Helen's Hip Replacement Surgery
Surgery results and benefits vary per individual. Specific results cannot be guaranteed.
What was your day to day like prior to the surgery?
.OK, up to March, when the lockdown came in and I was playing golf twice a week because I wanted to keep fit. So I started walking around the local area on the pavement for a certain length of time just to keep walking. At which point after doing that for about four days, I suddenly found the pain in my hip, which I've never had before, and it got steadily worse until such time as I phoned the doctor because I thought it was a hip problem because of the of the signs that I had. And she put me on to medication initially.
Paracetamol, followed by co-codamol but that made me feel sick. So I stopped taking them and just went on coping with the amount of pain that I had until I then phoned up the GP and said, Could I have an x ray?
How did you find the imaging process and getting the x-ray organised?
Um, well, it was all during the lockdown, so it's not the same as usual, is it? But, you know, it took me a few months to get to that point, two or three months to get to that point. But she eventually said, I have an x-ray, which I did. We showed up osteoporosis and arthritis.
How did you feel at that stage about potentially having this procedure?
Well, I hadn't I, I wasn't altogether sure what was going to happen. I contacted, Mr Cobb here in Ashstead and he said, yes, it would appear I needed an operation, but he couldn't see me for at least a couple of months because of covid. OK, okay. So I waited. I never heard anything from him, which is how I eventually got on to Medbelle through a friend.
Why did you decide to move forward with with us?
Really because I wasn't getting anywhere here at Ashtead hospital and I was somewhat concerned of Covid returning, which of course it has. And I hoped to get in in the summer while it was on the way out, you know, in-between the peaks. So I thought, well, it would be sensible, particularly with my age, to get it done at that point.
How did your Patient Care Adviser help you, what was your relationship like?
Ann was very, very good. But of course, she left after I did a couple of conversations, I think. Then you stepped in and you've been very good.. I mean, the amount of, I must say, the amount of attention that we got from the patient care person in your place.
Now, you know, I think it's been exemplary. I mean, it's certainly something I've never had before, had so many people concerned whether I was going on alright, etc. I mean, normally when you finish at hospital that's the end of it. It's very much appreciated.
What was your experience with your insurer and how did Medbelle support you with your insurer?
In actual fact, my husband dealt with the insurer, but they have been absolutely fine all the way through, they immediately agreed to having it done and they've told us what they've paid and what they haven't paid and no problem whatsoever with them at all.
How did you feel the day of the consultation?
Well, hopeful, hopeful, I guess, that something was going to be done at that point. I wasn't concerned about it at all, but hopeful it would lead to something being done.
What sort of relationship did you have with your surgeon, Mr. Michael?
I'll find him very pleasant. Explains whatever needs explaining. I've met him about three times now I find him easy to talk to and he explains what he's he's doing clearly.
How did you feel after consultation?
Initially they said that they didn't know when they'd be able to do it again because Covid, but I heard very quickly, I think maybe two or three weeks that they got a cancellation and I could have it, which was in a fortnight's time. And I can't say that I was apprehensive. I think I'm a bit too old to be apprehensive about something like that. And a friend of mine, Chris, who I think you've probably been dealing with as well at least Ann had um. He was able to tell me a little bit about it because he was about two or three weeks ahead of me. I can't say I was apprehensive in any way. It was just going to be good to get it done within, you know, in this break in the peak. So because of it.
Had you already decided that you wanted to move forward or was it a longer process?
No, no, no. I was offered a booking. I was very, very glad to accept it.
What sort of concerns or fears did you have before your surgery, if any, at all?
I really don't think I had any. I was a little concerned I was going to be awake during the procedure as it was a local anaesthetic in effect. But of course, in the event, you aren't. So that was a nothing. And again, Chris had said no, he wasn't awake. So I can't honestly say that I was particularly apprehensive about anything.
How did you physically or mentally prepare yourself for the surgery?
I sound ridiculous, but it didn't bother me. So if you mean did I lay awake all night worrying? No, I didn't. I just wanted to get it over with.
How was your arrival at the hospital & how were the hospital staff that you first met?
