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Check all the Hip Replacement Surgery clinics in Poland

2 results

(8 reviews)

Allestetis / Allmedica

Nowy Targ, Poland

(0 reviews)

Dworska Hospital

Cracow, Poland

Hip Replacement Poland

Hip replacement, often total hip replacement, is major surgery undertaken when either the pain from a hip joint can no longer be controlled by less invasive methods and/or the mobility of the patient is severely restricted. It involves replacing the ball and socket joint with a prosthesis. Post surgery the patient will need to walk with crutches or a walker for at least two weeks. Recovery will progress little by little, usually with a return to work after about six weeks and, by twelve weeks, the patient should be able to return to all normal daily activities. The recovery timeline will vary somewhat between patients, depending on the type and complexity of surgery.

Currently, hip replacement surgery is available in the UK free of charge to those eligible for NHS services. Unfortunately, the NHS’s own target of a maximum 18 week wait for such surgery, is now generally unattainable due to the strains and stresses put on the health service by the Covid-19 pandemic. Waiting lists are getting longer and longer with no real prospect of this situation changing in the short-term. Some pessimistic commentators have estimated that it will take up to ten years for the NHS to recover.

Prior to Brexit, there was a possibility of having NHS hip replacement abroad. The scheme involved having the surgery performed in another EU country and then being reimbursed for the hip replacement abroad by the NHS. This opportunity, however, no longer exists unless you are a resident of Ireland. The HSE does still have a similar agreement in place. So, for UK residents the only alternatives to NHS treatment are a private hip replacement in the UK or hip replacement surgery abroad.

The major attraction of hip replacement abroad is the considerably lower costs. Certainly, within Europe, countries offering a big reduction on UK costs can do so, not because of inferior service, but purely because the cost of living e.g. staff salaries, building maintenance etc. is much lower than in the UK. This is why hip replacement surgery in Poland is so popular.

Medical tourism in Poland first started attracting a significant number of patients from abroad around 2003, and the number of medical tourists has increased year on year, with the exception of the Covid pandemic years when international travel was severely restricted. Poland attracts patients from all over the world including the UK, Germany, Scandinavia, Belgium and the USA. So, for those people interested in medical tourism, Poland is a great place to have many medical procedures, including a hip replacement.

Krakow

Poland attracts patients from all over the world including the UK.

 

Medical treatment in Poland matches, and maybe sometimes even exceeds, the quality of private treatment in the UK. Medical treatment in Poland is in excellently appointed clinics and hospitals with state of the art equipment together with some of the best orthopaedic surgeons for hip replacement. Many of the top surgeons in Poland have spent time earlier in their career working in hospitals in the UK and other western European countries alongside some of the best orthopaedic surgeons. Hip replacement surgery is one of the most common medical procedures performed.

In Poland, medical tourism is a booming industry. It is customer-centred and attracts some of the best surgeons in Poland. When it comes to hip replacement, Poland is definitely a country worth considering.

Hip Replacement Cost Poland

How much is a private hip replacement? When we think about the cost of hip replacement, UK prices are extremely high. Assuming that the patient has no private medical insurance (which may pay part or even all of the costs), the private hip replacement cost is around £12,000, but can be as high as almost £17,000 depending on the UK region and the hospital/clinic. This price usually includes a 3-5 day stay in hospital.

The hip replacement cost abroad can be much cheaper. Although some very favourable prices are available in Asia and the Far East, unless you are planning to stay there for some time, maybe with relatives, the 10+ hour flight home may, firstly, be very uncomfortable after such major surgery and, secondly, can increase the risk of blood clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It is usually more advisable to consider countries nearer to the UK, especially those in Europe. The lowest hip replacement cost in Europe can be found in the central and eastern European countries where the cost of living is lower than in the UK and, in this respect, Poland is an excellent choice.

With hip replacement surgery in Poland, the patient will usually be expected to remain in the country for up to 14 days. Sometimes the patient will stay in the hospital/clinic throughout their stay, sometimes they will remain in hospital for 3-5 days and then move to a nearby hotel.

