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Author Topic: Bi-Lat Hip Resurfacing in Belgium  (Read 3275 times)

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james

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Bi-Lat Hip Resurfacing in Belgium
« on: December 10, 2007, 03:35:28 PM »
I just had a bilateral resurfacing in Belgium Nov 15 and 22, through www.direct-healthcare.com at St Rembert in Torhout. To say that I'm pleased is an understatement. The level and quality of care  was extraordinary.

I was doctor and surgery adverse also and tried everything over years until I had no other option. In retrospect I should have gotten it much earlier but that is easy to say now.

I had to have 6 units of blood, so blood screening was important and I believe the Belgians have the highest standard. ( I am not saying others don't). Also there was some concern about mrsa and the Belgians seem to have that under control.

Just a note, on the plane home we met a lady who was returning from India. She had spent 8 months in a hospital in Mumbai, not for hip resurfacing but other problems. She couldn't say enough good about her experience.

It is definitely good to have a friend or S.O. along. I was fortunate in that regard.

Anyway I am astonished that there is no pain in my hips and the metal joints don't feel alien at all, in fact they feel like the joints I had before all this started.

I am about 3 weeks and 4 weeks out of surgery and I can actually walk without pain and without a crutch but I am using one crutch because I want to be conservative and cautious. Since I wasn't conservative and cautious is a large part of why this happened. And I don't want to screw up this second chance.

hope this is helpful.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2008, 10:31:44 PM by Pat Walter »

Pat Walter

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Re: Bi-Lat Hip Resurfacing in Belgium
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2007, 04:20:42 PM »
Hi Jame

Congratulations on your new hip resurfacing.  I hope you don't mind, but I gave you your own new topic - since it is pretty important to have 2 new hips.

I have some questions for you. I had my hip resurfaced in Belgium with Dr. De Smet. He is the doctor most of us know most about.

Since you used a different surgeon and hospital could you tell us more for other people to learn from.

Who was your surgeon?
How many hip resurfaicngs has he/she done to date?
How long were you in the hospital?
Did you have PT in the hospital or in someother facility.
How long did you stay in Belgium.
Where did you stay before you went to the hospital.
How many days did you arrive before surgery?
How much did your surgery and hospital cost?

I have a handful of peoples costs for surgery abroad here http://www.surfacehippy.info/costofhipresurfacing.php  I would like to add yours since you used a different surgeon and facility than most of us have.

I hope your recovery continues to go well. It is great to be out of pain. 

This kind of information will really help other people.

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

james

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Re: Bi-Lat Hip Resurfacing in Belgium
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2007, 08:56:51 PM »

Since you used a different surgeon and hospital could you tell us more for other people to learn from.

Who was your surgeon?
How many hip resurfaicngs has he/she done to date?
How long were you in the hospital?
Did you have PT in the hospital or in someother facility.
How long did you stay in Belgium.
Where did you stay before you went to the hospital.
How many days did you arrive before surgery?
How much did your surgery and hospital cost?



Dr. F. De Gendt, the initial consult was done by Dr.Schoeliner

I believe he has done over a thousand maybe well over a thousand.

I was in the hospital from 12 Nov to 3 Dec which is the length of time we were in Belgium.

Physio begins on the day after and was done in the hospital. In the morning you do therapy in a little gym they have with a physiotherapist who I thought was sharp and knowledgeable. In the afternoon you do what they refer to as occupational therapy, which consists of walking and stairs. This is also where you get cautions and such things as getting in and out of cars and stuff like that. You can also go to the gym anytime for the bicycle or to work on a program they have. The occupational therapy people were also very good.

We arrived in Brussels late afternoon on 12 dec and were met by a taxi, the taxi took us to torhout and the hospital. I could basically not walk even with the two canes I had. We were taken to a room where you stay the night and your S.O. can stay until you leave. I got a mrsa test that night and a heparin injection.

The next day was a consult and x rays and that night they took me to a hospital room. I don't really remember the 14th but early in the morning of the 15th they wheeled me out of the room for the surgery. All I remember is getting a shot in the room, saying goodbye to my S.O. and I don't remember anything after that until I woke up back in the room.

