Wrexham Maelor has become the first hospital in Wales to perform planned ‘same day discharge hip replacement surgery’.
The average stay in hospital following a hip replacement is around three days, but now some patients are able to go home on the same day due to surgeons using a new method of delivering post-operative care.
During May this year, Consultant Ibrahim Malek, who specialises in lower limb joint replacement, offered this procedure to 53-year-old Dawn Jones.
Dawn, from Ruabon, had already undergone surgery on her right hip in December 2018 but returned to Wrexham Maelor five months later for an operation on her left hip.
She said: “My first operation before Christmas was a full reconstruction on my right hip and I stayed in hospital for one night.
“When I came in for my second operation I was surprised to hear that I would be able to go home on the same day.
“The surgery went very well and I was taken to the ward and looked after by the staff who were amazing – nothing was too much trouble for them.
“Mr Malek made me feel so at ease and I was delighted when he said I could return home on the same day of the operation and I would receive follow up care from the experienced community nurse physiotherapist in my own home.”
Surgeons have started offering day surgery for suitable patients undergoing hip replacements who are generally fit and have good home support from family and friends.
Patients are offered a state of the art combination of anaesthesia and pain relief during and after the operation to facilitate their recovery in a safe manner. Once they are discharged from the hospital they will have a 24/7 helpline available in case of any problems.
Mr Malek said: “This new way of operating is making a huge difference to our patients. This is an extension and evolution of our highly successful Enhanced Recovery After Surgery plan, which is an innovative approach to the way that care can be delivered to patients having certain operations. This is an excellent example of multidisciplinary team members working together for the best outcome of our patients.
“This is in line with our Health Board’s vision of bringing care closer to home.
“If the patient is deemed fit for discharge there is no reason for them to stay in hospital as we are able to provide rehabilitation for them at home.
“Nobody should be in hospital for any longer than they are required to be. Unnecessarily prolonged stays in hospital can lead to sleep deprivation and healthcare associated infections. Patients recover better in their own home environment closer to their loved ones. They are also able to get back to their normal activities more quickly.
“Reducing the length of stay for our patients in hospital can also help with our waiting lists and frees up hospital beds.”
Dawn has described how her operation has ‘changed her life’ and has praised her surgeon and his team for their care.
“Last year I really didn’t know what was going to happen to me, I was struggling to walk and in so much pain on a daily basis.
“Now I feel like I can run a marathon and feel as if I’m 25 again!
“Only two days after my surgery I was able to get up and walk around properly again without anything to assist me. When my physiotherapist came around to see me she couldn’t believe I was so active and in the middle of painting my house!
“Mr Malek and his team are incredible, we are so lucky to have them at the Maelor, I can never thank them enough.”