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Author Topic: Bi-lateral in Belgium in 2 weeks!  (Read 6887 times)

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Torontogirl

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Bi-lateral in Belgium in 2 weeks!
« on: June 20, 2012, 01:44:06 AM »
I am a brand new member to this site, although I have been reading and following faithfully the helpful, informative posts since March. Finally taken the plunge and am having Bi-lat done with Dr. De Smet in just 2 weeks. Just wondered what is the protocol for recovery immediately after surgery-is a walker used or straight to crutches? I'm having a hard time imagining how one manages with both hips operated on. Also what do I need to bring from home for the hospital (from the ladies-Pj's or nightgown?)Do I need to purchase crutches, walker from home? Does the hospital provide towels, soap? Can you use wi-fi in the Jan Palfin hospital? I know that I am in excellent hands with Dr De Smet, but still am feeling apprehensive about the surgery- I was not prepared to be told that my right hip was in such bad shape, as well as my "known" left hip problem. . I  have been limping like a" Penquin" so badly these last few years that I want to be able to walk normally and more than a block!. If anyone reading this is from Canada (Ontario) do you know if there is any physio support for when we get back home or are we on our own because our surgery was done "electively' out of country? I am not aware of many Canadian surface hippies out there but if there are I would appreciate hearing of your experiences when recovering back home.

Pat Walter

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Re: Bi-lateral in Belgium in 2 weeks!
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2012, 12:50:22 PM »
Hi.  Welcome to Hip Talk.

I went to Belgium in March 2006 to have my hip resurfacing with Dr. De Smet.  All patients including bilats will use crutches.  You will stay a day extra in the hospital than I did with one hip.  I stayed 2 1/2 days.  They will have you walking stairs before leaving to make sure you are mobile on the crutches. You will get your PT and nurse visits at the Holiday Inn - I assume that is where you are staying.  There is not usually any PT required when returning home. He recommends to walk, walk and walk.  I tried doing a bit of PT for THR patients and they would not keep me since I was so far ahead of normal THR patients.  The bilats get around well.  One of them was only using one crutch when I was there.  Most of us only used one crutch with one hip, but I was surprised to see a bilat on one crutch.  By the time you fly home, you will be well on your way to being mobile and doing a lot of walking.  Don't worry about it.  They will take good care of you. 

Back in 2006, you were suppose to take your own soap and towels, but even then there were some in the hospital.  The hospital is excellent, but more like one from 20 years ago in it's feel.  That doesn't include the care.  They did a great job of taking care of me and the 8 others with me at the time.  There were always a group of overseas patients then.   You will make friends with those having surgery close to yours.  We all ate to together and even went sight seeing 5 days post op.  The folks at the time were very friendly.  I am sure it will be the same now.  You develope close ties to those with replaced hips who are crutching around.

The hospital provides the elbow crutches and you will take them home with you.  Make sure you tell your airline up front that you need wheelchair assistance both going and coming.  You can't crutch the airports.  Too diffiuclt.  They let me have bulkhead seats coming home so I could stand and stretch on the 8 1/2 hour flight coming home.  Also use the first class, handicapped bathroom.  You have to get up and walk every 45 minutes to 60 minutes.  You will give yourself 2 shots of heprin before getting on the plane.  You will have TEDS on.  They will tell you to circle your ankles to keep blood clots from forming.  Hundreds of us have done it already, so I know you can too.

Loose PJs for the hospital and after. You need to get them on and off easily for nurse checks. 

I don't know about wi-fi now at the hospital.  Not then.  The Holiday Inn and computers in the lobby.  Hopefully now they have wi fi.  Make sure your phone is international.  I got my Euros at my bank before going there.  I ordered the private cab for the ride from the airport to Ghent.  45 minutes drive.  Did not want to do the train.  I think it was around $50.  You can ask.  I did not want to be crutching around and trying to push suit cases too.  Take a converter for any electrical devices.  I think a lot of laptops take both voltages.  Check on your electric stuff.