How much does a hip replacement cost in Poland? Like the UK, costs vary from region to region and from one hospital/clinic to another hospital/clinic. However, the cost of hip replacement in Poland starts at about £4,500. There will be extras to add to this hip replacement surgery cost. Return flight costs are usually not included in the basic cost. In addition, it is always worth checking whether the following are included in the hip replacement costs:

  • Additional hotel nights
  • Accommodation for an accompanying person (if applicable)
  • Walking aids e.g. a walker or crutches
  • Post-surgery physiotherapy
  • Post-surgery tests and consultations

Even with these additional costs (and probably some of these will be included in the basic cost), it can be seen that the cost of private hip replacement in Poland represents a huge saving on the cost of hip replacement surgery in the UK.

Why Hip Replacement Poland?

Poland is situated in central Europe to the east of Germany. It was one of the first countries to throw off the shackles of communism and immediately embraced the western European way of life. Today Poland is like any other western European country – with one exception – its relatively low cost of living. This means that for those earning western European salaries, food, hotel accommodation, transport, entertainment and, of course, private medical treatment can be bought very cheaply without any compromise on quality.

As an example, an average annual salary for an NHS consultant in the UK is around £100,000, although this can be much more in the private sector. In Poland the equivalent annual salary is about half of this amount. This is just an indication; obviously salaries vary greatly depending on experience, qualifications and specialisations. However, we can already start to see where significant cost reductions are available when paying for treatment in Poland.

Educated Orthopaedist

Does this, however, indicate that doctors in Poland are less well trained than in western European countries? The answer is a resounding – no!

A Polish orthopaedist must firstly go through the initial standard 6 year physician’s training at Medical School. Interestingly, due to the lower costs of education, Polish medical schools also offer their courses in English and train doctors from many other countries including Ukraine, Belarus, Norway, Sweden, Spain and India, to name but a few. All Polish Medical Schools must hold a license to train doctors and are strictly regulated and controlled by the government. In line with most other countries, specialisations e.g. orthopaedic doctors (or orthopaedist doctors) require further training of about 5 years. Doctor training programmes for most European countries are very similar. In addition, many doctors from Poland, at the beginning of their career, work in other European countries like Germany, Austria, Spain and the UK. Thus, their overall training is enhanced by their experience in other countries.

Polish nationals are the 4th most common group of foreigners to be employed by the NHS overall (not only doctors). In addition, over 9% of doctors working in the UK are from the EU. It is difficult to ascertain how many of these are foreign educated doctors and how many are foreigners educated in the UK. Specific figures for Polish doctors are not available but one would guess that they comprise quite a large proportion. What these figures do show is that there is a lot of movement of medical staff between European countries and, indeed, the whole world.

doctors

Orthopaedic doctors in Poland are top level specialists.

 

Evidence exists that the higher the volume of surgical operations performed, the better the outcomes of the surgery. This can be one measure of the hip replacement success rate in a country. Poland falls just below the UK in terms of the number of hip replacement operations performed per 100,000 population. The figure for the UK is 187.10 and for Poland 161.80. In terms of frequency of surgery, therefore, Poland is not that far behind the UK.

The hip replacement surgery success rate is measured chiefly through two factors. Firstly, that the previous pain experienced by the patient has been significantly alleviated and secondly, that the patient has an increase in functional ability i.e. mobility has improved. The success rate of hip replacement surgery globally is usually regarded as being 90%-95%. The success rate in Polish clinics is at least this high, with some Polish orthopaedists attaining a 97% success rate.

Different Types of Hip Replacement

There are different types of hip replacement prosthesis which come in an assortment of different shapes and sizes as well as different types of materials. In addition, there are a few different types of hip replacement procedures that a doctor can use. The surgeon is always the best placed person to decide on the most advantageous method and the best hip replacement type for each patient. However, it is worth knowing a little bit about hip replacements in order to be able to discuss your needs and wants with the surgeon.

