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Patients have a new choice for orthopedic procedures

  • Eagle correspondent
  • Published Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, at 11:24 a.m.

Since opening a dedicated four-bed orthopedic unit in August 2012, Galichia Heart Hospital in northeast Wichita has performed more than 135 surgeries.

The new unit offers patients another choice for total joint replacement and other orthopedic procedures, said Galichia Heart Hospital CEO Steven Edgar. The facility at 2610 N. Woodlawn, located not far off the K-96 highway, is a single-floor acute-care hospital with fewer than 100 beds.

Wesley Medical Center, Galichia’s parent organization, has been offering total joint replacement and orthopedic surgeries for more than 20 years, according to Paula Hopkins, a medical/surgical clinical nurse specialist who coordinates Wesley’s total joint program.

In 2008,Wesley created a specialized joint care program, with dedicated space and staff. Patients can take a free, 90-minute pre-operation class, offered twice a month, about what to expect before and after surgery, Hopkins said.

Eventually, patients opting to have orthopedic surgery at Galichia Heart Hospital will be able to participate in those free classes, as well, Edgar said. Galichia staff are trying to replicate many of the features of Wesley’s accredited program, he said.

When Galichia converted four private patient rooms into dedicated orthopedic rooms, for example, it installed such necessary equipment as overhead trapeze bars, toilet risers and special chairs to accommodate hip replacement patients. Patients are offered twice-daily physical therapy during their hospital stay, which averages about three days for total joint replacement.

Four surgeons currently offer total joint replacement at Galichia, while seven physicians do some form of either in-patient or out-patient procedures, such arthroscopic surgery, Edgar said.

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