Toronto hospital offers same-day hip replacement surgery
Published Thursday, October 4, 2018 10:00PM EDT
For people in need of hip replacement surgery, the outpatient process can take several days, but a Toronto hospital routinely gets patients from the operating room to their homes in just one.
Women’s College Hospital in Toronto offers same-day hip replacement surgery, a procedure that is becoming increasingly necessary as the country’s population ages and rates of obesity increase.
Kaori Noguchi has suffered from excruciating hip pain since she was diagnosed with congenital hip dysplasia as a toddler. She had her first hip replacement as a child.
“Some days are better than others, but I’ve been limping for five years now,” Noguchi said.
When complications from her first hip replacement necessitated a second surgery, she was one of the patients at the Women’s College Hospital who received the same-day procedure.
Three days after her surgery, she is slowly beginning to walk around her house and pleased with the pace of her recovery.
“The perception of three days with morphine pumps so I get to go home with just a couple of regular painkillers seems…well, it’s a pleasant shock,” Noguchi said.
Experts say that it marks a significant change in outpatient care and could even save the Canadian health care system tens of millions of dollars.
“That frees up the beds for the people who need them,” Dr. David Urbach, the chief of surgery at Women’s College Hospital, told CTV’s Vanessa Lee. “Then we have less of this problem of gridlock in hospitals or what is often described as ‘hallway medicine.’”
According to a 2015 report from the Canadian Joint Replacement Registry, there were close to 50,000 hospitalizations for hip replacement surgery from 2013 to 2014, an increase of five per cent from the year prior. The median hospital stay length was four days -- a big change from just over a decade ago, when patients were closely monitored for anywhere from a week to 10 days in hospital.
Doctors say that a shorter time in hospital has also led to a faster recovery.
“We found that the complications and issues after the surgery is not higher, probably even better,” Dr. Oleg Safir, an orthopedic surgeon at Women’s College Hospital, told Vanessa Lee. “One of the reasons is patients get to go home and stay in a comfortable environment.”
The biggest difference between the same-day hip replacement surgeries and those that require a lengthier hospital stay, surgeons say, is the anesthetic technique.
“We’re using certain special spinal as well as special blocks around the hip to freeze the area, so there is less pain after surgery and the patient’s muscles recover quicker,” said Dr. Paul Kuzyk, an orthopedic surgeon at Women’s College Hospital.
Earlier this year, Women's College Hospital began testing out same-day knee replacement surgeries.
With a report from CTV’s Vanessa Lee