Healthbase has helped an uninsured American patient get double hip resurfacing surgeries in India. The high cost of Birmingham hip resurfacing surgery in the United States plus the lack of expertise in this procedure in the country continues to drive scores of Americans to India.

Nov. 21, 2008, Boston, MA. Healthbase Online Inc., an award-winning medical tourism facilitator based in Boston, Massachusetts, helps an Arizona-based former ballet dancer treat her hip osteoarthritis in India. 53-year old Katharine Frey who had arthritis in both her hips traveled to Apollo Hospitals, Chennai to have her hips resurfaced and availed of the 85% discount on the cost of the surgery.

“I have appreciated everything we have experienced and received at the Apollo Hospitals . Everyone has been very kind, supportive and helpful,” says Katharine after her hip resurfacing surgery last winter. She was so happy with the quality of care she received at her overseas hospital that she went back a few months later to have her second hip resurfaced.

Being uninsured, the $60,000 required to have a single hip resurfaced in the US seemed out of reach for Katharine. This led her into researching her other option – surgery overseas – and contacting Healthbase who coordinated both her surgeries in India for $8,000 each. The price included doctor’s fees, physical therapy and a week in the hospital.

According to Saroja Mohanasundaram, CEO of Healthbase , “Our clients prefer going abroad for Birmingham hip resurfacing because it is a fairly new procedure in the US but has been in use, say, in India, for many years. Being a major procedure it demands years of practice on the surgeon’s part to gain proficiency. The fact that Katharine went back to have her other hip resurfaced in India speaks volumes about the high level of satisfaction with our service and that of our partner hospitals and surgeons.”

Katharine Frey taking off on a paragliding flight just weeks after her hip resurfaicng surgery in India
Katharine Frey taking off on a paragliding flight just weeks after her hip resurfacing surgery in India

Katharine returned to work merely two and a half weeks post operation and to teaching ballet twenty days post operation. Katharine actively participates in swimming, yoga, hiking, paragliding, and cross-country road trips. “She has no pain in her hips and is moving and functioning like a normal human. I am so grateful and am enjoying watching Katharine return to life,” remarks Scott Martin, Katharine’s husband.

Katharine was operated upon by Dr. Vijay Bose and his team. Dr. Bose, a specialist in Birmingham Hip Resurfacing, Joint Replacement and Sports Medicine, has over a thousand BHR surgeries under his belt.
“Beyond the cost savings, the attention given was remarkable. Dr. Bose and his qualified staff will always be remembered for this,” adds Katharine.

Impressed by the high quality of care in India, even Scott, who accompanied Katharine to India addressed some of his periodontal issues through dental scaling and crowns at Apollo Hospitals while Katharine recuperated after her second Birmingham hip resurfacing surgery.

“It has been a positive life changing process for both of us. Thank you, Healthbase, for being so receptive, supportive and professional,” acknowledge Katharine and Scott.

Healthbase connects patients from across the globe to health care facilities in India, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, Philippines, Turkey, Belgium, Hungary, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Mexico and United States. Healthbase has over 45 providers on its network.

About Healthbase Online Inc.:

Healthbase, an award-winning Boston-based medical tourism and dental tourism facilitator, is a one-stop source for global medical and dental choices, connecting patients to leading healthcare providers around the world. Healthbase coordinates over 200 procedures in various categories like orthopedic, spinal , cardiac, bariatric, urology , oncology , dental , cosmetic and general surgery . Some of the common procedures offered are Birmingham hip resurfacing , total hip replacement , knee replacement , ACL repair , rotator cuff surgery , spinal fusion , spinal disk replacement, heart bypass surgery , lap band , gastric bypass , cancer treatment , liposuction, dental implants, crowns, bridges, etc. for a fraction of the cost in the US with equal or superior outcomes. Healthbase’s partner healthcare facilities are located in Thailand, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Turkey, Belgium, Hungary, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Mexico and USA, and are expanding to Canada, UK, Jordan, Taiwan, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, El Salvador and Guatemala. To ensure that patients receive the best care possible, Healthbase works mainly with hospitals that have international accreditations like JCI, JCAHO and ISO. Healthbase caters to the needs of individual consumers, self-funded businesses, insurance carriers, benefit consultants, insurance agents, and third party administrators seeking affordable medical travel and dental travel options. To learn more, call 1-888-691-4584, email info.hb @ healthbase.com or visit http://www.healthbase.com.

