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French study shows vaccine dramatically reduces severe COVID risk


A large French study involving 22 million people has shown that COVID vaccines dramatically reduce a person’s risk of being severely impacted by the disease. While being vaccinated doesn’t guarantee you won’t catch COVID or indeed become ill, it does, however, reduce your risk of being hospitalised or dying by as much as 90 per cent. The study, published Monday, also found two-dose vaccines, such as Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca, protect against the worst effects of the so-called Delta variant. For people aged 75 and older, such vaccines offered 84 per cent protection. This figure rose to 92 per cent for people 50 to 75. The results were the same for each vaccine manufacturer. “The vaccine was never really intended to stop the disease,” says Dr. Ulysses Wu, Hartford HealthCare’s System Director of Infection Disease and Chief Epidemiologist. “It was a very nice side effect that we were preventing disease, but it’s main purpose is to prevent the morbidity and mortality should we get the disease. It was really to take a deadly disease and turn it into the common cold.” The study was conducted by a scientific group set up by France’s health system (Epi-Share), its national insurance fund (l’Assurance Maladie) and its medicine agency (ANSM). N.B. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine (Janssen) was not included in the research due to an insufficient number of patients for comparison. * Image by Surprising_Shots from Pixabay

The French doctor helping COVID-19 patients smell once more


Before the COVID-19 pandemic, ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist Dr Clair Vandersteen might have treated around 10 patients a year for anosmia, the inability to smell. But fast-forward to today and Dr Vandersteen has seen demand for his services increase significantly. Now, the majority of his patients are those recovering from COVID-19, up to 15 a week, in fact, at the doctor’s clinic in the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nice. Loss of smell is a symptom in eight out of 10 COVID-19 cases and can the effects can sometimes linger for months after the patient has recovered from the disease. “We have seen a very large increase in patients since this time a year ago,” Dr Vandersteen said. The ENT specialist says studies show that 20% of people who lost their sense of smell still had not regained it and it’s younger individuals that appear to be worst affected. “The patients we see suffering from a loss of smell are relatively young. It is predominantly a problem that affects people in their 30s and 40s.” While for some people it might seem little more than an inconvenience, Dr Vandersteen warns the condition can make patients anxious and depressed. “The loss of smell can lead to psychological problems – 30% of people who have lost their sense of smell due to Covid are suffering from some kind of psychological damage. We love eating, especially here in France, so when chocolate tastes like cigarettes, for example, it can lead to people feeling unhappy or anxious. “If you can’t enjoy the smell of your newborn baby, or the smell of your home, it can be unsettling. It can also be dangerous – if you can’t smell gas or smoke, for example.” Dr Vandersteen’s team has come up with a three-pronged approach to help. First, patients see Dr Vandersteen, who determines their level of smell loss. Then, they are seen by Auriane Gros, a doctor of neuroscience and a speech pathologist, who helps re-educate the brain to recover the perception of smells. The final step is therapy with child psychiatrist Louise-Emilie Dumas, who runs group workshops around odours. “The team has had positive results,” Dr Vandersteen says. *Image courtesy of Dr Clair Vandersteen

French city of Nice wins UNESCO world heritage status


The southern French city of Nice has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee’s list of world heritage sites. UNESCO announced its decision in a tweet, calling Nice -- famous for its mild climate -- the "Winter resort town of the Riviera". Nice joins more than 40 other world heritage sites in France, which include the banks of the river Seine in Paris, the Amiens cathedral, the Mont Saint Michel and stretches of the Loire Valley. "The history of Nice, which is at the same time deeply rooted and open, Mediterranean and Alpine, European and cosmopolitan, has produced an architecture and a landscape that are unique, a model for many other cities in the world," Nice's mayor, Christian Estrosi, said in reaction to the announcement. With close to one million inhabitants, greater Nice is the second-biggest city on the French Mediterranean coast after Marseille, and the fifth-biggest in France. Nice is a tourist hotspot, attracting several million visitors per year, and its airport is one of France’s busiest. The World Heritage Committee added a total of 13 cultural sites to UNESCO’s World Heritage List and one extension to an existing cultural site in Mexico. For more information about the 13 new world heritage sites, visit the UNESCO website here: *Image of Nice by Prosag-Media from Pixabay