There are mainly three ways the surgeon can access the hip:

  • Posterior approach – this is when the surgeon makes an incision or incisions at the back of the hip. This is the most common approach in the USA and UK.
  • Anterior approach – here the surgeon makes an incision or incisions at the front of the hip. In the short-term, there is usually less pain associated with this approach and there is often a quicker return to mobility and strength. Long-term, the outcomes are very good and similar to other approaches. It is technically more challenging and the specialist will need special training. In private clinics/hospitals in Poland, the anterior approach is usually the procedure of choice.
  • Lateral approach – with this approach the surgeon makes an incision or incisions on the side of the hip. This approach is commonly used in some countries e.g. in Canada 60% of hip replacement procedures are done using this approach.

Decisions about the approach will hinge on two factors, the training of the surgeon and the specific complexity of the hip problem being presented.

Where possible surgeons will perform a minimally invasive hip replacement. This consists of an incision or incisions of about 4”-6” (approx. 10-15 cms). Obviously from the point of view of wound healing and subsequent scarring this is a good option, but it is much more technically demanding and sometimes means that the surgeon cannot see the ‘whole picture’. Surgeons in Poland will use minimally invasive surgery where they can, but sometimes traditional surgery with an incision of 6”-12” (approx 15-30 cms) will ensure a more successful outcome to the surgery.

The next consideration is the hip replacement prosthesis. All the hip replacement types manufactured by the major producers in the world are available in Poland. As with any orthopaedic specialist, Polish surgeons will have their favourite manufacturer and types of hp replacement joints. The four biggest manufacturers worldwide are Stryker, DePuty Synthes, Zimmer Biomet and Smith & Nephew. Statistics for success rates and problems for these different types of hip replacement as well as for many other manufacturers can be found on the Internet.

There is then the question of hip replacement materials. At the present time, the best type of hip replacement material, for most patients, is considered to be metal-on-plastic. The longer ‘handle-shaped’ part of the prosthesis and ball is made of metal, usually a titanium alloy or stainless steel, while the socket is made of plastic. In the past, some patients were fitted with a metal on metal hip replacement, however these have now fallen out of favour, mainly due to the possibility of metallosis (a build-up of metal debris in the body’s soft tissues) and their lower than expected lifespan. In certain circumstances, other materials may be used in some types of hip replacement prostheses. These all ceramic or ceramic-on-plastic hip joints tend to be only used for younger, very active patients.

Types of hip replacement surgery also include whether the new hip joint should be cemented or non-cemented. Cemented means that the prosthesis is cemented on to the bones to which it is attached. With the non-cemented hip replacement prosthesis, the bone will eventually grow and bond with it. There is also a hybrid version which is part cemented and part non-cemented. The surgeon will have to decide which is the better of these types of hip replacements for each individual patient.

Ultimately, the final decision on the best type of hip replacement and surgery must rest with the surgeon who is performing the operation, however reputable surgeons will be willing to discuss the options with the patient and advise why they believe a certain product/procedure would be advantageous.

Great Post Operative Care

A big part of the success of hip replacement surgery is dependent on the post operative care and the motivation of the patient to perform the necessary exercises which will reduce the pain and, over time, increase mobility.

The majority of hospitals/clinics in Poland expect the patient to stay in the country for up to 14 days. Normally, the length of hospital stay for hip replacement is 3-7 days. Some clinics will continue to provide accommodation for the remaining nights, while other medical centres will offer hotel accommodation close to their establishment.

During this time the post operative hip replacement care will continue. This will include regular tests and checks to ensure the recovery is progressing well, in addition to a physiotherapy package. Often, this can include up to two physiotherapy sessions a day. Obviously, it is important for the surgeon to make sure that the patient is motivated to continue the necessary exercises, even when they are at home, as this will have an impact on the surgeon’s success rate.

Post operative care for total hip replacement is therefore very important. In Poland, most clinics/hospitals will include a full total hip replacement post operative care package in their quoted price, but as with everywhere, it does pay to check exactly what services are included in the price you pay.

