Paula's Story: Hip Replacement Without a Hospital Stay
When Paula K. had her first hip replacement procedure, her surgeon, Michael Ayers, MD, told her that she'd likely need to have the other hip replaced in about four years.
That estimate ended up being right on the money - but it also fell during a time of COVID-19 surges and limits on elective surgical procedures.
Concerned that COVID-19 shutdowns would push out her second hip replacement procedure and force her to keep living with hip pain, Paula talked to Dr. Ayers about her options.
"I was worried about having surgeries shut down because of COVID, and I mentioned that to him," she said. "That's when he happened to mention 'well, we do surgery upstairs, in the outpatient surgical unit."
The outpatient surgical unit, located at the Center for Orthopedics, Spine, & Sports Medicine at 2 Pond Park in Hingham, offers "same-day" or outpatient joint replacement surgeries, which are procedures that don't require an overnight stay in a hospital.
Instead, patients have their procedure in the morning and are back home in their own beds that evening.
Same-day joint replacement isn't an option for every patient, but it was perfect for Paula.
"I'm young enough, I don't have diabetes, I didn't have any cardiac issues," she said. "[Dr. Ayers] said 'I think you'd be a good candidate.' I said, 'well, let's do it!"
Surgery in the morning, discharged in the afternoon
Paula's surgery at 2 Pond Park began at 7:30 AM, and she was discharged by 1 PM - less than six hours from start to finish for a brand new hip.
"Overall, it was a really good experience," she said. "The nurses were funny, they were telling me I was a rock star because I was doing so well. I was home by 2 o'clock."
Supported by a team approach
While her procedure may have seemed brief compared to an overnight stay in a hospital, that doesn't mean Paula's care felt any less comprehensive.
"I think they really work like a team," she said. "All the way from Dr. Ayers down to the nurses, his assistant, PT (physical therapy). People were very responsive."
The beach, a ballgame, and more
With both hip replacements behind her and hip pain a thing of the past, Paula is looking forward to returning to the activities she used to enjoy.
"I look forward to going to the beach again, being able to walk on the soft sand at the beach," she said. "Hope to go to a ballgame, and just be a normal person...it's amazing how much pain interferes with your daily life."