Skip to main content

Day case hip and knee replacement transforming patient recovery journey


A nurse who cares for adults with learning disabilities has praised the team at Ysbyty Gwynedd after receiving life-changing hip replacement surgery that allowed him to go home on the same day.

The day case procedure, available for carefully selected patients across our acute sites, will help to reduce waiting lists for orthopaedic treatments and enable patients to recover in the comfort of their own homes, avoiding lengthy hospital stays.

During July, Kevin Jones, 55, received his total hip replacement and was discharged back to his home near Bangor on the same day, just nine hours after the surgery.

A week later, Kevin returned to the hospital for his follow-up consultation and was able to walk unaided.

He said: “When I was told I met the criteria for a day case hip replacement I was initially a bit concerned over pain relief. However, I was reassured that I would be on the same pain medication as I would receive in the hospital, I also had support from my wife so I decided I would much rather recover in my own home.

“I was in a bit of pain for a few days following the operation, which was expected, but I kept up with the physio exercises I was told to do and slowly I started to feel more confident with walking round with one crutch and sometimes without.”

On average, patients undergoing hip replacement surgery will spend between two and three nights in hospital post-surgery. A major positive of the day case option is that it enables them to recover in the comfort and safety of their own home, encouraging faster rehabilitation and reducing their risk of hospital acquired infections.

Not all patients are suitable for a day case hip replacement, and cases are managed on an individual basis and factors including age, health and fitness, and if friends and family are able to support recovery at home needs to be taken into consideration. It is part of the comprehensive pre-operative assessment and planning necessary to ensure safe surgery can take place, followed by effective rehabilitation.  

Kevin’s surgeon, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Mr Muthu Ganapathi, who carried out the first day case total hip replacement surgery at Ysbyty Gwynedd in February 2020, said: “The ability to carry out these procedures and discharge the patients on the same day will make a huge difference to our patients’ lives, improving their care and recovery and reducing waiting times for surgery.

“To be able to successfully implement this surgery you need a collaborative team of different healthcare professionals involved right from the beginning, and we are lucky that at Ysbyty Gwynedd we have an excellent theatre team, brilliant physiotherapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists and nurses.”

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Mr Agustin Soler, also carries out total hip replacements, total knee replacements and partial knee replacements as a day case in selected patients, added: “Day case arthroplasty surgery is extremely beneficial for patients who meet the criteria for this type of operation.

“Not everyone is suitable for this kind of surgery, as patients’ needs are assessed and they must meet our strict criteria.

“The patients are provided with information before they leave hospital and have a direct number to call the ward if there are any issues, a follow-up call will be made the next day and they will be seen in the clinic the following week.”

Kevin is now on his way to recovery and hopes to return to his love of cycling and watersports in the near future.

He said: “I’m really pleased I’ve had the operation and would like to thank the team who looked after me.

“The pain was unbearable before the operation and it really affected my day to day life, from work to preventing me from doing the things that I enjoy.

“I was really into cycling and watersports, and I’ve not been able to do that for years so I’m really looking forward to getting my quality of life back.”