The Hana table, funded by the James H. Cummings Foundation, is now allowing surgeons at MGH to radically change the way they perform hip replacements.
Total hip arthroplasty is ranked as one of the most cost-effective medical interventions in improving quality of life, with approximately 45,000 hip replacements performed annually in Canada.
Typically however, it has been an invasive procedure with a long recovery time.
That’s because hip replacement has traditionally been performed with the patient sideways, requiring the physician to make incisions into the large muscles of the pelvis or femur to access the hip joint. This approach resulted in more pain and a longer recovery.
Minimally invasive technique
The Hana table is a specially designed operating table that enables the surgeon to position a patient facing upward. Though the surgery is the same, the table allows surgeons to use a direct anterior approach—replacing the hip through a single incision without detaching the muscle from the pelvis or femur.
“This minimally invasive technique allows us to work between these large muscles rather than going through them,” explains Dr. Dmitry Tsvetkov, orthopedic surgeon at MGH, “so patients experience much less pain and recover more quickly.”
Patients can usually be discharged within one or two days, and recovery is reduced from six weeks down to just one or two—an appealing prospect for people who just want to get back to their regular activities.
“More and more people are asking for this type of procedure, mainly because they want to get back to their everyday lives as soon as possible,” says Dr. Tsvetkov. “For patients who have this surgery, mobility is restored almost immediately, with most patients able to walk the same day.”
The Hana table is very versatile, and can also be used for other types of surgeries, including knee replacements, shoulder and trauma procedures.
A new standard of care
It takes some time for surgeons to practice and learn the procedure, but the time invested pays off in patient satisfaction.
Dr. Tsvetkov, along with guest surgeon Dr. John Song of Welland Hospital will begin performing hip surgeries at MGH using the Hana table in December.
“This type of surgery is quickly becoming a standard of care,” explains Dr. Tsvetkov. “Having the equipment to do this procedure here at MGH is very important, and without donor support we would not have been able to do this. We’re very grateful.”