Paris to Nice sleeper train returns to the tracks


Nearly three years after it was cancelled, the night train service from Paris to Nice has returned, part of a broader push by the French Government to promote more environmentally friendly means of transportation. First introduced in the late 1800s, the Paris-Nice night train, colloquially known as ‘Le Train Bleu’, was a luxury sleeper service, internationally famed for its list of wealthy and famous passengers. However, during the 1980s, when high-speed TGV trains proliferated and cut the travel time from Paris to Nice from 20 hours down to just five, the era of luxury night trains to the French Riviera was effectively ended. While Le Train Bleu would continue its service for a few more decades, it ceased to exist under than name in 2003. Then, in Dece3mber 2017, it was discontinued completely due to the French Government withdrawing its funding. But now it’s back. Under the French Government’s pandemic plans to encourage more eco-friendly transport as part of its broader economic relaunch packages, the sleeper service from Paris to Nice is back. The first Paris-Nice night train departed Paris Austerlitz station at 20:52 on May 20 and arrived in Nice at 09:11 on May 21. To highlight just how much attention the sleeper service re-launch attracted, French Prime Minister Jean Castex was among the passengers, At a time when France is striving hard to bring down its carbon emissions, night trains are also more "virtuous" than cars or planes, as Castex's office told AFP. The night train will run daily between Paris and Nice in both directions. And while it takes twice as long as the TGV to complete the nearly 1,088-kilometre (675-mile) voyage, it’s a lot more affordable. Paris-Nice TGV tickets usually cost well over 100 euros one-way. Night train prices start from just 29 euros. *Image: Le Train Bleu in the Gare de Lyon, Paris, courtesy of Gryffindor and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Musicians in southern France hold concert for public via open windows


Musicians in Montauban, a commune in the Tarn-et-Garonne department in the Occitanie region in southern France, performed a public concert last weekend for the first time in months. But don’t worry, no Covid-19 restrictions were broken because the musicians performed from open windows in the centre of the town. The Fenêtres musicales (Musical windows) event took place on Sunday, March 21. Musicians across the town opened windows in central buildings, and played their instruments for passing members of the public. Hugo Schmitt, saxophonist at the Orchestre de la Cité at Ingres, told FranceInfo: “After a year without any concerts, it’s a real relief. To be able to play in the centre of Montauban, in beautiful apartments next to open windows, especially during this period, which has been hard for us as artists, it’s really a gift.” Around 20 musicians played via open windows for the event, with the “concert” lasting around 90 minutes. A small crowd also gathered to listen to three singers and a pianist lay a rendition of Mozart’s Nocturnes. One of the singers, Eugenie Berrocq, said: “Because we can’t go to theatres, and we can’t do this in a more conventional or traditional way, we have to reinvent ourselves. There are many artists who have done this, and I think it’s a very good idea to do it in this way.” One Montauban  resident said: “We’ve been without culture for a year now, it’s starting to get a bit long. So this kind of initiative is great.” Another said: “It’s nice, it does you good to watch people playing. We’ve missed it a bit.” *Image courtesy of FranceInfo

Commercial drone successfully delivers vaccine to remote island


For the first time ever, a commercial drone has been used to deliver an important vaccine to a remote island. Unicef arranged for the drone to carry the vaccine 40km (25 miles) across rugged mountains in Vanuatu, a small Pacific island. The vaccine was given by local nurse Miriam Nampil to 13 children and five pregnant women. While it’s not the first time that a drone has been used to deliver medicine to remote areas, it is a first for a country to reach out to a commercial drone company to help with vaccine delivery. Approximately 20% of all children in Vanuatu do not receive vaccines because getting them there is too difficult. Following the successful trial flight at the beginning of December, Unicef now hopes that drones will play an important role in facilitating remote vaccination programmes going forward. “Today's small flight by drone is a big leap for global health,” said Unicef executive director Henrietta Fore. “With the world still struggling to immunize the hardest to reach children, drone technologies can be a game changer for bridging that last mile to reach every child.” Vaccines have to be kept cool, which presents several challenges when transporting them long distances. If undertaken on foot, the journey would have taken several hours. By drone, however, with the vaccine stored in a styrofoam box with ice packs and a temperature logger to monitor conditions, the delivery took just 25 minutes. Follow this link to Twitter to see some footage of the drone in action:

How computers are being used to fight cholera in Yemen


Computers and technology have been revolutionising the healthcare industry for many years. Whether it’s something simple like managing patient records or super-advanced robot-assisted surgery, computers and technology are now engrained in all aspects of medical care. Now, exciting and much-needed progress is being made (using computers) to tackle the cholera epidemic in Yemen. The computer system predicts where outbreaks will occur, allowing aid workers to focus their efforts on prevention in advance. As a result, the number of new cases has plummeted. Last year, a staggering 50,000 new cholera cases were reported in Yemen in just one week. This year, that number has dropped considerably to 2,500. The system - the implementation of which was coordinated by the UK's Department for International Development - monitors rainfall and identifies areas where sewage systems are likely to be overwhelmed, leading to the infection spreading. The forecasts are used, sometimes up to four weeks in advance, to deploy Unicef resources on the ground to potential cholera hotspots, where they distribute hygiene kits, jerrycans and chlorine tablets. Speaking about the new computer system, Prof Charlotte Watts, chief scientific adviser at the UK Department for International Development, said: “What this technology enables us to do is really home in to where we're going to get new outbreaks, and respond really effectively.”

