"The possibility of medical problems tends to be very low." Doctor Thomas P. Sculco, Surgeon-in-Chief at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, notes how uncommon general medical problems are for patients of hip replacement surgery.
Dr. Sculco: When I have a conversation about the downside of this operation. I generally break the risk component into three categories. The general medical risks that you have with any operation which are really not any greater with a hip replacement than with another operation. The risk of anesthesia, the risks of having surgery and the potential bleeding that can occur. The risks of an abdominal or some other incidental problem that can occur incidental to the operation. Now, they tend to be really uncommon. And our patients can all be screened medically prior to surgery. So we're aware if there is a potential issue prior to doing the operation. Doing that, and with expeditious surgery, the operative time for hip replacement is between and hour and a hour and thirty minutes. So it's not a long operation. And then using a very safe anesthetic, like an epidural. The possibility of medical problems tends to be very low.
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