A local man has walked out of Stracathro Hospital just hours after a hip replacement, thanks to an innovative new approach to the surgery.
Raymond Wheatley, from Dundee, was the first patient in Tayside to have the procedure.
He walked out of hospital with the aid of crutches just six hours later.
Raymond, 54, said: “It was great to know I would get home on the same day as I’ve never been in hospital before and didn’t want to stay if in I could avoid it.
“I’m really glad to be home and in my own bed. I’m even able to get about the house quite easily already and do things for myself without any help.
“I was really nervous before the operation and dreading it but everyone in the hospital couldn’t have been nicer.
“They really put me at ease and in the end it wasn’t as bad as I thought.”
Raymond is continuing his recovery and was even able to walk without his crutches only six days after the operation.
Home the same day
This new approach for hip replacement surgery has been brought to Tayside by consultant orthopaedic surgeon Mr Graeme Nicol.
It means patients can have their surgery and be discharged home the same day.
The current average length of stay in hospital following a hip replacement is three days.
Mr Nicol carries out hip replacement surgery using an approach which does not involve cutting any muscle, as is the case in the traditional hip operations.
This means the patient does not have as much bleeding or pain. It also allows a quicker recovery time, as well as easier pain management.
Patients can expect to be able to walk without crutches two weeks following their surgery. This also means no overnight hospital stay is required.
It is hoped up to three patients a day could be treated as day cases in Stracathro Hospital and Perth Royal Infirmary once training is complete and services are able to fully remobilise.
‘The benefits are huge’
Mr Nicol, originally from Tayside, trained in Ninewells before moving to Ottawa in Canada where he spent a year being taught this new approach to surgery.
Now back in Tayside he says: “The benefits of this exciting new approach are huge for both our patients and our services.
“We are already working really hard to see as many people as possible, but over time, this will allow us to treat more people and further reduce our waiting lists.
“I look forward to treating many more patients in this way as the service develops.”