Doctors told to only ‘rarely’ prescribe antibiotics for coughs


Coughs can be extremely unpleasant and leave many people in search of fast relief. But newly proposed guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England (PHE) in the UK say honey and over-the-counter medicines should always be the first port of call. In fact, the new guidelines go as far as to say antibiotics should only be prescribed by doctors on rare occasions, as they actually do little to alleviate symptoms. Most of the time, within two to three weeks, a cough will clear up on its own. The new recommendations for doctors are designed to tackle the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, which is making some infections harder to treat and leading to the emergence of drug-resistant superbugs. Patients are being advised to have hot drinks with honey and ginger, as well as cough medicines containing pelargonium, guaifenesin or dextromethorphan and wait and see if their symptoms improve before going to see their doctor. The bottom line is most coughs are caused by viruses, so antibiotics actually have little to no effect whatsoever. Dr Susan Hopkins, a deputy director at PHE, said: “Antibiotic resistance is a huge problem, and we need to take action now to reduce antibiotic use... “These new guidelines will support GPs to reduce antibiotic prescriptions and we encourage patients to take their GP's advice about self-care.” [Related reading: New Superbug-killing antibiotics found in soil]

Cranberry juice for UTIs: ‘Not enough evidence’ says NICE


Cranberry juice has long been used by people to provide relief from and even treat urine infections. But new draft guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) say there is not enough good evidence, despite people’s experiences, to recommend it as a treatment. Even though some studies have concluded that cranberry juice may be beneficial for people with urine infections, NICE says people should drink plenty of water or fluids and take painkillers instead. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by bacteria, which is why some people may be prescribed antibiotics to treat them, but these drugs are not always necessary. NICE says that when antibiotics are required, the shortest course possible should be prescribed to reduce the risk of antimicrobial resistance. Prof Mark Baker, director for the centre of guidelines at NICE, said: "We recognise that the majority of UTIs will require antibiotic treatment, but we need to be smarter with our use of these medicines. "Our new guidance will help healthcare professionals to optimise their use of antibiotics. "This will help to protect these vital medicines and ensure that no one experiences side effects from a treatment they do not need."

Drinking tea may lower the risk of cognitive decline


Are you partial to a nice cup of tea? If you are, it could be a habit that serves you well in the future as scientists have discovered that drinking tea can potentially lower a person's risk of cognitive decline by as much as 50%. The study, the findings of which were published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, was led by Feng Lei from the Department of Psychological Medicine at National University of Singapore's (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. It involved 957 Chinese adults aged 55 and older, focussing on their tea consumption, including frequency, quantity and type. All of the study participants underwent standard assessments designed to gauge their cognitive function. The results showed that the individuals who drank tea regularly had a 50% lower risk of cognitive decline. Furthermore, adults with the APOE e4 gene - which is linked to a greater risk of Alzheimer's disease - and who also drank tea regularly, had an 86% lower risk of cognitive decline. In addition, the scientists say that the greatest cognitive benefits were witnessed with tea that was brewed from tea leaves, such as green tea, black tea and oolong tea. The source of the cognitive benefits is thought to lie in the bioactive compounds found in tea. "These compounds exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential and other bioactive properties that may protect the brain from vascular damage and neurodegeneration," Lei explains. "Our understanding of the detailed biological mechanisms is still very limited so we do need more research to find out definitive answers." More studies are now planned to further investigate the link between tea and cognitive function.

Shark-Inspired Drug Could Help Treat Fibrosis


We recently informed you about how researchers from Cambridge University believe a chemical compound found in dogfish sharks could be used to potentially halt the onset of Parkinson's Disease (here). Now scientists in Australia hope a drug that mimics part of a shark's immune system could be used to help treat an incurable lung disease in humans. People with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) - a condition that scars lung tissue - find that their breathing becomes progressively harder and they develop a persistent dry cough. At present, there is no cure for IPF, so treatment focuses on symptom relief and slowing the progression of the disease. Initial tests with the drug, AD-114, showed that it can successfully kill the cells that cause fibrosis. Researchers hope that human trials with AD-114 can commence as early as next year. Dr Mick Foley, from the La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science, was keen to stress that no sharks were harmed during the research, and just a single blood sample was taken from a wobbegong shark at Melbourne Aquarium for the tests. "It would be very nice to say one day that 'this person is alive because of what the sharks told us,'" Dr Foley said. IPF is a disease that kills more than 5,000 people in the UK alone every year, according to the British Lung Foundation.

