and Optus have voice and data packs for overseas travel. If you simply use your phone to check Facebook in Malaysia you may come home to find a very expensive phone bill. There is wi-fi in the hospital, hotel and most public places.
It is recommended if you plan to turn your data off, you let us know prior to leaving as we will not be able to contact you by phone.
Some clients pick up a SIM card while in Malaysia. There are dozens of vendors outside the duty-free area at the airport. Just remember to let your family and us know your temporary phone number.
If you plan to use your credit card in Malaysia, (including your debit visa etc) you should let your bank know prior to departure. Bank security measures will shut down your card access otherwise. Just remember that if you use your credit card, you are at the mercy of the exchange rate your bank processes at. It is always better to have Malaysian currency, you can always exchange it to Australian dollars before you leave or take Australian dollars and exchange it at one of the very competitive money changers at Mid Valley Mega Mall.
NOTE: If you have an American Express card, a lot of stores don’t accept or will charge a large transaction fee.
Malaysia: The Malaysian currency is called a Ringgit. The money itself is similar to Australian money (plastic).
You can exchange while still in Australia (beware of money changers who charge commission) or you can change it in Malaysia. There are 3 money changers located in Mid Valley Mega Mall (where you will be staying) who are quite competitive. The exchange rates are all posted on screens, it is quite popular so be prepared for a 10-15 minute wait. Remember, you will need to take Australian Dollars, so ensure you keep your cash safe.
Your in-country Concierge will be able to help you with this when you check-in.
Singapore: Most patients will transit through Singapore airport where the shopping is quite amazing. The currency is Singapore Dollars and there are money changers in the airport. Just be aware that you may not get a good rate here as they have a ‘captured market’.
There are no vaccinations that are absolutely necessary to travel to Malaysia, in fact, the surgeon recommends you do not take additional medications before surgery. Talk to your GP about this if you are concerned – but you MUST let us know if you have taken any medications the surgeon is unaware of.
If you are on medications, the surgeon will have made recommendations about this (in your approval and recommendations document). Please do not take any additional medications prior to leaving including vaccinations. This is partly why Malaysia is a country of choice given its health standards and lack of diseases normally associated with other Asian countries. Importantly, you should desist from taking Vitamin E and Asprin based medications. This could cause excessive bleeding and some herbal medications may cause similar problems. Please ensure you list any and all medications and supplements you are taking in the Assessment form.
Smoking is bad! Don’t want to make you feel terrible but when it comes to surgery, smoking is the enemy. It causes slowdowns in oxygen in the blood, it prolongs recovery and it will eventually cause you a life-threatening medical condition. If you are a smoker, you should stop smoking 4 weeks prior to surgery. You need to have given up without the need of continuing with other nicotine products like gum as these have vasoconstrictors and are not compatible with surgery. It’s going to be tough, but you have to think about what is best for your body in the short, medium and long-term. You can do it!
NOTE: If you are still smoking the surgeon may refuse to operate and you will not receive a refund. This is out of our control.
See ‘weather in Malaysia’ for more information.
Even though Malaysia is a Muslim country, (moderate) you can wear whatever you like. Be respectful of the culture.
If you plan to shop, it is advisable to take the bare necessities.
Allow enough space in your baggage to bring home some goodies. Always remember your baggage limits.
Malaysia sits right above the equator so it’s safe to say it’s pretty hot all year round.
The main issue is the humidity. It can increase the ‘feels’ like temperature by 5-10 degrees. Dress cool, always have water on hand and spend as much time in air-conditioning as possible. If you plan to walk, do so early in the morning or in the evening (safety should be a priority). Because you are staying near the Mega Mall, there is about 8KM of walking you can do in air-conditioned comfort.
If you plan to visit attractions like the Batu caves, take a hat, sunscreen, water and cover-up. Remember, you won’t be able to swim after your surgery.
Some people go for gastric surgery expecting this is the miracle cure for their weight issues, others go thinking ‘I will be the only one this doesn’t work for‘.
If you have a healthy expectation of your surgery outcomes, you will do a lot better mentally. Some clients lose around 10kg while they are still in Malaysia! If it doesn’t happen for you, that’s ok.
