Author Topic: getting closer  (Read 1903 times)

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getting closer
« on: November 27, 2007, 12:34:46 AM »
     Well, here I am at 47 years old getting ready for a new hip!  Does not seem possible, as it was only a mere 10 years ago I was very active.  I want that back...badly.  I am in the initial phases of communicating with Dr. De Smet in Belgium.  Like this site has stated, he is amazing in that he gets back to you almost immediately!!  That alone is priceless.  I like dealing with someone who is qualified and efficient.  I have Aetna insurance and am so far unsuccessful in getting an answer of substance from them regarding "out of network" providers.   My suspicion is that I will be paying out of pocket unless I use a surgeon in my own area, which is Walnut Creek, California.  The Network I belong to is John Muir Orthopedics, and the most experienced surgeon has done 10 resurfacings!!   
     I am grateful that I found this website, because only a couple of months ago I was making the necessary preparations for a full blown hip replacement.  No one here even mentioned resurfacing as an alternative.  I would like to know if anyone out there thinks there would be a better alternative for me.  Also, if anyone has had some luck in getting his covered (by insurance).   I am prepared to pay if needed, but why should I?  Yes, I can afford it but in all my years of paying premiums I have NEVER derived any direct benefit...and it bothers me.  I truly am not a complainer at heart, but I am very principled and pragmatic.                      Thanks, ken

Pat Walter

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Re: getting closer
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2007, 07:54:03 AM »
Hi Ken

Welcome to Hip Talk.

I had my hip resurfaced with Dr. De Smet in March 2006.  I did not have insurance, but would have used him even if I did.  I was 61, female and had a loss of bone density.  I wanted one of the best hip resurfacing surgeons in the world doing my hip so my chances of getting a BHR and keeping it would be the highest.

Dr. De Smet has done over 3000 hip resurfacing and over 3000 thrs.  I have studies posted on my website that explain why a doctor needs to do between 50 - 100 hip resurfacings to become experienced. It is a steep learning curve. Dr. De Smet suggests using a doctor that has done at least 100.  If you read the current statistics for BHR worldwide - you can see how the inexperienced US surgeons have lowered the revision rate. Why - they are inexperienced. Hip resurfacing is a much more difficult surgery than a THR.  Some doctors choose to not even learn while others are not learning as easily as quickly as they want to.  Here are the statistics from the recent orthopedic conference in Florida that Vicky Marlow attended http://www.surfacehippy.info/vmbhrhistoryinfo.php

It is obvious that someone has to be the statistic for a failure - but why choose a new surgeon to be that statistic?  Most of the really experienced surgeons have problems early on, once they do hundreds and thousands, there are noramally no problems.  So you can decide if you want to gamble and be the statistic or not.   Some people don't care, I did not want to gamble.  I felt the $18,000 I spent was the best financial investment in my health that I ever made in my whole life.  A new hip that I knew would continue to work.  I was on one crutch at 4 days, no crutch at 4 weeks with no brusing or swelling and no heavy pain meds after leaving the hospital in 2 1/2 days.  Advil was all I used.  I doesn't get much better than that for major surgery.  The surgeons skill determines much of your post op reovery.

Many people have appealed their insurance companies to get them to pay for Dr. De Smet.  Here are several letters that worked  http://www.surfacehippy.info/insuranceappealinfo.php

If you still want experienced and don't have $18,000  then you can go to Dr. Bose in India for about $10,000 - $12,000  and get a great BHR with on of the best surgeons in the world.  Many have gone to him too.

I am glad that you have learned about hip resurfacing. There are other more experienced doctors in CA that you might also want to consider  http://www.surfacehippy.info/listofdoctors.php#California_   

I hope that helps you get started. Please keep in touch.  If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask.

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


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Re: getting closer
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2007, 11:52:14 AM »
Good luck on your bhr I just got mine done in Westchester county NY by Dr. Zelicoff. Mine was covered by ins. He trained in England and has done about 100 maybe 101 now. He sugested it to me and seemed very confident. Only 16 days post op. to soon to tell but it went a lot better the i thought.



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