Post-op follow-ups – how much do they cost?

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It has been more than two months since I had my quadruple coronary heart bypass surgery at the National Heart Centre (Singapore). Earlier, I wrote about the costs of the operation itself which cost a total of S$25,000, before government subsidies and insurance. (Please see here.)

In this article, I will talk about the post-op follow-up consultation and rehabilitation costs, so as to give readers – and those who may be undergoing or contemplating similar procedures  an idea of what to expect in terms of financial commitment.

Deciding to go through a heart bypass operation is a major decision, often a necessary one, as in my case. Three of my main arteries were significantly blocked, which resulted in chest pains, shortness of breath and a general deterioration of my health the year before the surgery. Read More…

Healing

Blood diffusion on left thigh after CABG op. It has cleared up entirely now.

Blood diffusion on left thigh after CABG op. It has cleared up entirely now.

It has been slightly more than 3 weeks since I had my surgery on 22 September 2016. Things are going well, and I am recovering better than I had expected.

I still have a little chest discomfort when I exert myself, such as when I reach for something, or when I try to carry something. So, I have to be careful when I do so.

I can’t carry a 2kg watermelon, for example. It would be too much of an exertion. My chest also hurts when I sneeze. I particularly hate sneezing now cos it feels like your heart is being squeeze rather tightly whenever I do.

But other than this, I am fine. Read More…

Is Medishield Life a rip-off?

mslSince my last article in which I wrote about the bills for my two medical procedures – an angiography (including a percutaneous coronary intervention) and a coronary heart bypass surgery (CABG) – some have criticised the Medishield Life scheme for not paying out enough in situations such as mine.

Just to recap, the bills are as follows. I am including the PCI as a separate item:

First bill:

Angiography: $3,393.00

PCI: S$4,379.85

Misc (medication, ward charges, etc): $2,954.24

Medishield Life payout: $720

 

Second bill:

CABG (including 6 day ICU/ward charges): $4,903.63

Medishield Life payout: $4,529.15

 

GRAND TOTAL: $15,630.72

I won’t go into the details of the numbers and how they are derived as I have already explained it in my previous article. (Please click here.) Read More…

The bills

Arm healing nicely

Arm healing nicely

A lot of us, not without justification, worry about medical bills. This is especially so if you are hit with a serious illness which require extensive and expensive medical care. And there are such cases. I am not going to deny that there are not a few people and families who struggle with medical fees.

What I hope to do, however, that in spite of this, you may take heart that not everyone may have to go through such trying times, if you do not ignore symptoms and catch your illness early. This may not only save your life but also prevent potentially crippling medical expense.

Anyway, I have received the bills for my two medical procedures – both done in the same month of September 2016.

The two procedures are:

  1. Angiography
  2. Quadruple coronary heart bypass graft (CABG)

In this article, I will focus on the costs of these two procedures, as per my own case. Read More…

The friends who helped me finally quit smoking

smoking

Picking up smoking was the worst decision I have ever made in my life.

Perhaps it was youth, or ignorance, or just plain stupidity. I still remember the first few days when I tried out smoking. I had been in the military, doing my National Service in the second year. I was by then a non-commissioned officer (NCO), and had a little authority and more freedom than those under my charge.

I was 19 or 20 then.

We NCOs had this room in the same building as our living quarters where we could hang out, watch TV, and such. I remember, one day, asking my friend for a cigarette, seeing that not a few of them were smoking. The friend obliged and passed me one. I recall I didn’t like the first few draws I made of the cigarette. Read More…

“They will come at 6am to prepare you.”

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“They will come at 6am to prepare you,” the night nurse told me. Mine would be among the first surgeries of the day.

Dinner the night before

Dinner the night before

It was a sense of relief to hear that because it meant I would finally be going through with the surgery, and that there is very little more I need to do. But later, that relief also turned to anxiety and fear, feelings which I knew I would have as the day drew nearer, although at the same time I had also been looking forward to the event.

And the next morning, just like clockwork, the nurses came into my ward and told me, “Mr Loh, we will have to prepare you.”

I looked at the clock and it was 6am.

I hadn’t slept much the night before. I kept running the whole operation through my mind, just to calm myself. I had had some last-minute nervous thoughts. Read More…

Pre-op

Eating healthy to prepare for op

Eating healthy to prepare for op

It is 3 days to my coronary artery bypass graft (CABG – pronounced “cabbage”) surgery on 22 September. There are several things which I have to do to prepare for this.

The first is to stop taking anti-coagulent medication. In my case, this would be the drug called plavix. Doc wanted me to be on aspirin but as it turned out, I am allergic to that drug. (I am also allergic to naproxen, another painkiller.) So, plavix was recommended instead.

Here, I would like to explain that it is very important that you note your allergies. So that in time such as this, you are able to tell your doc straight away about them.

When they asked me for my allergies, all I could say was Synflex, which I later found out was known as naproxen, its medical name. When they asked if I was also allergic to aspirin, which I am told is a “cousin” of naproxen, I was unable to say for sure since I had not taken aspirin for a very very long time. Read More…

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