Your body will go through cycles we have dubbed “the new norms”. As your caloric intake reduces, the body fights until it gets used to the new normal. The weight starts to disappear. Another cycle begins with the body fighting the weight loss, then you’ll hit a golden patch where you’ll lose 4-5kg in one week. You will find in the next month you will go through ups and downs as you watch the scales. Some days it moves, then for a week or two it doesn’t budge. It’s about the movement over a month, a year, 2 years. You are investing in your future and not all investments pay off straight away (in fact it’s rare!).
Our mantra is: It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Your flight will come into Malaysia via Kuala Lumpur International Airport (depending on your airline). The airports are signposted in English so you shouldn’t get lost. Usually if you follow the crowd you will end up in the right place after getting off a plane.
You will need to pick up your bag from the carousels (this can be the most confusing part as there is a central list of flights and the baggage carousels and if you are on a share code, you have to decipher which flight was yours). Once you have your bag, you will head through customs through the FOREIGN PASSPORT queues. Once outside it’s a short walk out where you will be faced with a lot of people, and a lot of people holding signs (drivers etc).
You will be met by a driver or our in-country Concierge (you will be sent a bio and photo of your Concierge), they will be holding a sign with your name on it, or usually, because we have sent your face photo, they will find you. (If you can’t locate them, please don’t jump in a cab, refer to the phone numbers on this page) They will take you straight to your hotel and assist you with checking in. It takes about 50-70 minutes to get to the city depending on traffic. If you have been picked up by the Concierge, they will brief you usually on the drive to the hotel. Get to know your Concierge, because you will be spending a lot of time with them! We guarantee that our Concierges are wonderful human beings who you will form a friendship with.
Your consultation may be on the same day you arrive, so the Concierge will work out the best way to approach this. (whether to the hotel first or after). Due to the surgeons’ hectic schedule, changes may occur. Don’t worry, this is common with surgery as emergencies or other issues may interfere with the schedule.
Please be aware that your surgery date may change after you arrive in Malaysia. This is usually due to theatre access (emergencies take precedent) or scheduling conflicts with the surgeon, anaesthetist or room availability. Remember, it’s a hospital, not a hotel so things can change.
Don’t worry about this though, your surgery will go ahead! Your Concierge will keep you informed along the way.
What to wear: Loose comfortable clothes
Because you will be checking out of the hotel for the days you are in the hospital, you can take an overnight bag and leave your bag with the hotel. You can take it to the hospital, but you won’t want to be dragging the bag around after surgery!
You will come out of anaesthetic and you will probably be confused. There are usually nursing staff with you who will ‘guide’ you back to consciousness. You will be taken to the ward/room and we can almost guarantee you, you will be sleeping!
O2 is your Go2
You will be required to wear an oxygen mask for at least the first 24 hours. This is really important to keep your SP02 (oxygen in the blood) at a high level. When you are overweight, SP02 can sometimes be low, and after surgery it is especially low.
Follow nursing staff direction
Don’t argue with doctors or staff, they are the experts! Expect that some will be wearing traditional muslim head dress. No matter what your view on Islam or other religions, we expect clients to treat the hospital staff with respect and courtesy. Quite often they have a fear of foreigners, so be friendly and you will make friends, in turn, you will be ‘especially’ looked after.
You will be provided with all the medications you need including painkillers. If you are experiencing bad pain, tell your nurse! You will have a drip in your arm for entire stay to keep your fluids up and to give you medications including painkillers and antibiotics.
You will sleep a lot for the first day or two. That’s great. Let your body heal. Don’t push yourself.
Getting out of bed
It will be difficult for the first few days to use your core to sit up. The best method is to roll onto your side, use the electric bed settings and sit yourself up, then push your legs off the bed, using your arms to push your upper body into a seated position. Wait, take a breath and then get to your feet and move slowly.
Some people report no pain (the lucky one’s) some have moderate pain. It has been described as having done too many situps at the gym and that awful sore feeling the next day. The incisions are so small (minimally invasive) there should be no wound pain (potentially some burning or stinging). It is all inside your body. If the pain is unbearable, talk to the nursing staff or the surgeon when he visits. Just remember, nothing is wrong, it’s just some people’s pain thresholds are lower than others.