5 of the Best Christmas Markets in France this December


December is here (believe it or not) and that means many people will frequent the numerous Christmas markets found all across France. In fact, France has the second most Christmas markets in Europe, which is why you need to know which ones are must visits. Here are five of the best: 1. PARIS: L’Arche de Noël à la Défense (until Dec. 27) The largest and certainly one of the merriest Christmas markets in the whole of Paris, L’Arche de Noël à la Défense boasts over 350 stalls which are all packed with festive goodies. Located in the bustling business district, L’Arche de Noël à la Défense makes for a nice change in an area that's dominated by skyscrapers. 2. STRASBOURG (until Dec. 24) Dating back to the 16th century, Strasbourg is the oldest "marché de Noël" in France. With over 300 stalls, it's also one of the largest and the heart of the festivities take place in front of the beautiful, gothic Strasbourg Cathedral. 3. LILLE (until Dec. 30) Despite having only around 100 stalls, Lille Christmas market attracts more than 900,000 visitors each year, making it one of the most popular in the whole of France. A 50-metre high ferris wheel offers visitors unrivalled views over Lille’s Flemish-Renaissance architecture, which is suitably decorated with sparkling Christmas lights. 4. BORDEAUX (from Nov. 25) The Christmas market in Bordeaux has become something of a holiday tradition in the region, with more than 150 exhibitors from all over the world selling their unique wares. 5. REIMS (until Dec. 24) Set in the Champagne region of France, Reims Christmas market oozes pure festive joy and Christmas cheer. As well as jazz bands, jugglers and organ grinders, there's also winter sports held at the dry ski slope. Expect lots and lots of champagne.

World's Most Expensive Home Goes on Sale in France


Once owned by Belgium King Leopold II, The Villa Les Cedres in the billionaires' playground of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, near Nice in southern France, has gone on sale for a cool €1 billion, making it the world's most expensive house. The opulent address is currently owned by Italian drinks maker Campari, who acquired it in March as part of their $760 million takeover of Grand Marnier. With an Olympic-sized swimming pool, 10 bedrooms, 30 stables, 35 acres of green space, a chapel and a rich history, the "Les Cèdres" mansion - which was built around 1830 - is actually listed as a national heritage site by the French government. In 2012, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat was actually the second most expensive place to buy a home in the world after Monaco. Over the years, Les Cèdres has attracted its fair share of international celebrities and royalty, including Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin and Elizabeth Taylor. Campari says that it has already received interest from Middle Eastern and North American buyers, and that the proceeds of the sale will be divided among the firm's shareholders. So if you've got a spare billion euros and are looking to move house in the near future, why not snap up this stunning piece of real estate history.

French researchers develop 'world first' lung cancer blood test


France is world-renowned for its excellent healthcare facilities, and that's why so many people each year take the decision to come here and undergo a medical procedure with our help. But did you know that a team of French cancer researchers was one of the first in the world to develop a blood test that can detect lung cancer? Lead by Prof. Paul Hofman from Nice University Hospital and the Inserm research centre at Nice Sophia-Antipolis university, the simple test developed by the team can highlight circulating tumour cells years before any signs of a tumour appear. The team of French researchers conducted tests on a total of 245 cancer-free patients. Of these patients, 168 were heavy smokers with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) - a risk factor for lung cancer - and 77 without COPD (42 smokers and 35 non-smokers). Circulating tumour cells were discovered in five of the 168 patients with COPD, all of who subsequently developed cancer. Fortunately, swift surgery to remove the cancer was successful and follow-up CT-scans a year later showed them to be in remission. Prof. Hofman said that the blood test allowed them to gain about four years on the cancer, which significantly increased the patients' chances of a positive outcome. The results of the "world first" tests were first published in late 2014 in the US open access peer-reviewed scientific journal Plos One.

More obese people in the UK should undergo weight loss surgery, say surgeons


Surgeons in the UK have said that the number of weight loss operations performed on the NHS each year needs to rise dramatically, so that people become healthier and the health service itself saves money. Writing recently in the British Medical Journal, the bariatric surgeons said that less than 1% of people who could benefit from weight loss surgery are getting treatment, and the numbers are actually dropping, despite rising rates of obesity and diabetes. [Related article: Mediterranean diet reduces heart attacks and strokes] The surgeons also highlighted that the UK is lagging behind its European counterparts when it comes to weight loss surgery, and that there are 2.6 million people in the country who stand to benefit from surgery. According to the surgeons, people who have stomach shrinking operations lose 25-35% of their body weight, on average, in just a year. In comparison, the average loss through diets and weight loss drugs is just 7% a year. It's thought that a quarter of adults in the UK are now classified as obese - the second highest rate in Europe behind Hungary - and this reality is putting a huge strain on NHS resources and funds. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has previously indicated that surgery should be considered for severely obese people who have unsuccessfully tried all other means to lose weight. Find out more about bariatric surgery with us in France here.

