Let’s take a moment to ponder something that unites us all – our history.

Family Medical History

Today, South Africa’s history is a vibrant tapestry woven with the threads of countless stories, a true reflection of a nation that never shies away from a good plot twist.

History isn’t just about dusty books or dates on a timeline; it’s the story of us, the journey of our lives, and those who came before us. Just as our personal history shapes who we are today, your medical history is crucial to your health journey.

Why is a plastic surgeon rambling on about history, you ask?

As we embark on our surgical  journey together, I’m reminded of the timeless wisdom of Hippocrates: “Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.”

In healthcare, seizing these opportunities often involves understanding the intricate tapestry of your medical history. It’s not just about the passage of time; it’s about recognizing the moments that shape your health narrative. Let’s delve into the significance of your medical history.

Think of your body as a book, each chapter unveiling something new about your health. The pages that came before you are the medical histories of your family members – the prologue that gives you context, sets the stage and helps you anticipate what might come next.

“Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.”– Hippocrates


So, why dig into your family’s medical history? Let’s break it down.

Your family’s medical history is like a treasure map showing where potential health risks are buried. With this knowledge, you can take proactive steps to reduce risk factors and lead a healthier life.

Just as no two stories are identical, no two bodies are similar. Your family’s medical history gives your healthcare team invaluable insights into your unique health narrative. It helps them craft personalized treatment plans considering your genetic predispositions, making your healthcare more effective and tailored to your needs.

Early detection can be a lifesaver when it comes to many health conditions. By knowing your family’s medical history, you’re better equipped to recognize warning signs and symptoms early on. This proactive approach can mean distinguishing between catching a condition in its infancy and dealing with its potentially more severe consequences.

Understanding your family’s medical history isn’t just about medical appointments and prescriptions. It’s about empowerment. With this knowledge, you can make informed choices about your lifestyle, including diet, exercise, and other wellness practices, that can mitigate risks and promote better health.

Your family’s medical history is more than a record of ailments; it’s a bridge connecting generations. Sharing this information with your loved ones can help them, too. It’s a way to strengthen family bonds, foster open communication about health, and ensure everyone has the tools to write their health story.


Today, I want to explain why understanding your medical history is crucial and why openly sharing information about medications, supplements, and even homeopathic remedies is essential to your first consultation.

Imagine your medical history as a mosaic, a beautiful tapestry woven with the threads of your past health experiences. This mosaic tells a unique story about your health, past surgeries, allergies, chronic conditions, and family medical history. Understanding this intricate pattern helps us tailor the surgical approach to your specific needs, ensuring the best possible outcomes with your safety foremost in our minds.

Medications, whether prescribed or over-the-counter, are integral to your health narrative. Different drugs can interact unexpectedly, affecting surgical outcomes and overall well-being. By sharing a comprehensive list of all medications, supplements, and homeopathic remedies you are currently taking, you empower us to make informed decisions, minimize risks, and optimize your care plan.

Certain medications and supplements may pose risks during surgery, such as increased bleeding or adverse reactions to anesthesia. By disclosing your complete medication history, you help us identify potential concerns and take steps to mitigate them.

No two patients are alike, and your unique medical history plays a pivotal role in customizing your treatment plan. By sharing your complete medical background, we can tailor our approach, ensuring that your surgery is safe and aligned with your health needs and goals.

Building a solid patient-surgeon relationship is based on trust and open communication. Sharing your medical history, including medications and supplements, is essential to this collaboration.

At my practice, your health and satisfaction are our top priorities. We encourage you to prepare for your initial consultation by gathering a complete list of your medications, supplements, and any homeopathic remedies you are using. This information is confidential and plays a pivotal role in ensuring the success of your surgical journey with us.

I encourage you to take a practical step toward proactive health management. Get to know your family’s medical history, document your own, and maintain a comprehensive life file. Include details of all medications – prescriptions, over-the-counter, and homeopathic remedies. This not only empowers you but is also crucial in emergency situations. Your health file is a valuable resource for medical professionals and your family. It’s a practical measure, ensuring that your health journey is well-documented and readily available when needed. Your proactive approach can make a significant difference, so let’s work together to keep your health story in good hands.

Thank you for entrusting us with your care. We look forward to continuing this journey together.

Dr Dehan Struwig
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