Modern Clinics and English Speaking Staff

Poland boasts some of the best orthopaedic clinics and hospitals in Europe. Two clinics in Poland have been awarded the FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence. This prestigious award is granted for a variety of different aspects including experience in the state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment of injuries and the aftercare of injuries. There is a strict selection process and centres must be reaccredited. In comparison England has two accredited centres and Wales, one centre. So, Poland has some of the best orthopaedic clinics and surgeons.

As is often the case in the UK, the well-appointed and superbly equipped private hospitals/clinics in Poland are far removed from the facilities offered by the Polish national health service. and they attract the services of the best English speaking medical staff. English is a compulsory curriculum subject in Polish schools so that the majority of the population have a good knowledge of the language. For medical staff, and particularly doctors, it is even more essential to be able to speak English so that they can keep abreast of the latest research (usually published on the Internet in English) and, of course, communicate with other doctors in different countries.

hospital

Private hospitals and clinics in Poland are well-appointed and superbly equipped.

 

Most of these private hospitals/clinics in Poland would not exist without their international customers, many of whom come from English speaking countries. Even patients from other countries e.g. Scandinavia use English as their lingua franca. It therefore goes without saying that the level of English spoken in these medical centres is exceptionally high with English speaking doctors who can communicate fluently with their patients from abroad.

Best Location Abroad for Hip Replacement Poland

Following the demise of the scheme for NHS treatment abroad after Brexit and despite Covid-19, medical treatment abroad is continuing to flourish, albeit partially curtailed by the travel restrictions imposed due to the pandemic. On the other hand, this pandemic has also rejuvenated the market for medical treatment abroad due to the extremely long waiting lists for elective surgery, like hip replacement.

When it comes to selecting a destination for treatment abroad, the cost is the most important factor for the majority of people, although this should be considered in tandem with the quality of the overall medical treatment offered. The process of getting medical treatment abroad should be as streamlined as booking surgery in the UK.

Poland ticks all the right boxes when considering a hip replacement procedure abroad. The prices are around 50% cheaper than in the UK, medical staff speak English fluently and clinics are modern and well-equipped and compare extremely favourably with equivalent establishments in western Europe. In addition, flight times are relatively short (2 ½ – 3 hours), ticket prices very competitive and there is a wide choice of flights from both UK main and provincial airports.

As in most countries the best surgeons tend to practise in the major cities. The capital city is one of the major centres for hip replacement. Warsaw offers some excellent hospitals and clinics, including one of the largest and most advanced orthopaedic treatment centres in Europe. There are frequent flights to Warsaw from a huge number of airports throughout the UK.

Another great centre for hip replacement, Krakow, could be regarded as the cultural heart of Poland. It is home to, what is regarded as, the best university in Poland – the Jagiellonian University which was founded in 1364. This university also boasts the best Medical School in Poland, so it follows that some of the best doctors are employed in the hospitals and clinics in Krakow. Krakow is actually a more popular tourist destination than Warsaw, so there are numerous fights from all corners of the UK.

Another good destination in Poland for hip replacement, Wroclaw lies in the west of the country not far from the Polish-German border. Wroclaw is a modern, vibrant city which has attracted a lot of international inward investment. It has its own medical university and some of the best private clinics/hospitals can be found in this city and its environs.

Other Locations for Hip Replacement Abroad

Of course, Poland is not the only destination offering hip replacement surgery. Let’s consider some of the other countries offering medical tourism for this type of surgery.

As one of the cheapest countries for hip replacement surgery, India could be a good choice. Many of its doctors are highly trained and English, of course, is the main administrative language in India. When it comes to the hip replacement cost, India prices can start at less than £4,000. There will, of course, be the extra cost of flights to include, and these will be considerably more expensive than European flights. The other disadvantage with India is its distance. Apart from the fact that the risk of post-surgery DVT is higher on long haul flights (India is an 8+ hour flight from the UK), there is also the question of comfort. Sitting on an aircraft for over 8 hours, two weeks after hip replacement surgery will not be particularly pleasant. For those people who have relatives in India or who can afford to stay in the country for longer than two weeks, however, India may be a good choice.