Sorry Sun Worshippers, NICE says No Safe Way to Suntan


It’s one of the telltale signs that someone’s recently been on holiday, but according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK, there is no safe or healthy way to get a suntan from sunlight. NICE also said that having an existing tan provides little protection against harmful UV rays and advises adults to use at least 6-8 teaspoons of factor 15 sun cream per application. Many adults in the UK have low levels of vitamin D and NICE says that these can be build up through exposure to sunlight. However, the benefits of increased levels of vitamin D need to be weighed up against the risks associated with skin cancer. The NICE guidelines specifically state that babies and children; people with fair skin or hair; people with lots of moles or freckles; and people with a family history of skin cancer should take extra care in the sun. Professor Gillian Leng, director of health and social care at NICE, said: "How much time we should spend in the sun depends on a number of factors including geographical location, time of day and year, weather conditions and natural skin colour. "People with lighter skin, people who work outside and those of us who enjoy holidays in sunny countries all have a higher risk of experiencing skin damage and developing skin cancer. "On the other hand, people who cover up for cultural reasons, are housebound or otherwise confined indoors for long periods of time are all at higher risk of low vitamin D levels." The full NICE guidelines can be found on the organisation’s website here.

Study Finds Restaurant Food Unhealthier than Fast Food


    When it comes to eating out, many people assume that a nice meal in a restaurant would be considerably healthier than grabbing something at a fast food outlet. However, according to a new study, eating at either establishment can lead to far more calories being consumed than eating a home-prepared meal. Published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study found that Americans who ate out, whether at a full-service restaurant or fast food outlet, typically consumed 200 calories more per day than when they ate at home. Study author Ruopeng An said: "These findings reveal that eating at a full-service restaurant is not necessarily healthier than eating at a fast-food outlet. In fact, you may be at higher risk of overeating in a full-service restaurant than when eating fast food." The study analysed the eating habits of some 18,098 Americans using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for 2003-2010. Perhaps surprisingly, individuals who ate at full-service restaurants consumed significantly more cholesterol than those who ate at home – up to 58mg per day more in some cases. Despite the increased cholesterol intake, though, people who ate at full-service restaurants also consumed more healthy nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids and potassium. The study also revealed that eating out at restaurants increased a person’s daily sodium intake. This is also worrying as many Americans already consume above the upper recommended sodium limit on a daily basis and this poses several health concerns, such as heart disease and hypertension. So the next time you’re in a restaurant and deciding what to eat, think twice before ordering something that is going to have a detrimental effect on your health.

Paris Mayor wants Right Bank of the River Seine to be Made Car-Free


The left bank of the River Seine in Paris is already a pedestrian haven, but now the city’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, wants to extend the car-free zone to cover the right bank as well. Hidalgo has been waging a personal war on vehicles in the French capital for a while in an attempt to reduce pollution and make Paris a nicer place to live and visit. Speaking at a press conference last week, Hidalgo said: “It’s an urban project, almost philosophical, which is to envisage a city in an alternative way than through the use of cars.” Other French cities like Lyon and Bordeaux have been lauded for reclaiming parts of their river banks for use by pedestrians and it’s cities such as these that Hidalgo is using to reinforce her case. “The transformation of an urban highway into a promenade will be very strong marker of this mandate,” she added. At present, some 2,700 or so vehicles pass along the right bank of the Seine each hour at peak times, but these will be replaced by riverside gardens and a games area. The current Georges-Pompidou highway on the right bank of the Seine is part of a larger Unesco World Heritage Site and it is thought that it will become a pedestrian-only zone after the annual Paris Plage festival next year.   Credit photo: JC Choblet

France Surgery Now Officially ‘Medical Travel Agency of the Year 2015’


It’s with great pleasure that we can announce France Surgery’s success at the recent International Medical Travel awards in the UK. At a high profile reception at the Royal Garden Hotel in London, France Surgery were named ‘Medical Travel Agency of the Year 2015’ by medical travel publication the International Medical Travel Journal, (IMTJ, at their annual awards ceremony. The ceremony, which was part of the overall International Medical Travel Journal Medical Travel Summit, saw medical travel industry experts and providers from all over the globe come together for a special night of awards. Keith Pollard, managing editor of the IMTJ and chairman of the judges on the night said: “Medical travel is an exciting and growing global industry, with many providers delivering excellence in both medical care and customer service. The IMTJ Medical Travel Awards are the first independent awards to recognise those who are the best of the best and hopefully to encourage others to emulate them. The judges wanted to reward innovation and excellence, highlight best practice and celebrate those who are leading the way in the industry and delivering successful outcomes for patients. “All our winners exemplify the way the medical tourism industry should be run – professional, offering exceptional patient care and providing the best possible medical outcomes.” Our patients past and present have told us how fantastic the services we offer are, but it’s always nice to get some recognition in the form of an award – especially one from as prestigious a publication as the IMTJ. We’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to our success. Facilitating world-class medical procedures and providing expert care here in France is our passion and we’ll continue to do it long into the future.  

