Smith & Nephew BHR Brimingham Hip Resurfacing

Author Topic: Belgium vs US & now vs later  (Read 8089 times)

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Belgium vs US & now vs later
« on: February 05, 2010, 01:23:19 AM »
I had a RBHR in 2003 with Dr. De Smet in Belgium.  My right hip is still doing amazing, never a serious problem in 7 years. I am 42 years old now, and love to be active in the mountains of Alaska.  The problem now is my left hip.

During strenuous activity, I have moderate to sometimes severe pain in my left hip which is limiting my hiking, skiing, biking.  I am still able to walk without much pain and without much of a limp.  I sent x-rays to Dr De Smet who immediately sent an email back to me telling me I do have bone on bone but little other damage yet, and would be an excellent candidate for my 2nd resurfacing.  Of course he told me that I would have to make the decision on whether or not to wait.  I have two questions for those of you who would like to give me advice. 

1.  With the limited description of my situation, should I wait another year or so, or go ahead with the 2nd BHR?

2.  My more important question is this:  Now that this procedure is done more in the US, should I seek out a doctor here (Seattle--Dr Pritchett), or go to Belgium again?  I have Alaska BCBS and would like to have my surgery covered if I decided to go to Belgium, if that is possible.

Thanks for any help/advice.

Chris Green

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Re: Belgium vs US & now vs later
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2010, 01:17:24 PM »
Hi Chris

Thanks for your post and welcome to Hip Talk.  I am also a De Smet Surface Hippy - had my hip done in 3/15/06 and am 4 years post op.  I have the same question in my mind if I ever needed my other hip done.  I would most prefer going back to Dr. De Smet if I could because he is still way more experinced than any surgeon in the US.  Money however always becomes a factor in our decisions unless we are very rich!

We do have a number of surgeons that have now done over 1000 resurfacings.  Dr. Pritchett is experinced and I know of a lot of happy patients from him.  Dr. Ure is also popular as well as Dr. Rogerson in WI. He has a hip hap rehab the same as Dr. De Smets.  So it is really up to you.  YOu have to decide what feels right to you and what your insurance will cover.

The only thing to remember is having your hip deteriorate to a point you can't have a hip resurfacing.  If Dr. De Smet thinks you are OK to wait and your pain is not stoping your activities - then you could wait.  Also I think you realize how that pain slowly brings your life to a stand still - slowly so you don't realize how you stop doing things little by little until you are doing almost nothing.  Are you taking any meds?  Have you had a steriod shot in your hip capsule. Most surgeons will try to keep you from having surgery with those 2 methods.  The only thing I remind you of is to have an x-ray 6 months from now to watch how your hip is deteriorating. As you know, Dr. De Smet is great about answering emails and looking at your x-rays.

I think that only you can really answer your question.  Listen to that little voice inside and decide when and where you need to have your hip done.  You might want to meet with Dr. Pritchett or Dr. Ure to see how you like them.  Again, you have to feel good about your surgeon. 

Stay in touch and Good Luck.

Webmaster/Owner of Surface Hippy
3/15/06 LBHR De Smet


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Re: Belgium vs US & now vs later
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2010, 09:00:20 PM »
Hi Chris,

You should be able to travel to Belgium and have everything covered, since it will be cheaper than the US.
Check your insurance policy.  I recommend going to Dr. DeSmet since he did your RBHR and because of his extensive experience.
Check with your Doctor to prequalify the operation for your insurance coverage.
Check your x-ray for the extent of "bone on bone."  Mine was bone on bone throughout and bone spurs widespread with no cartilage.
Dr. DeSmet reviewed my x-rays and recommended immediate hip resurfacing since I was wearing away my bones the he likes to have some remaining bones to work with.
I first had bone contact at the crest of my left hip in 2002 and I was able to wear out the remaining cartilage by 2007 with mild to moderate pain (and limping for a day or two after an athetic event).
I had Dr. DeSmet and Dr. Bose review my x-rays, but went to Dr. Su in New York because I felt comfortable staying in the US with the experience and skill of Dr. Su.

LBHR 60mm/54mm Dr. Su 9/29/08


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Re: Belgium vs US & now vs later
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2010, 02:30:21 AM »
Hi Chris,

If it was me I would go to DeSmet.  I just got back 4 weeks ago with bilateral BHR.  All went well.  I feel fine and am improving each week.  You have one hip done by DeSmet and no issues so now he is even better.  I don't think they had the Villa open back in 2002 but it is 8 years later and they must be better now.  I can't imagine any better experience that you would get in the US.  Maybe as good a surgeon but the facilities, the pool, the PTs, the non-medical staff etc etc right at you beck and call.  That just made everything easy. 



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Re: Belgium vs US & now vs later
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2010, 04:24:50 PM »
Thanks for the replies Steve, Pat, and George.  I have scheduled a LBHR on Decmeber 15th of this year with Dr. DeSmet.  I am excited yet nervous about the 2nd time around.  My left hip is not as bad as my right was 7 years ago, but I decided to go ahead and get the left done anyway.  I am excited to see the new Villa in Ghent and hope it all goes as well or better than it did in 2003.

Chris Green


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Re: Belgium vs US & now vs later
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2010, 05:04:14 PM »

I was at the villa the same time as George, and the whole thing was a good experience. I think you have made the best choice.


Proud To Be Dr. De Smet's First Uncemented Conserve Plus, Left, August 2010


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Re: Belgium vs US & now vs later
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2011, 07:14:36 AM »
I am almost 5 weeks post op, and everything went well and is going well.  For those of you considering Gent, Belgium and Dr Koen De Smet, I highly recommend him.  The new villa was great for rehab, and got me off to a faster start than when I had my first hip done.  Thanks again for all the advice.  I know I made the right decision for myself to go back to De Smet.

One question:  How long did it take for your swollen hip to go back to normal size?  I don't remember from my first surgery. 


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Re: Belgium vs US & now vs later
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2011, 01:52:00 AM »
Has anyone been to Dr. DeSmet's clinic in Rome?


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Re: Belgium vs US & now vs later
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2016, 07:04:05 PM »
I'm getting my right hip done with de Smet on December 7th! I will be leaving the day after you arrive! I'll post on here and let you know how it goes.

49 yo Female
Wright Conserve+ with Koen de Smet
Scheduled December 7th, 2016


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Re: Belgium vs US & now vs later
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2016, 04:45:12 AM »
 :) No opinion but De Smet is world class. He advocates his fittings and prosthesis's are for life. I would go for it.  Cheers K
Dr Koen De Smet 29-April-2015 Conserve Plus - HR Left  48mm - HR Right 50mm.
FAI hip surgery failure right side 2011- FAI  right and left failure 2013.

Hip Talk About Hip Resurfacing

Re: Belgium vs US & now vs later
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2016, 04:45:12 AM »


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