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What is a total hip replacement?
A total hip replacement surgery or THR (also known as total hip arthroplasty, full hip replacement and complete hip replacement) is a procedure performed in order to treat:
• osteoarthritis of the hip joint (bone on bone)
• severe pain in hip joint
• loss of motion in hip joint
• deformity of the hip joint
• hip injuries
• rheumatoid arthritis
• bone tumor
• bone loss due to insufficient blood supply (avascular necrosis – AVN)

What are the components of a hip implant in a total hip replacement?
total hip replacement surgery implant photo xrayIn a total hip replacement surgery, the painful parts of the damaged hip are replaced with artificial hip parts called a prosthesis, a device that substitutes or supplements a joint. The prosthesis consists of steel components: a socket, ball, and stem.

The outer shell of the socket is usually made of metal and the inner shell consists of plastic, or the entire socket may be plastic. When the metal ball is joined with the socket, the new hip can allow for smooth, nearly frictionless movement.

What are the different hip replacement implant options available?
The materials used in the implant depend on several factors, including the age of the patient, the activity level of the patient, and the surgeon’s preference.
Below are brief generic descriptions of some of the most commonly used hip replacement implants.

• Metal and Plastic Implant
These are the most commonly used hip replacement implants. Both the ball and the socket of the hip joint are replaced with a metal prosthesis, and a plastic spacer is placed in between. The metals used include titanium, stainless steel, and cobalt chrome. The plastic is called polyethylene.

• Metal-on-Metal Implant
In this case there is no plastic piece inserted in between. Metal-on-metal implants do not wear out as quickly as the metal and plastic materials.

• Ceramic-on-Ceramic Implant
Ceramic bearings are available in 2 configurations: a ceramic femoral head (ball) with a polyethylene liner, or a ceramic femoral head (ball) with a ceramic liner. These are designed to be the most resistant to wear of all available hip replacement implants and they wear even less than the metal-on-metal implants. Ceramics are more scratch resistant and smoother than any of these other implant materials.

• Metal and Highly Crosslinked Polyethylene
One of the more commonly used implants are new types of plastic that are designed to be more resistant to wearing out. These so-called highly crosslinked plastics are manufactured in a way that they wear out less quickly than the traditional plastics. However, since these implants have been available only for a few years, no long-term data is present to establish how well they work compared to the traditional plastic implants.

How is the implant affixed in the body?
This is achieved in one of three ways:
• Bone Cement: A special type of bone acrylic cement may be used to secure some or all of the implant components to the bone. If used, the bone cement takes about 15 minutes to set.
• Press-Fit or Cementless: The implants may be “press-fit” into the bone. Press-fit components may have a special porous coating that allows bone tissue to grow up to it for fixation.
• Combination: Depending upon the implant components and condition of the pelvic and thigh bone, a combination of cement and press-fit attachment may be used.

Who are some of the hip replacement implant manufacturers?
Some of the hip replacement implants manufacturers are:
Johnson & Johnson DePuy
Stryker
Biomet
Zimmer
Smith & Nephew

What activities can I do or not do after receiving a hip joint replacement?
• Typically, patients are advised to avoid high impact sports such as jogging, basketball, racquetball, gymnastics, etc.
• Safer activities may include walking, golf, swimming, and bicycling.

What is the MIS (minimally invasive surgery) approach in total hip replacement surgery? What are its benefits?
The MIS approach (also known as “keyhole surgery”) in total hip replacement (THR) is an alternative to the traditional total hip replacement surgery. Traditional surgery involves a long incision and the surgeon has to cut muscles, tendons and ligaments to access the hip joint. The more tissues that are cut, the longer it usually takes patients to heal. The MIS approach is a less invasive approach of doing a hip replacement surgery in which the size of the cut is reduced. Newer surgical techniques and tools allow MIS surgeons to place the same hip implant in a manner that allows muscles and tendons to be avoided or separated, rather than cut. This makes rehabilitation faster and less painful and causes less scarring.

Some of the potential patient benefits of the MIS procedure are:
• A single, smaller incision
• Less tissue trauma
• Spares muscles and tendons, allowing for the possibility of a faster recovery
• Faster and less painful rehabilitation
• Shorter hospital stay
• Smaller scar
• Reduced blood loss and less need for pre-surgery blood donation
• Faster return to work and daily activities

Is there an alternative to total hip replacement?
Hip replacement is usually considered for patients who are older than 60. For younger active patients, a different surgery called Birmingham hip resurfacing is a better alternative. Compare hip replacement with hip resurfacing.

How much does a total hip replacement surgery cost?
Check out:
Hip replacement in India
Hip replacement in Belgium
Hip replacement in Mexico

Who are some of the well-known surgeons who perform the hip replacement surgery?
Dr. Vijay C. Bose
Dr. Kaushal Malhan
Dr. Yash Gulati
Dr. Raju Vaishya
Dr. Sanjiv KS Marya
Dr. Koen De Smet
Dr. Dario Garin

Check out patient stories here.

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