Hip replacement in Thailand is also often mentioned on the Internet and in the press. Prices in Thailand for hip replacement surgery are similar to Poland at around £5,000. However, flight costs will almost certainly be higher than to Poland, and, like India, the duration of the flight home poses a problem. Thailand, of course, is a great destination for a holiday, so, again, for those who can remain in the country for longer than the mandatory two weeks, Thailand has its attractions.

Mexico is another destination where the very low cost of living makes it an attractive proposition for medical tourism. Indeed, it is extremely popular with the US market, Mexican prices being a fraction of those in the USA. With regard to hip replacement, Mexico prices are slightly more expensive, with good quality surgery in one of the better clinics starting at about £9,000. Flight tickets from the UK need to be added to this cost, which makes it less attractive than some other destinations. The length of the flight is around 10 hours.

Nearer to home another popular centre for hip replacement, Czech Republic or Czechia can offer similar prices to its close neighbour Poland. It shares many similarities with Poland such as modern well-equipped clinics and well-trained specialist orthopaedic surgeons. The flight time from the UK is also very similar. Budget airlines operating between the UK and Czechia can offer excellent prices, however, currently, there are only three airports served from the UK – Prague, Brno and Ostrava. The main and provincial UK airports have a regular service to Prague.

Hip replacement Reviews

There is a huge amount of information about hip replacement surgery available via the Internet, although, of course, it pays to be selective as anyone can post whatever they want as there is no regulative body policing the information. However, many of the hip replacement reviews are very informative and are useful, particularly for those people considering this type of surgery. A hip replacement forum is an excellent place to start as the posts are often written by people who have personally undergone the surgery. People also raise lots of questions in these forums, with answers provided not only by the experts but by other people who have experienced the same issues. Some of the best hip replacement forums, UK based, are on the patient.info website and the bonesmart.org website, but there are many others to choose from as well. Hip replacement blogs also make interesting reading, again written by people who have experienced or about to experience a hip replacement operation.

Hip replacement pictures are also useful for showing a patient what they can expect in terms of the surgery and post-surgery recovery period. Many hip replacement surgery pictures can be found on the Internet.
Please remember that everyone’s surgery is slightly different so these hip replacement images are just examples of what the procedure may look like.

Summary

Hip replacement is major surgery which requires 3 months recovery time, however for those people with excessive pain and limited mobility due to osteoarthritis in the hip joint, it is the only long-term solution. Hospital waiting lists for elective (non-emergency) surgery are now extremely long following the Covid-19 pandemic and there seems to be no evidence to show that this situation is going to change very soon. For those patients who cannot wait a long time, private treatment is the only option, but this can cost around £12,000 in the UK.

A good alternative is to consider treatment abroad in a country where the cost of living is considerably lower than in the UK. Poland is a superb choice, providing western European style clinics/hospitals with English speaking staff for about 50% of the UK cost. It is relatively easy to get to, with numerous flights from many UK airports and flight tickets can be found at a very reasonable cost. The excellent private clinics/hospitals in Poland provide well-trained and experienced surgeons using the latest state-of-the-art technology. Our sales consultants will be more than happy to provide you with our recommendations for a suitable hospital/clinic in Poland which would match your medical needs.

online consultant

Call us and we will help you with a suitable hospital/clinic in Poland which would match your medical needs.

 

References:

  • Medical study in Poland – https://entrant.eu/en/medichne-navchannya/
  • NHS staff from overseas – https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-7783/
  • Number of hip replacements in countries – https://www.statista.com/statistics/283234/number-of-knee-replacements-in-selected-countries/
  • FIFA accredited medical centres – https://www.fifa.com/about-fifa/medical/centers-of-excellence
  • Patient.Info forum – https://patient.info/forums/discuss/browse/hip-replacement-1109
  • BoneSmart.org forum – https://bonesmart.org/forum/view/hip-surgery-recovery-area.5/

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