My wife is having the new minimally invasive surgery for her total hip replacement. I've been advised she may come home as early as the same day but will most likely be kept overnight. Does this seem right? What if something serious happens?
Total hip replacement remains one of the safest and most effective orthopedic surgeries available today. But problems can occur and they can be serious. Heart attacks and other cardiac complications top the list of major complications possible.

Same-day discharge is being used in some centers where minimally invasive surgery is performed. Other surgeons prefer to keep the patient overnight for observation. Many patients remain in the hospital for two to four days.

According to a recent study, patients with a minimally invasive procedure may need just as much postoperative care as those getting a standard hip replacement. There are two reasons for this.

First, both patients still had general anesthesia during the operation with possible complications from that. Second, the same bone cuts are made increasing the risk of bone or fat from inside the bone breaking off and traveling to the heart, lungs, or brain.

When your wife comes home, you will be given a list of post-operative instructions to follow. There should be a list of precautions and symptoms to watch out for. Most patients have an excellent recovery if they follow all the instructions. Family support is very important in this process. In the meantime, don't hesitate to call the doctor if you have any special concerns.