Our Glowing Recommendations


When it comes to your health only the best will do. We couldn’t agree more. The team at France Surgery believe that a patient deserves to have the highest level care before, during and after their treatment. That’s why we select only the best qualified practitioners for our medical team, and only the highest standard of clinics to accommodate you. But of course we would say that, right? So why not hear from a few of our past patients who will help you realise that choosing France Surgery is the only choice when it comes to taking care of your health. “I am writing to thank you for your help and the overall Surgery Package. You all gave me the very best attention seeing to my every requirement. The Hospital and nursing staff were excellent as was the Physiotherapist… ” – Paul M. “ … I personally would not hesitate in using France Surgery in the future and would most definitely recommend your services to my family and friends.” – Barry B “From the moment we made contact [with France Surgery] they were able to book me into a clinic for the operation before the end of April 2011 and accompanied me every stage of the way. I would not hesitate to recommend this organisation to others.” – Claudia D Or why not watch two of our video testimonials: Peter A, Total Hip Replacement - Philipp D C, Total Hip Replacement - Photo credit: © Mathias Rosenthal -

France Crowned Number One Tourist Destination Again


In 2013, a staggering 84.7 million people voyaged to France. This number represents a two per cent increase on the previous year and ensures the country remains firmly at the top of the global rankings of most visited countries. The capital city of Paris leads the way as the most visited city in the world and, quite surprisingly, it’s a jump in visitor numbers from other parts of Europe that are accounting for the increased tourism. Also, France is attracting more Asian tourists than it did the previous year, with visitor numbers from the region rising by 12 per cent. However, the number of nights spent in France by Asian visitors actually experienced a drop compared to the previous year. Despite its vast size advantage, the United States could only manage second place with 69.8 million visitors. Spain came in third boasting 60.7 million – both figures a long way off France’s enormous tourist number. Furthermore, it seems that the French government wants to further increase France’s appeal and break the 100 million visitors mark. It seems that France is viewing its visitors as customers (quite rightly) and wanting to do everything to ensure they come back again and again. Their plan is simple: be friendlier to foreign visitors. Where better to undergo surgery than in the world’s number one tourist destination? Your recovery period is guaranteed to be full of fantastic sights and experiences – not to mention the exquisite food! Photo Credit: Jo Harrison

Guide to recovery from Bunion Surgery


There have been many advances to Bunion Surgery over the last few years including specialist ultrasound-guided local anaesthetic blocks, which means less pain and reduced recovery for many patients (although the actual recovery time for each patient is determined by the amount of soft tissue and bone affected). On average patients can expect anywhere between 6 weeks and 6 months recovery time. The medical team at France Surgery will of course be able to give you a better idea during the consultation process and be on hand to offer support and advice before, during and after the surgery. As a base guide to help reduce discomfort and ensure a timely recovery from bunion surgery please refer to the advice below: Keep weight and pressure off the foot as much as possible over the initial 4 weeks as this will reduce pain and swelling. When showering or bathing you must keep the foot covered so your stitches will remain dry. These stitches are removed between one and three weeks after surgery. After around 4 weeks, and when all pins that protrude from the foot have been removed, we suggest wearing soft shoes such as trainers. Depending on the severity of the surgery, you may be able to return to normal activities after around 6-8 weeks. Once all the swelling has gone, which can happen anywhere between 3-6 months, you can wear your choice of shoes and partake in all activities as before. Photo credit: © -

Centres of Excellence: Our Nice Clinic


Our renowned clinic situated in the beautiful city of Nice on the Cote d’Azur is one of the highest ranking clinics in France. We understand your need to be assured of a high level of care when undergoing any treatment, as well as wanting to be as comfortable as possible during your time with us. Our expert healthcare professionals take these requirements seriously and are the number one priorities for our patients. Through continuous reinvestment, our hospital benefits from the latest equipment and staff to retain the elite service each patient receives. As you would expect our rooms are clean and comfortable and many of them offer beautiful views – the ideal way to help you recover from any surgery or treatment. Whilst we provide a full range of medical and surgical procedures, our specialist areas are urology, orthopaedic surgery, hand surgery, medical and surgical ophthalmology, ENT and plastic surgery. We also have an emergency services department which operates 24 / 7. So whatever you need, you can be guaranteed of a first rate, comprehensive treatment from our internationally renowned healthcare professionals. If you’re looking for the very best in medical care in a stunning location benefitting from over 300 days of sunshine each year, our clinic in Nice is the perfect place for your procedure. Photo credits: Copyright France Surgery

