Everything was even better than I expected.
On 20 November 2007 I received a superb hip replacement, using the latest
prosthesis design, from Dr Frank de Gendt at St Rembert’s Hospital in Torhout. I
had no problems whatsoever.
St Rembert’s is the cleanest hospital that I have ever seen. The first-class
two-patient room that housed me, and the attentive and good humoured nurses and
other staff are among the best that I have ever encountered in my 33-year
practice of sports medicine, involving patients in many hospitals around the
world. The skill of the surgeons at St Rembert’s is world-class, and their
knowledge of hip replacement appears more advanced than what I have seen in many
larger hospitals in the United States and Canada. As a medical professional, I
noted that their operating theaters and other equipment facilities employed the
The total absence of infections, such as MRSA, at St Rembert’s is a tremendous
added bonus, not found in Canadian or American hospitals. The 24-hour daily
after care I received from the nurses, and the daily sessions with the
physiotherapist and the occupational therapist, were of the same high standard
that I use in my own practice.
The hotel-like room in the hospital assigned to my wife, and permitting her to
eat at the hospital cafeteria and to take me there also, and to visit me at any
time at my hospital bed, were all brilliant strategies that I have not seen
elsewhere, that made the whole experience so much easier.
The hospital administrator, Mr Philip Boussauw was the epitome of kindness, and
even arranged for me to have a tour of the historic city of Bruges, the day
before we left. I could not have wished for better. I am mystified how all that
we received could be offered at such a reasonable price, between $US10,000 and
$US15,000 less than charged for the equivalent in the United States.
I arrived back home in Canada, three days ago. It is now 14 days after surgery,
and I am taking full care of myself, have excellent mobility including reaching
my feet, dressing, showering, walking easily with only one crutch, driving,
shopping, going out to dinner at restaurants, and doing a normal working day,
without any significant pain or disability. Apart from crutches, I have not had
to use any aids, such as raised toilet seats, special chairs, dressing devices
or walking frames. I know that is a much faster recovery than for most cases
here in Canada, and much faster than I or my own doctor had anticipated, (even
though I spent some time in strength and fitness training and nutritional
supplementation in order to prepare for the surgery).
If having surgery can ever be called a wonderful experience, then that is what I
received at St Rembert’s. Thank you again for your efficient and friendly
assistance in making it possible.
Dr Michael Colgan