Wrexham hospital hip replacement patients go home same day
Some patients can return home on the same day as their hip replacement operation at one hospital in Wales.
Wrexham Maelor is allowing people to leave under supervision if consultants consider it safe - the average stay after the surgery is about three days.
Doctors have said the clinician-led project was about working "smarter" and not motivated by cost-cutting.
"It's brilliant being in your own home, I couldn't wait," said patient Vanessa Bryan, 47, from Brynteg, Wrexham.
The care worker has rheumatoid arthritis and, for the past two years, has found it increasingly difficult to manage even basic tasks without severe pain in her right hip joint.
"Going for a walk with my grandchildren, going to the park, things like that have been so hard," she said.
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Less than eight hours after having a new ceramic hip joint fitted, Ms Bryan was back home where she had family support and access to a 24/7 helpline.
District nurse Phyllis Hughes, who went to see her the next morning, said she was pleased with her progress.
She said patients sleep better and feel more comfortable in their own home, which all helps towards a speedy recovery.
"The pain I was having for two years has totally gone," said Ms Bryan.
"It's just the post-op pain I've got now. It's worked straight away."
She is younger than most hip replacement patients but it meant she was able to choose same-day discharge surgery.
It is being offered to people under 70 in good overall health who have a support network to help them at home - the surgical and medical teams also provide aftercare.
Consultant surgeon Ibrahim Malek said: "Patients are only allowed to go home when it's safe, according to stringent safety criteria.
"This project is all about smarter, sensible ways to utilise resources."