The first patients have walked out of the hospital just a few hours after total knee replacement surgery thanks to a cutting-edge approach to pain relief carried out at George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust.
The Trust is the first in the UK to have the use of the innovative drug Exparel, a non-opioid nerve block which relieves pain from surgery for up 72 hours, approved for knee replacement surgery.
One of the first patients to be given this new lease of life was Susan Rollins from Nuneaton, who was filmed walking out of the hospital after receiving surgery earlier that day.
Susan said: “I didn’t realise the immediate difference it would have; it was awesome.
“To have a total knee replacement and leave hospital on the same day was excellent and since my surgery I have been able to get around quite easily, which I am really reassured by. I did get some pain after a few days, but it has been manageable with standard pain killers and is what you would expect with major surgery.
“I cannot thank the team enough, they made it all very easy and ensured I was not apprehensive at all, I was back on the ward having my lunch so soon after it was like magic, I felt like I had not had surgery at all.
“I still have some recovery to go with the physiotherapists and keen to get back out into my garden and just going about my life as normal as quickly as I can."
The innovative approach means patients can mobilise shortly after they come around from surgery which, with the support of Physiotherapists and Nursing staff, dramatically increases their recovery time.
An analysis of patients found that previously it took an average of three days for knee replacement patients to recover enough from surgery to leave hospital and required ongoing opiate-based pain relief.
Dr Mahul Gorecha, Anaesthetic Consultant at George Eliot, highlighted the benefit to patients: “Getting patients back on their feet as quickly as possible is vital to their recovery, we are delighted to see the impact that our cutting-edge approach is having on our patients lives.
“We are truly giving our patients the best opportunity for long term recovery that we can and are very proud to be at the forefront of innovation in this area.
“We hope that other Trusts are able to learn from our success so far in finding the best use pathways for this new drug to improve the care we can offer for patients.”
Dr Kausik Dasgupta, Anaesthetic Consultant at George Eliot, added: “This success has only been made possible by the whole team at the Trust.
“We have been able to develop a unique protocol which has achieved results never seen elsewhere and cascade this effectively to the whole team.
“This includes the Physiotherapists, Nursing staff, Theatre team and medical team who have put the whole infrastructure in place to deliver this industry leading care.
“This is hugely beneficial for the Trust too as we can care for more patients in a shorter time, with better long-term results, showcasing our ambition to use latest medical innovations to provider a better overall experience for our patients.”
Chief Executive of George Eliot Hospital Trust, Glen Burley added: “Innovations like this are key to helping the NHS providing patients with the best care whilst increasing capacity to treat others and reducing waiting times
“I am delighted to see the drive and dedication from the team to deliver innovation to improve patient care and lead by example”