French Knees – Part Three


Last week’s French Knees post left you hanging after our patient’s daughter posed the question that is always in the minds of people about to undergo surgery: “What if it goes wrong…” Well, there are always risk factors involved with any type of surgery but these are lessened when non-invasive procedures are opted for. Furthermore, the surgeon performing the operation would be at the disposal of our patient’s GP for at least a year. And, in the absolute worst case scenario, the surgery would be redone with no extra cost to our patient. With all this in mind our patient decided to proceed and potential dates were given to her for the operation. All she had to do now was travel to France and let us take care of everything for her. You can see the surgeon’s handiwork in this photo post just two weeks after her operation. In fact, there are numerous posts that document her recovery and talk about her entire experience in France. However, this post is particularly heart-warming and outlines one of her final meetings with the surgeon who performed her total knee replacement – Dr Demay. It really highlights all the benefits that she was able to take advantage of by choosing to undergo her surgery with us here in France. Dr Demay obviously made a great impression: “He is such a nice nice nice man. honestly you could not have anyone more thorough and apparently patient.” And for all the invaluable assistance, our patient and her daughter decided to end the day by treating their English speaking guide to lunch – what a lovely touch! For more information about how France Surgery can help you realise the significant benefits of undergoing a medical procedure in France, contact us today.

Clinique du Palais


CLINIQUE DU PALAIS IN GRASSE This clinic is renowned throughout France for its superb facilities and equipment, benefitting for very top national rankings. All major medical and surgical specialities are practiced, including ophthalmology, hand surgery, orthopaedic surgery, coeliosurgery, vascular surgery,urology, ENT and plastic surgery. You can be sure that you will be looked after by highly trained professional staff who understand the needs and comfort of the patient, ensuring a stay that is as stress-free as possible. The clinic is as clean as you’d expect from one of the world’s leading countries in healthcare and many of the rooms have beautiful views, especially in Cannes where over 50% of the rooms have a sea view, transforming your experience of what a stay in hospital is like. The clinic is consistently invested in to make sure that state-of-the-art equipment is available to give the doctors the very best information and also ensure that you have access to many of the latest surgical procedures. If you are looking for the very best medical care in an excellent recovery environment with sun 90% of the year, this private hospital could be the ideal place for your procedure. In addition, Nice benefits from an international airport. Facilities specialties: CENTRES OF EXCELLENCE IN OUR HEALTH CARE ESTABLISHMENTS ON THE CÔTE D’AZUR Diagnostic and interventional gastroenterology ENT surgery Orthopaedic surgery and Hand surgery Plastic surgery

Clinique du Parc Impérial


CLINIQUE DU PARC IMPERIAL IN NICE This hospital is renowned throughout France for its superb facilities and equipment, benefitting for very top national rankings. All major medical and surgical specialities are practiced, including ophthalmology, hand surgery, orthopaedic surgery, coeliosurgery, vascular surgery,urology, ENT and plastic surgery. You can be sure that you will be looked after by highly trained professional staff who understand the needs and comfort of the patient, ensuring a stay that is as stress-free as possible. The hospital is as clean as you’d expect from one of the world’s leading countries in healthcare and many of the rooms have beautiful views, transforming your experience of what a stay in hospital is like. The clinic is consistently invested in to make sure that state-of-the-art equipment is available to give the doctors the very best information and also ensure that you have access to many of the latest surgical procedures. If you are looking for the very best medical care in an excellent recovery environment with sun 90% of the year, this clinic could be the ideal place for your procedure. In addition, Nice benefits from an international airport. Facilities specialties : Centres Of Excellence In Our Health Care Establishments On The Côte D’azur Urology (No. 1 for care of incontinence in the Maritime Alps) Orthopaedic surgery and Hand surgery Medical and surgical ophthalmology Emergency services – 24 hours/day and 7 days/week

The Nice Jazz Festival - July


If you’re considering, or require, health treatment or surgery within the next couple of months, you may decide to choose the month of July at our clinic in Nice to take advantage of recovery during the Nice Jazz Festival. This annual festival is renowned by many, including Frommers, for being the “biggest, flashiest, and most prestigious jazz festival in Europe”. It begins on Tuesday 8th July and lasts for five fantastic days of jazz, soul, funk, pop and world music. Something to suit everyone! Since its beginning in 1948, the Nice Jazz Festival has seen the likes of Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis perform on its stages. This year the line-up consists of 10-time Grammy winner George Benson, Ben Harper, Esperanza Spalding and legends Earth, Wind & Fire amongst others. So why not speak to our International Patient Services team about your healthcare needs at our clinic in Nice, to ensure you make the most of this popular musical event. Photo credit: Flickr

