A Lanarkshire woman has become the first patient to undergo a shoulder replacement surgery without the need to remain in hospital overnight.
Anne Stillman has suffered from rheumatoid arthritis since she was a teenager and has undergone a number of procedures over the years as her condition worsened.
She needed shoulder replacement surgery as the normal ball-and-socket structure had worn so severely that an artificial shoulder was required to allow her to be able to move her arm and relieve her ongoing pain.
Patients normally remain in hospital overnight and are reviewed in the morning before discharge but Anne’s consultant, Stephen Hannah, a consultant trauma and orthopaedic surgeon at NHS Lanarkshire’s shoulder and elbow service, has been leading the way on trying to get patients who fit a particular criteria home after the surgery as quickly as possible.
It comes as hospitals across the country are under severe pressure due to accident and emergency waiting times, and bed blocking.
In December, Anne became the first patient to meet the requirements for a reverse total shoulder replacement surgery and be home by early evening the same day to sleep in her own bed.
She was discharged by dinner time with appropriate medication and came back to Wishaw the following morning to be reviewed.
Mr Hannah said: “This has massive potential benefits for both the health service and the patients.
“Nobody wants to stay in hospital any longer than necessary and being able to do shoulder replacement surgery and let the patient go home on the same day is remarkable and we are extremely proud of the team for being able to offer this to suitable patients.
“Anne was the first and we have already had another patient who underwent the same surgery and was home the same day.
“It will not suit everyone but where it is possible we can now let patients go home to their own bed after shoulder replacement surgery.
“We are hoping that this will become the norm and not the exception for patients choosing to undergo this particular procedure.”
Speaking about the procedure, Anne said: “I went to Wishaw in the morning, had my surgery and was home before 7pm.
“Mr Hannah explained everything to me and following the surgery I was given pain relief and discharged. It was great to be able to go home that night and not stay in hospital as I could get into my own bed.
“Before surgery it was really difficult as I had limited movement of my left arm. Now, while I do not yet have full movement, it is coming back to me and every day I can see a difference.”