Patient Priority of Service

Greatly improving the quality of life for patients suffering with osteoarthritis and related conditions has been, and continues to be, my passion. This passion starts with our first meeting, before any decision to operate is made.

So what should you expect?

Following referral by your family doctor, you will be interviewed and examined at one of our offices at Kanwal or Erina. The first appointment usually takes around 25-30 minutes and we spend a lot of that time getting to know about you, your condition, how it affects you and your family and the things you would like to be able to do that are currently being compromised. Past medical history is also assessed as well as your home situation and circumstances in relation to how they may affect any treatment proposed.

A physical examination is then performed. X-Rays and any other tests will be carefully reviewed and a treatment plan formulated. This may require further investigation before a final treatment plan is made, or if no further tests are needed a plan can be made then with your approval. Ample opportunity will be made for any questions to be asked and any concerns aired before deciding on a course of action, whether surgical or otherwise. The benefits and risks of any treatment proposed will be discussed thoroughly with particular reference to your circumstances.

A letter will then be dictated to your family doctor in your presence and I will check that this fits with your interpretation of our discussions. Follow-up appointments or surgeries will be arranged prior to your departure from our offices. It is important for me to understand as much about you and your circumstances as possible, hence the time taken at your first visit. If more time is needed, more time is given, or a second appointment can be made if you wish to discuss the issues with your referring family doctor, family, friends and employers. Surgery for treating osteoarthritic joints is as much about the right time as it is about the right surgery for you.

If surgery is decided on, my staff will advise on the details of the arrangements, timing and preparation for surgery. Costs, booking procedures and contact details for your Anaesthetist and Surgical Assistant will be provided. Not every answer may be immediately available, but the means to the answers will be explained. You may also find it worthwhile to view the FAQ’s section of this website.

Generally you will be admitted to hospital on the day of your surgery. Following transfer to the operating theatres, I will personally meet you in the anaesthetic bay to confirm the surgery to be performed and to answer any last minute questions. Following this, our team will commence the anaesthetic and surgery. It will ALWAYS be performed to the best of our abilities and with the UTMOST care. Following its completion you will be transferred to the recovery ward, where your progress will be monitored very closely. If needed, an X-Ray is performed prior to returning to your ward bed for further observation. For a Primary hip or knee replacement, you will be away from your ward bed an average of 4-5 hours, whereas for a Revision procedure this will be longer.

The day after surgery, I will be in to check on your progress, and will advise you about the findings from your surgery and discuss your X-rays. Shortly after, your rehabilitation starts with our physiotherapists. The success of your surgery and support through your recovery are extremely important to me, and hence I make personal visits to post-operative patients after hours and on weekends. Once you are confidently walking and negotiating stair you are close to being able to return home. An occupational therapist will also visit you while you are in hospital to make sure any aids you require after discharge are made available. Some patients require a longer hospital stay for further rehabilitation and this can also be arranged. Outpatient physiotherapy and hydrotherapy will also be arranged at the time of discharge if needed.

Following discharge, I will see you in the office at 4-6 weeks following surgery, then again at approximately 10-12 weeks. Long-term follow-up of joint replacements is essential, and reviews at 1 year, 10 years, 15 years and 20 years will be arranged at the appropriate times. At 20 years 9 out of 10 hip and knee replacements are still going well and do not need further surgery!