Thank you for sharing your stories with us.

"I decided to pursue a private solution to my need for knee surgery as I was not classified an urgent case in the UK. I have never been ill before and have had limited experience of dealing with the NHS and when I tried to pursue my need for an arthroscopy via my GP I found the whole matter depressing. I was told I had to wait to get a referral to a physio (when I had already paid to see one privately who had arranged an MRI scan for me from which I knew I needed an operation). The physio would then refer me to a consultant, who would then decide on my treatment and timescales. This whole process was expected to take 8 months (roughly).

The process of organising my arthroscopy was done via e mail. All correspondence was dealt with swiftly and efficiently – in perfect English too. I arranged a time that suited me (I work in a school and needed to do the whole thing during school holidays) and paid a small deposit. I organised my operation to fit in with an already agreed holiday in Berlin and made travel plans to arrive by train from there.

We were met at the station by Ela who was friendly, organised and punctual throughout the whole trip. She took us to the hospital to have initial tests before taking us to our hotel to check in. We arrived back at the hospital later in the afternoon to be led into my private room (complete with my own bathroom) where I was prepared for surgery. I met the doctor who explained (again in perfect English) what would happen and I was then led away into theatre….

I awoke back in my room with my anxious partner still there (thankfully) to see I was ok. I spent the night in the hospital, valuing the privacy of my private room as I recovered from my first ever experience of surgery. The next morning Ela drove me back to my hotel for a days rest and recovery. I then visited the hospital to see the surgeon the following day to be checked out and given permission to travel.

I would summarise in saying that the ward and my room were spotlessly clean, the staff were friendly and helpful at all times, especially Ela, and 3 weeks later I am now well on the way to a full recovery, with the operation having been successful."

Paul Ferrie
Deputy Headteacher

"In September 2007 I sustained a severe injury to my left knee in which I tore both the medial and lateral menisci (cartilages) and ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Faced with an eight month wait for surgical treatment in the NHS, in desperation I searched the internet for information on treatment overseas. I came across the Dom Lekarski website and made an initial contact based on the information provided there. I received a prompt response and - in contrast to a number of other outfits whom I contacted - they provided full and detailed replies to the many questions I posed them.

In November 2007 I flew to Poland alone and was met at the airport by a member of Dom Lekarski (DL) staff who took me to the hotel they had previously booked for me. The staff member was very polite and helpful. That night the operating surgeon, Dr. Piotr Kominiak came to my hotel and performed a careful clinical examination confirming the meniscal tears and the ruptured ACL. He fully explained the procedure of arthroscopic meniscectomy. I asked about the possibility of ACL reconstruction and was told by him that although possible he could not recommend it at this time because the muscles of my leg were too weak and this would likely lead to a poor outcome. I was impressed by the integrity of this response, as it was clear that a good outcome for the patient was more important than making additional money by doing the more complex procedure.

The next day I was taken and admitted to the clinic where I had a number of preoperative tests to ensure I was fit for anaesthesia and surgery (Blood tests, Blood pressure, ECG, Chest X-ray, Knee X-rays). At all times I was accompanied by a very kind and courteous DL office staff member, who provided much needed reassurance and ensured my lack of knowledge of the Polish language did not pose a problem. We both laughed later together at the grumpy radiographer who dealt with me! (Made me feel at home!)

Following a preoperative check by the anaesthetist with the DL office staff member translating the conversation, I was scheduled for surgery that evening. Unfortunately just prior to induction of anaesthesia I was informed the procedure could not go ahead because of failure of the fibre optic device (part of the arthroscope to be used to explore the knee joint). I was wheeled back to the ward feeling very disappointed and a little anxious. The apologies were sincere, and again the DL staff member was helpful in ensuring that I was given something to eat and drink as I had been nil by mouth for a long time. I underwent surgery the following day and all went well. I was monitored regularly by nursing staff and allowed to go back to the hotel the following day after being seen by the surgeon. DL staff arranged transport and ensured I reached the hotel safely. The surgeon came to check the operation site prior to my flight home and I was given a supply of anticoagulant injections and painkillers to take back. The knee healed well and the surgery allowed me to walk without pain and begin active rehabilitation.

At all times the DL office staff were professional, courteous and helpful and their command of the English language was excellent. They recognised what a big step it is to have surgery overseas and did everything they could to provide information and reassurance. The surgeon also spoke excellent English and was competent and kind in his approach. However prospective patients should remember that they are going to a foreign country and should not expect everything to be the same as home. The language barrier was most pronounced on the ward so be prepared to feel a little alone (not a problem if someone from home comes with you) and having a sense of humour helps!

Based upon my experience as an orthopaedic patient I can recommend Dom Lekarski without reservation - they are a great team and I received excellent service and value for money."

Gary R Stevenson, Shropshire, England

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