Hôpital Privé d'Oxford


Hôpital Privé d'Oxford This hospital is renowned throughout France for its superb facilities and equipment, benefitting for very top national rankings.All major medical and surgical specialities are practiced, including ophthalmology, hand surgery, orthopaedic surgery, coeliosurgery, vascular surgery,urology, ENT and plastic surgery. You can be sure that you will be looked after by highly trained professional staff who understand the needs and comfort of the patient, ensuring a stay that is as stress-free as possible.The hospital is as clean as you’d expect from one of the world’s leading countries in healthcare and many of the rooms have beautiful views, especially in Cannes where over 50% of the rooms have a sea view, transforming your experience of what a stay in hospital is like. The hospital Oxford-Cannes is consistently invested in to make sure that state-of-the-art equipment is available to give the doctors the very best information and also ensure that you have access to many of the latest surgical procedures. If you are looking for the very best medical care in an excellent recovery environment with sun 90% of the year, this private hospital could be the ideal place for your procedure.In addition, Nice benefits from an international airport. Facilities specialties: CENTRES OF EXCELLENCE IN OUR HEALTH CARE ESTABLISHMENTS ON THE CÔTE D’AZURMedical and surgical ophthalmology (No. 1 in the Maritime Alps)• Orthopaedic surgery and Hand Surgery (No. 1 in the Maritime Alps)• Coeliosurgery, diagnostic and interventional gastroenterology, abdominal surgery• ENT surgery• Plastic surgery• Urology• Hand Emergencies: 7 days/week and 24 hours/day

France Surgery: Top for Medical Tourism


France Surgery has over 20 years’ experience in the French medical sector. We have a strict employment procedure which is why our Medical and Patients Service teams are of the highest calibre, to ensure your entire time in our care is handled professionally, sympathetically and warmly. To meet our own high expectations, we search out only the best hospitals and clinics in France for your stay, and have extremely qualified specialists to liaise with and treat your individual needs. So why should France Surgery be your first port of call when it comes to medical treatment in France? For a number of reasons, these include: We offer a range of over 150 hospitals, and more than 1,500 experienced specialists country-wide. We offer the largest online platform for medical travel in France. This secure platform enables you to share your medical records safely and allows the surgeon or doctor to have the necessary background information prior to an initial consultation. We give a realistic pre-travel medical evaluation to avoid unnecessary time-wasting. We provide a post-operation / procedure e-follow up to keep you informed of all results and our recommendations. France Surgery offers the full package. We are with you through your decision making, when undergoing treatment and once you return home. You’re not alone with us. Get in touch today to discuss your medical needs. Photo credit: © - 

Is Pontarlier your perfect medical tourism destination?


Everybody looks for different things when they are choosing a holiday. Some people want a nice relaxing beach, others want as much adventure as they can, some want snow, others want sun. The differences are endless and there are holiday destinations throughout France to suit everyone’s tastes. When choosing the perfect destination for medical tourism the same priorities will apply but the patient and their family or friends who are going with them will have a few more things to take into consideration. Before choosing a destination it is important to understand how long the patient will be in France and how active they will be able to be after their surgery or medical treatment. A destination such as Pontarlier is probably best suited to someone who can get up and about to explore the fantastic 18th century Triumphal arch of the Porte Saint-Pierre and the gate of the ancient church of the Annociandes. Seeing these on foot allows a person to soak up the atmosphere and see all the details of the craftsmanship, however, of course if a patient is not well enough to be exploring on foot it is possible to see many attractions from the comfort of a car. Museums are also dotted throughout Pontarlier, such as the Municipal Museum, Place d’Arcon and Espera Museum of Franco Sbarro, which gives a person the option of taking their taking in the surroundings at their own pace. Photo credit: Wikimedia

France Surgery Treatment Centre Locations


The World Health Organisation have ranked the French Healthcare System are number 1 in the world. If you choose France Surgery to take care of your medical needs this means that you will be receiving treatment within the best healthcare system the world has to offer with highly skilled doctors and surgeons to ensure your procedures run smoothly. France Surgery does not just offer excellent quality medical treatment and care it also offers convenience. With clinics in more than 33 locations throughout France if you are a resident then you will never have to travel too far to find your local clinic. If you are an international visitor who is choosing a medical tourism package then France Surgery really has made sure you have an excellent choice. Whether you would like your recovery to be in the romantic surroundings of Paris, or you would like to paddle your way through your recovery time in the Mediterranean Sea off the South-East coast in Nice, France Surgery has made these options realities. With so many places to choose from and packages which can include time for you to take in the beautiful surroundings and enjoy the climate that France has to offer, France Surgery is the sensible choice. Photo Credit: France Surgery