Oh, fine. Absolutely good. In actual fact, when I went I went for the pre-op with the physios. I met another lady there, somebody who works at your hospital. I believe she's I think she's one of the supervisors, on of the wards or something. I met her and when I arrived for the operation, she was there. So we had a little chat and then she went off and then I went off. So it is all very pleasant. And everybody that, you know, the staff, the patients as well. So nothing to complain of.
Were you well looked after when you first woke up & did the hospital staff keep you informed?
Yes, I was certainly well looked after. I don't think there's an awful lot to be informed of. I mean, they told me that I was going to be checked out or something, my blood pressure and oxygen and whatever. But I don't think there was a lot to inform me of other than the fact that I should be getting out of bed this evening.
How did you feel the surgery itself went?
I was getting prepared to go into the anaesthetic rather than having that sort of thing in your back epidural. It was it by the time I came around, it was over and done with and I wasn't feeling any pain at that point. And they they kept me fixed up with paracetamol and codeine. I think it was so that I wasn't in any great discomfort at all.
How was the process when you were discharged from the hospital?
I went home and I don't think I spent very much time in bed. I did have an awful lot of trouble sleeping both in the hospital and at home because I can't sleep on my back. But it wasn't because I was in pain or anything like that. It was purely that it was an unusual position for me to sleep, not to be able to move either side during the night. So that was a problem sleeping. But apart from that, no, I was able to move around the house, so we started going for short walk, which gradually got longer as time went on.
How were the initial stages of your recovery?
I was coping, I mean, it's really has been very simple and initially, you know, I had the two crutches. My husband came with me when I went out for a walk. I gradually progressed to only using one crutch and his arm. And then I progressed to holding his hand and no crutches. And now I do part of it on my own without any crutches. It's something so simple, I have to say. Apart from the sleeping, I thought I will gradually reduce the painkillers and I'd actually stop them until I got this bursitis when I went back onto to two paracetamol each day, which is neither here nor there.
What would you say to someone who's considering having this surgical procedure?
Go for it, go and have it done, it is far less painful. I thought it would be. And I've got my mobility back far quicker than I thought I would. The exercises are a bit of a bore, I have to say. But I do think they help.
How was your experience been with your physiotherapy so far? What sort of differences or changes in your mobility have you seen?
She seemed to think that I was doing better than some, shall I say. I did actually cancel the last one that I was entitled to because it was just before lockdown again. And I thought I did actually phone up and say I thought perhaps it would be wise not to come as it was so close to lockdown again and it was near to central London. I've been very happy with the physiotherapy, but are just, you know, somewhat aware of Covid.
What feedback would you give to us here at Medbelle in terms of improving the patient experience
That yes, there are a couple of things. Number one, you're aware of that I had all this problem with and thinking I was paying for it myself and I wasn't it was underinsurance. That was a permanent problem. They kept wanting to know, wanting me to fill in forms. And I said no. I filled in the form and they kept going on, somebody phoned up and wanted to know who the insurer was, which is ridiculous, I told them so many times. The finance department needs to be looked at.
The other thing I was going to say, I just found the meals while I was in there overwhelming. I think I hate leaving food, I suppose, because I was brought up during the war, but I loathe leaving food. And the meals for me were far too large. I would have appreciated, I suppose I could have just ordered a sandwich, but, you know, I felt I needed a bit more than that. But it was so much on the plate that immediately put me off. So I would have thought that personally I would have appreciated the offering of a I know seniors meal or a small size meal. I know the other ladies I came in with at the same time, she felt the same thing that they the meal put in front of you was much too large. I mean, obviously not for a fit, healthy man. But if somebody like myself, it was just altogether too much.
Are you are you happy in your choice to go ahead with the procedure and choosing Medbelle?
Absolutely. Very much so, yes. In fact, funnily enough, my husband said to me the other day, if it came around to having as have the other hip done or something else, would you go to Ashtead, which is about half a mile from us, or would you prefer to go to Medbelle? Well, I did say I'd go to Medbelle, and I must say that a large part of that is the fact of the concern shown by you people before and after. And I've never, ever had either. If I was concerned about anything, I'd be very hesitant to make a to do about it. Whereas you you phoning up and saying how are you, etc. and the rest of it is so easy to say, well, actually I'm not as good as I might be or, you know, I'm worried about this, that or the other. So I actually I've never had that elsewhere. And I think that is a big bonus.