Frequently Asked Questions
Most hospitals do allow medical prosthetic providers to be present in some capacity as an observer only unless they have credentials to treat in the institution. The typical and customary documentation is positive proof of name (ID), relationship to the patient, company and/or academic affiliation, and proof of immunizations. This varies based on the institution and includes, but is not limited to, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Flu vaccine, etc. Arrangements must be made before the date of surgery, with the institution, by the individual.
We prefer that all patients are seen over a regular and reasonable time frame, with allowances for those who come from a distance. Typically, visits are every two weeks, then on a monthly basis. Once the incisions are healed, and you are undergoing fittings for your new prosthesis, then less frequent visits are required.
This question is best answered by how your life is being affected by your current level of function. Ask yourself, “Can I do all of my activities of daily living and still enjoy a reasonable level of function?” This decision is very personal and can really only be answered by you, but we encourage you to discuss your options and ask questions, so that you feel comfortable with your decision, and especially encourage Peer discussion (see resource section).
The average surgery time is approximately 3–4 hours.
With any surgery, there is a risk of bleeding and infection. Blood loss is minimized by the use of tourniquets. Infection is minimized by giving antibiotics preoperatively and sterile technique in the operating room. Other risks depend on your overall medical conditions.
The average hospital stay after surgery is approximately 3–7 days, depending on each individual’s medical and surgical needs. Discharge planning requires medical and surgical stability, as well as possibly a short-term rehabilitation stay.
The initial postoperative pain is approximately 3–7 days. Phantom limb pain is unique to amputees and usually occurs within the first 3–6 months and can taper off, but “flare-ups” can occur even years later.
You will be up in a chair within a day of surgery and, soon after, you will be using a walker or crutches to get around.
Most patients will have a drain, which will be removed prior to your discharge from the hospital; sutures are removed in 10–14 days.
While in the hospital, you will be seen daily unless other arrangements are necessary.
Pre-surgical evaluation with a Prosthetist is strongly encouraged so that a relationship can be established and goals discussed. This will help them in fitting and allow you to discuss prosthetic options.
You will be fitted for a temporary prosthesis approximately 6–8 weeks after surgery, and a permanent prosthesis approximately 6–12 months after surgery.
Depending on your insurance carrier, our managed care department, or the hospital will notify your insurance company of your upcoming surgery.