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Home / Pathway to Surgery

Paul Stevenson 72, English Channel Swim,

It's important to understand what may be involved in your upcoming surgery.
Here's our step-by-step guide.

When you make an appointment, you’ll get to meet with one of our orthopaedic specialists who will
discuss your specific injury. Following your appointment, the team will discuss possible complications,
risks, and surgical approaches specific to your case, drawing on their collective expertise,
to decide on the best treatment option for you.

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What’s involved with a hip or knee surgery? Do you really need a total hip replacement? Will having a knee replacement enable you to enjoy a pain free active lifestyle again?

Answering these and other questions will be part of your consultation with our team of orthopaedic surgeons at Vincent Pallotti Hospital.

Please bring x-rays, referral letters and medical aid details to your appointment.


Preparing for surgery needn’t be stressful. We will help you with everything you need to know before your procedure. All patients should not eat nor drink 6 hours prior to their operation.

These important steps are what you need to know leading up to surgery:

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All our surgeries are performed in a dedicated orthopaedic theatre at Life Orthopaedic Hospital, Cape Town.

Here is what you need to know to prepare:

ADMISSION - Please take note of your admission time so that you can arrive relaxed and on time.

NO EATING - As mentioned, all our patients should not eat nor drink 6 hours prior to their operation.

SHOWER - Take one last pre-operative medicated soap shower prior to admission to reduce the risk of infection.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS - The Anaesthetist will see you in the ward preceding the operation. If you have any special requirements, allergies or previous anaesthetic problems, please be sure to tell the medical staff.

THE PROCEDURE – This takes approximately 2 hours in the theatre. Once the Anaesthetist has checked you and is satisfied, you will be transferred to the recovery ward.


RECOVERY WARD - You will be transferred to the recovery ward the next morning if your vitals are stable and your recovery is progressing satisfactorily.

MOBILISATION - The physio will assist with your initial mobilisation. This is an important step to get you moving as soon as possible.

HOSPITAL STAY - You can expect your hospital stay to be between 2-5 days before you are discharged and can go home.

PHYSIO - The physio will provide you with the necessary information and exercises, so you can continue your mobilisation exercises at home.

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As an added service to you, Cape Hip and Knee Practice provides you with an experienced clinical nurse who will instruct you about your wound care and dressing to try and avoid the need to travel into hospital for wound inspection after 2 to 3 weeks.

The initial few weeks after surgery are vital for your recovery and it is important that you know what you need to do to get mobile again and make the best recovery possible.