Trust drops in to live ankle surgery at Pilgrim hospital

Earlier this month the ULHT comms team got the opportunity to observe some live ankle replacement surgery at Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.

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Earlier this month the ULHT comms team got the opportunity to observe some live ankle replacement surgery at Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.

As previously reported, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr Harish Kurup and his orthopaedic team, have adopted an innovative new way of working at Pilgrim, which allows some ankle replacement patients to undergo surgery and return home the same day. 

We got the chance to follow Linda Andrews, who allowed us exclusive access to film her procedure, speak to her post op and follow her entire passage through Pilgrim.

A reporter from BBC Look North also filmed the surgery for a report which was broadcast in the subsequent weekend bulletins.

Linda said she was delighted when she found out she’d be having surgery and going back home all in one day.

“I’ve been in quite a lot of pain for about two or three years now,” said Linda.

“I get a lot of aching and can’t really walk on it, it gives me a lot of sleepless nights so I was really pleased to get this done.

“I was really relieved when I found out I was having it done and not at all scared.  I’d much prefer to have it done the same day and get back to normal as quick as possible.

“I can’t walk long distances, can’t play football with the grandchildren and even struggle to ride a bike.”

Linda’s surgery took around an hour-and-a-half to complete and she received top class treatment from Mr Kurup and his dedicated team.

She was back from recovery at around 5pm and ready to go back home for 8pm the same evening.

Mr Kurup said this new way of working was having benefits for both the patients who are eligible and the wider Trust in general.

“Patients always prefer to stay at home so if care can be delivered in an outpatient or day case setting, it’s often much better as they’d rather be in their own beds at the end of the day,” said Mr Kurup.

“Historically we would have kept this patient in for up to three days, but by modifying things slightly, getting the right pain control, seeing physiotherapy pre-op and being taught how to walk without putting weight on the ankle, we’re managing to get some patients home quicker.

“It’s a real team effort, from pre-operative nursing, surgery and through to arranging physio.  Linda’s was the fourth day case ankle replacement we’ve complete and the first on a woman.

“We had to cancel a lot of operations at the hospital due to lack of beds so if more patients are not having to stay overnight, it all helps to alleviate a little bit of the pressure.”

We’ll be catching up with Linda in a few weeks’ time, so watch this space for an update on how she’s getting on.

You can follow Linda’s journey on Twitter using the hashtag #ankleteam and also see a live feed from the surgery on our Facebook page.  Search for ‘United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust – ULHT’.

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