At some point Dr. De Gent came in and said you have a successful resurfacing. The first two days after are real but not real fun. The nurses were all without exception really good. As were the hospital staff. I had once upon a time an encounter with a U.S. military hospital so I wasn't expecting anyone to be pleasant and kind. But they were.

I had to have 2 units of blood on the third day after the first surgery.

I was doing well and then of course had to have the second hip done. So on the morning of the 22nd they wheeled me away. There was some trepidation because by then I realized that hey, this is major surgery. But I thought that it might go better afterwards because I knew what to expect. At least that is what everyone told me.  It did go better, except that this time I woke up freezing in the recovery room getting two more units of blood. I would have preferred waking up back in my room. I wasn't lucky with that.

After a blood test I had to have two more units of blood.

The rest was doing the physio. At one point I was standing between those parallel bars lightly holding on to the bars and I couldn't get my legs to move without putting weight on the bars. They just wouldn't respond. There are moments of mild panic.

But the amazing thing is every day you get better.

I never really felt pain in my hip joints, it was all in the cuts.

I did a lot of pilates matwork before I was forced to quit and then I did a lot of bikram yoga before I was forced to quit. I did those because I could no longer run or even walk for exercise. So being forced to quit the yoga plus the fact that I needed two canes made me aware that perhaps I should do something, like immediately. My point is, I think having done these regimens is helpful to recovery. Because one thing they both do is work on the little helper muscles so to speak.

I don't presume to give advice but I would say don't wait as long as I did. I didn't want anyone to cut on me and tried, like most people, everything I could to keep from being cut on. But in the end there is nothing else to do.

If you wait to long you might not be able to have a resurfacing and might have to have a THR.

I was very pleased with direct-healthcare.com and recommend them highly as a medical tourism provider. All of the arrangements they made held up and one problem with the return they fixed right away.

We left the hospital by taxi to Brussels in the early morning of dec 3rd. The cost all inclusive was 31,654. That included roundtrip airfare to a city 3 hrs from home. Not insignificant to us but I feel fortunate.

During our time there we met several people mostly from Britain. It was very interesting talking to them and that plus an afternoon trip to Bruge made the whole trip worthwhile.  :)

I know this is likely meaningless to most people but aside from the fact that I didn't have insurance I at least know I won't be in a data base in the U.S.  I realize that privacy has a different meaning these days however.

 

Pat Walter

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Re: Bi-Lat Hip Resurfacing in Belgium
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2007, 09:29:36 PM »
Hi James

Thank you for the information.  I have had several other people ask about Dr. F. De Gendt, and I only know about De Smet since that is where most of the Yahoo Surface Hippies go.There are over 6000 members of the Yahoo Group and that is where I found out about hip resurfacing.

It sounds like your experience was very good and he sounds experienced.  Most overseas doctors are more experienced with hip resurfacing than the US doctors.

De Smet normally always does bi-lats at one time.  So they only stay in Belgium about 10-12 days after surgery.   Kani was the last De Smet Bi-lat to correspond with me  http://www.surfacehippy.info/costbilatbelgium.php

I think since the stay is shorter, the cost is less. About $25,800 for him total with plane fare etc. 

So you information will be very useful to some people in the future.  I was lucky to do the whole trip with my hubby for 14 days for $18,000 - but I only had one hip done.  We had a fantastic time since we stayed at the Holiday Inn with 8 other hippies.  We partied in the lounge each night, ate together and went sight seeing about 5 days post op.  It was a fantastic experience.

I am so glad you shared you experience. This is the place to do it.  Not a national registry - but just info for people wanting hip resurfacing. Many without insurance who do have to travel to Belgium or India. I get over 4000 unique visitors a month and growing - so many people will see your information.

Please stay in touch.  I hope your recovery continues to be quick and easy.

Pat
« Last Edit: December 10, 2007, 09:31:49 PM by Pat Walter »
Webmaster/Owner of Surface Hippy
3/15/06 LBHR De Smet

 

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