For most travelers, having a great hotel concierge who can get you last minute opera tickets or a table at an always booked restaurant, is a great asset.  But a concierge for elective surgery?  In the merging field of medical tourism, having a high standard  concierge service like the Florida Medical Retreat (FMR) in Sarasota, Florida, goes way beyond the usual.  The FMR recognized the national and international demand for quality health and patient care coordinators .

It works like this.  One phone call to the offices of FMR and a concierge will set up  an appointment with an exceptionally well-trained, qualified specialist, look after your travel arrangements, have a car and driver  pick you up at the airport and have  great accommodations ready for you and your traveling companion(s).  These accommodations will be for the post operative care but also gives your companion or family member, a place to hang their hat during  pre and post operative procedures.

FMR also go on step further and at your request will get catered meals, a limo, find any and every thing to satisfy your requests, and there are  business center facilities brought to your suite.  Imagine, all the above with only one phone call.

Every detail about this elective health care centre, with no competition in either the USA or Canada, eliminates all the worries of getting to and staying in Sarasota.  And another plus is the concierge centre will negotiate discounted medical and post surgery accommodation costs.

Sure, medical tourism is becoming very popular around the world.  The difference is that at the FMR, the “partners” all have top credentials.

These “partners” include outstanding doctors who are highly qualified and have degrees from major universities, many from Ivy League and others who have exceptional specialty training from top medical centers.

It’s also important to know that the Florida Medical Retreat will set up an itinerary for your friend or family member who has accompanied you and may need a break from the routine of care giving.

Jack J. Wazen, MD., FACS, an otolaryngology surgeon, specializes in hearing and balance disorders, single-sided deafness, cochlear implants and complex cases of hearing loss.  Dr. Wazen, spent 23 years at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, before partnering with the Silverstein Institute in Sarasota and as Director of Research for the Ear Research Foundation.  Dr. Wazen has repeatedly been listed as one of America’s “Best Doctors”.  When we talked, he was so impressive and caring.  Gentle bedside manner is always a plus especially when there has been some surgical interventions.

“I look at living in Florida as a secondary benefit,” says Dr. Edward Stolarski, Hip and Knee Orthopedic surgeon.  His specialty is ASI (Anterior Supine Inter-muscular), a minimally invasive hip replacement proceeder.  Dr. Stolarski traveled to Belgium to perfect his knowledge of  the techniques.

“Patients can get up the same day,” he tells me.  He continues with great conviction that  “the first thing to learn is to get to an experienced surgeon.  All the pieces of the puzzle are put together here”.

A graduate of University of Pennsylvania and formerly with the noted Cleveland Clinic where he practiced before his move to Florida, he was so impressed with the innovative Sarasota centre that he became a partner.

“Most of my hip replacement patients go home the next day if they live close by,” he says proudly.  And then added, “however if you’re from Canada, Europe, Asia, South America, where are you going to stay while you recuperate?”  The quick answer is found at Florida Medical Retreat which assists short time living quarters, as well as appointments with a physiotherapist who will come to the accommodations.

Equally impressive is the work of radiation oncologist, Dr. John Sylvester, who is a UCLA graduate.  He developed and improved techniques and wrote the ABC guidelines, now used by prostate cancer Brachytherapists Society (ABS) .  Dr. Sylvester, has performed over 4,000 prostate Brachytherapy procedures.  During his last year in residency, he researched radioactive seed treatment.  He studied in Seattle and was involved in developing a procedure where radioactive seeds are implanted in and outside the prostate.  “The placement must be very precise.  If not, the failure rate is high as are the complications. But done right, you get rid of the cancer.”

Thomas Sweeney, MD., PhD., an accomplished and leading authority in minimally invasive endoscopic spine surgery has been published extensively, including new methods on bone healing, lectures  on disorders of the spine and has advanced training in reconstructive surgery.  He offers conservative treatment options, minimally invasive procedures resulting in less scarring, more stability, faster recovery and advance intervention that helps to eliminate or reduce an individual’s pain while achieving an optimal level of function in their activities.  Dr. Sweeney, emphasized his commitment of staying on the leading-edgy of new techniques and advances in spinal care.

Florida Medical Retreat’s network also consists of top rated, award winning hospitals, rated by Thomson Reuters (April 2012).  Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, was recently named one of the Top 100 hospitals in the USA and offers patients one of the 155 resort-styled, all-private rooms with special amenities including in-hospital concierge, a computer and a DVD player in each room.  Becker’s Orthopedic & Spine Review, has named Doctors Hospital to their list of “Top 40 Orthopedic and Spine Programs in Hospitals” and is a Blue Distinction Center for spine surgery, knee and hip replacements by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida.

As for the accommodations, these “partners”  are all up-scale and include the famed Ritz-Carlton Hotel which sets aside rooms for post operative patients and choices of one bedroom and an ante room or a suite.   There are the two bedroom condos at The Sarasota Bay Club residence, where my luxury guest suite overlooked Sarasota Bay and included in this trio of exclusivity, is Longboat Key Club.

Florida Medical Retreat provides well planned services, that aren’t available in most staff-stressed hospitals above the 49th parallel…Canada

And there are few destinations with the charm and culture of Sarasota or the extensive and most knowledgeable up to the minute new treatments  given at Sarasota’s, Florida Medical Retreat.

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