Just relax and go with the flow.  De Smet and team are great.  Many have gone before and and I imagine many will continue to go to him.  He is one of the best in the world.  I would go back if I needed my other hip done.  Ghent is a wonderful place to visit if you get a chance.  Go a day early and get rid of the jet lag.  Take a canal cruise and enjoy the Belgium chocolate and beer.

You can read my story here to learn more  http://www.surfacehippy.info/belgium&mybhrebook.php

Good Luck.

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

Torontogirl

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Re: Bi-lateral in Belgium in 2 weeks!
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2012, 02:16:50 PM »
Thank you Pat- I feel better already!-. I have just discovered there is another bi/lat being done the same day so feel better that there is someone to commiserate with!
Another question to anyone that has had their surgery in Ghent-any suggestions on where my friend should stay good to stay-do most companions stay at the Holiday Inn ? Since I will be in the hospitals for 5 days-I was wondering if there somewhere else more central and convenient for her. I understand you pretty well have to cab it everywhere from the Holiday Inn.

Angy

Pat Walter

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Re: Bi-lateral in Belgium in 2 weeks!
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2012, 03:20:33 PM »
I think there are some bed and breakfasts that might be cheaper, but my ex stayed at the Holiday Inn while I was in the hospital.  Back then and I am sure now, the Hiliday Inn has a shuttle that is free to get around Ghent.

The cab from the Brussels airport to Ghent was about $50.  I imagine it might be different now.  I felt it was too diffiuclt to ride the train with luggage and crutches.  Many ride the train for that trip.  Check with your contact from De Smets office.

There are some food stores not too far from the Holiday Inn.  Most take a bus around if they could not walk.  Some bought stuff for sandwiches for in their rooms to cut costs.  It is costlly to eat all meals at the Holiday Inn, but we did.  We looked at it as a vacation and enjoyed every minute except the hospital stay. It was fine, but not the fun runing around Ghent was.

Have your friend get maps and ask about where there is a store.  The shuttle should take her back and forth to the hospital because it is not within walking distance of the Holiday Inn.

We found people to be very friendly.  Most speak English since it is the common language between the French and Dutch in the country.

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

Tin Soldier

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Re: Bi-lateral in Belgium in 2 weeks!
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2012, 07:57:29 PM »
Can't help you much since I had mine done 6 months apart, but I think you need to be prepard to have a lot of assistance for a few days, post op.  I had a lot oof trouble getting in and out of bed for a couple days and that was with one new hip. 

Pat is certainly the one to ask about Ghent and De Smet.  I've seen some pictures of Ghent and it looks like a really cool place.  You should try to do some sight seeing, if you get the chance.  Might be a little hard to focus on having fun just before surgery, but you might also have a sense of calmness due to the fact that you're committed, and you have one of the most experienced surgeons in the world.  I think you might have some pretty intense but good memories of the whole adventure once you've gotten a few weeks down the road. Try to enjoy as much of it as you can. 

Keep us posted and ask questions if you have any.  There is a lot of experience on the forum.  Good Luck. 
LBHR 2/22/11, RBHR 8/23/11 - Pritchett.

Roberta

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Re: Bi-lateral in Belgium in 2 weeks!
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2012, 12:10:10 PM »
I am a New Yorker who is considering a bi-lateral with Dr. De Smet, as well. How are you doing?
I would welcome the opportunity to talk with you or anyone ele who has had this experience.
Please tell me if you are willing to share your experience.
Thank you.

Best,

Roberta

Pat Walter

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Re: Bi-lateral in Belgium in 2 weeks!
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2012, 12:38:56 PM »
Hi Roberta

I hope some others will talk to you about Dr. De Smet.  My experience is from 6 years ago and I am still doing very well.  No problems with my De Smet BHR.

If you do go to Belgium, please start a new topic under bilaterals or hip stories so we can follow your story.

Good Luck. Wish I could tell you more, but we have talked and you know I am 100% for Dr. De Smet.

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

 

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