Preparing for a hip replacement

Preparing for a hip replacement

So you’ve seen a hip consultant and a hip replacement has been recommended. What are the next steps? Who can I speak to about any concerns I have? Read on to find out what you can expect at Circle…

Pre-assessment check-ups and questionnaires

If a specialist has recommended you have a hip replacement, the medical secretary will get in touch with you after your consultation. If you agree to the procedure, the next step is to book in a procedure date.

The team will then work back from this date to ensure you’re fully prepared in the build-up to your operation.

You’ll need to have a “pre-assessment appointment” before you can have surgery. At Circle, we usually give you nursing pre-assessment and physiotherapy pre-assessment appointments. These are essential as they’re designed to flag any health issues which may stop you from being suitable for surgery.

We’ll talk you through exactly what you can expect, what you should and shouldn’t do after surgery, and answer any questions you have. We’re confident you’ll find these appointments really valuable and a great way to find out more about your hip replacement.

The health questionnaire

One of the first things you’ll need to do is complete the health questionnaire. It’s important you complete this as thoroughly as possible as it will help our team to assess your suitability for surgery.

A member of our pre-assessment team will then get in touch with you to book in your nursing appointment.

Pre-assessment: your nursing appointment

The first pre-assessment appointment is usually with our outpatient nursing team, who will run through answers to your health questionnaire and discuss any relevant medical conditions you may have. You’ll be asked to bring a current list of medications, alongside any information you have on medical history and previous surgeries.

They’ll record measurements such as your height and weight, and discuss any medication you’re currently taking. Depending on your age, health, type of surgery and anaesthetic, you may need to have some further pre-operative tests. These may include blood tests, ECG, routine MRSA swabs and chest X-ray.

They’ll give you an information booklet to take away which has all the information you’ll need. They’ll also talk you through the before and after process of having a hip replacement and answer any questions you have at this point.

If you are taking any medication prescribed by your GP or bought from the chemist, we need to know the strength, dose and formula. At your pre-op assessment, the nurse will be able to advise you of any necessary regime changes prior to surgery.

Prior to your admission to Circle Reading Hospital, if you are using your private medical insurance, we strongly recommend contacting your provider to inform them of your proposed surgery and to acquire a new pre-authorisation reference. Your pre-authorisation for consultation will not automatically cover you for surgery. You will need to let them have the procedure code for surgery, which your consultant’s medical secretary can provide you with.

Physiotherapy pre-assessment

You’ll also need to see a physiotherapist before your procedure. Here you’ll learn about what to expect about the operation itself, expected recovery times, exercises you’ll being doing and how you can maximise the benefits of having your hip replaced.

Most patients stay in hospital for two nights, however if you wish to increase your stay you can see about transferring to our specialist rehabilitation unit. This allows you to use the first-class facilities at the hospital and have intensive therapy for several more days, to further build confidence and strength. Find out more about Circle Rehabilitation and contact us for a quote.

Part of the pre-assessment physiotherapy appointment is to talk you through your recovery plan, to ensure you’re fully prepared with what’s to come, including practicing initial exercises you can do after your operation. These exercises are vital to ensure the best outcome for your hip. Don’t worry though, the team will be there after your operation to remind you of the exercises and talk you through the correct technique.

These exercises can also help to build up strength before surgery, so it’s great if you can practice them in advance so long as they are comfortable to do so.

The physiotherapist will also ask you questions at this appointment regarding your home life and assess your current mobility. All the questions asked will assist with you receiving the best recommendations and advice.

At this appointment you’ll also get a pair of crutches, set to the right height, ready to use for when you are in hospital and when you go home. We’ll teach you how to use them and talk about potential tweaks to your layout at home to help you move around a bit easier. A family member is more than welcome to come along to this appointment too. In fact, many of them quite enjoy getting involved in practicing the exercises!

Before surgery: on the day

If your admission time is at 7am you will be able to eat and drink as normal until 2.00am that morning. After this, you can have clear fluids (e.g. water, black tea or coffee) until 6am. If admission is booked in for 12pm, you can eat and drink a light breakfast until 7.00am. Clear fluids can then be consumed until 11.00am. You should not have any other drinks, eat mints, sweets or chew gum.

In the information booklet we send out, it will suggest a list of items to bring with you for your stay. Most patients bring a holdall or small suitcase with them, containing the clothes and toiletries they’ll need for the days they’ll be in hospital.

On the day, you’ll be asked to bring all of your prescribed medication in original boxes and a copy of your most recent prescription. Please take all of your medications on the day as normal, unless otherwise advised.

A member of the nursing team will complete your admission when you arrive on the day. You will be asked to clarify your personal details, including your medical and surgical history. Please ensure that we are made aware of any known allergies to any drugs, food or other substances.

The consultant surgeon will see you to discuss your procedure and complete a consent form if you have not done so already. If you are having a general anaesthetic, the consultant anaesthetist will also see you prior to your procedure to discuss your anaesthetic and pain relief.

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Circle Health Group, 1st Floor, 30 Cannon Street, London, EC4M 6XH