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My hip replacement success in France with new patient-centred protocol

Why this surgery experience was improvement on 10 years ago, reader explains

‘My appointments were pre-booked with an anaesthetist and for cardiology, and new X-rays were taken of the hip’ Pic: ChooChin / Shutterstock

Regarding your article about how hospitals are getting patients more involved in their recovery after surgery, I am 10 weeks post-op following a hip replacement in Perpignan, where this protocol was offered to me.

Read more: ‘Make patients in France part of the team to save money and lives’

Pre-booked appointments

Prior to surgery and in my first consultation with the surgeon, I was given a folder containing information about what to expect. 

Any questions I had were answered at the second consultation.

My appointments were pre-booked with an anaesthetist and for cardiology, and new X-rays were taken of the hip. 

My waiting time was five weeks from first consultation to surgery. 

I was prescribed 10 sessions of pre-op physiotherapy to build up the muscles.

Read more: What are the costs of hospital stays in France?

Meeting post-op nurse was reassuring 

On the day of surgery, I was met by a nurse who was to be my point of contact post-op. I was given her mobile number to call should I have any issues after discharge. This was very reassuring.

I had been told to fast overnight but was given apple juice before surgery to reduce sickness and stabilise blood pressure. 

After surgery with general anaesthetic, I was taken to my room and within three hours a physiotherapist had me up, walking and exercising the leg. 

My surgery was at 11:00, I was walking by 16:00, and I was discharged the next morning once I had shown I could get up stairs. 

No pain, drains, catheters, IV lines – just paracetamol if needed.

New protocol better than previous experience

Home care was in place the same day and any queries my nurse had were quickly sorted out by the contact nurse in the clinic.  

I am delighted with this protocol, which compared favourably with my previous 10-day stay for spinal surgery a few years before.

I started back to my flamenco class yesterday and will have no anxiety about doing the other hip if and when it becomes necessary. 


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