The possibility of the 'day-case' hip replacement
Mr Senthil Velayudham | August 6, 2023 | Article
In this article, Mr Senthil Velayudham explores the 'day case hip replacement', a cutting edge technique for one of the most common operations in the UK, that could allow patients to safely go home the same day as their operation.
The evolution of modern medical science never fails to astound, consistently pushing the boundaries of what we thought possible. As a hip replacement surgeon, I have been privileged to be part of this dynamic environment where improvements and discoveries continuously transform patient care.
One such development that has caught my attention is the growing field of Daycase Hip Replacement surgery, an advancement that has the potential to revolutionise the way we manage hip arthritis.
Traditionally, hip replacement surgery was associated with prolonged hospital stays. However, as surgical techniques, anaesthetic methods, and postoperative care have evolved, the length of hospital stay has been progressively reduced. The idea of patients returning home on the same day as surgery once seemed a while off, but with current advancements in minimally invasive surgery (MIS) and enhanced recovery programmes, it is increasingly becoming a reality.
Minimally invasive surgery is characterised by smaller incisions and less disruption to the surrounding muscles and soft tissue compared to traditional surgery. Not only does this approach reduce blood loss and potential for infection, it also promotes faster healing. These benefits result in less postoperative pain, reduced need for painkillers, and quicker recovery times. All these factors play a significant role in making Daycase Hip Replacement a viable option for a growing number of patients.
Let's delve deeper into how this process works. In Daycase Hip Replacement, the procedure is typically performed under a combination of regional and general anaesthesia, which minimises the systemic effects of general anaesthesia, and ensures when patients wake up, they’re as pain free as possible from the incision. The surgical approach itself, which is guided by real-time imaging in appropriate patients, ensures minimal disruption to the surrounding tissue.
Postoperatively, the recovery is expedited by a dedicated multidisciplinary team, including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and nurses, who initiate early mobilisation and monitor the patient's progress. Coupled with robust pain management strategies, this comprehensive team ensures that patients are comfortable, mobile, and safe for discharge on the same day.
The Daycase Hip Replacement method is not suited for everyone. Patient selection is crucial, and not all hip arthritis patients are candidates for this type of surgery. Generally, patients who are relatively healthy, have a good support system at home, and are motivated to recover quickly are the best candidates. The rapid recovery programme and minimally invasive hip replacement do help all patients to recover faster but without some of those key supports patients may need to stay in hospital for a night or two.
That said, with further advancements in the field, the pool of suitable candidates is bound to increase. Research is ongoing to establish the long-term benefits of this approach, and the early results are indeed promising. If you're experiencing hip pain, it is paramount to seek professional help at the earliest.