Medical Advancements in Lincolnshire

The first-ever keyhole hip replacement was carried out at Grantham and District Hospital earlier this month.

The surgery was performed by Mr Prasad Antapur, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, using a new technique that creates a much smaller incision. Only a small group of surgeons have been selected to perform this type of surgery across the country, which is using specifically designed equipment from MicroPort.


How are hip replacements traditionally performed?

Traditional hip replacements involve the muscles and tendons surrounding the hip joint being cut, to enable the surgeon to remove the damaged hip joint and replace it with an artificial joint. A traditional hip replacement will result in an incision of approximately 20cm, compared to just 5cm for minimally invasive procedures.

The hip will typically be dislocated during the procedure, while the replacement joint is fitted. The procedure usually takes 1 to 2 hours.

Patients can typically expect to spend 3 to 5 days in the hospital before they are discharged home, and will be required to use a frame or crutches to mobilise. Patients can normally resume light activities within 6 weeks.


What is keyhole surgery?

Keyhole surgery is a type of surgery that allows a surgeon to access the inside of the body without causing a large incision in the skin. It is also sometimes referred to as a “minimally invasive surgery”.

The benefits of using keyhole surgery are that no muscles are cut during the procedure, which enables the patient to be discharged home much sooner and resume normal activities quicker than they would with a traditional hip replacement operation. It is reported that patients experience very little pain and are able to walk soon after the surgery.

In a keyhole hip replacement, the muscles and tendons around the hip joint are not cut, they are simply moved to the side, to provide the surgeon with access to fit the replacement joint. The hip will also not need to be dislocated, which the surgeons hope will make the joint stronger for the long term.

As a result of the smaller incision, the patient will also experience reduced scarring.


What does this mean for the future?

It is hoped that keyhole surgery will soon be available for all hip replacement surgeries across the county. It is estimated that around 95,000 people undergo hip replacement surgery in the UK each year, so this new technique could be beneficial to many people.

Due to the decreased time that patients are required to stay in the hospital, it is hoped that the surgical teams will be able to carry out more operations as day cases and decrease waiting times for the procedure.

It is important to note that minimally invasive surgery will not be appropriate for all patients. Your surgeon should discuss the risks and benefits of both procedures with you, to enable you to form a decision on which is the best option for you.

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