Recovering Close To Home Has Many Advantages

Having surgery locally helps in the recovery process

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by Christy VanderMolen, Payson Care Center

Susan Bobek is no stranger to joint replacement surgery. She has had both knees replaced and recently local orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Patrick Harrison, replaced both of her hips within four months of each other.

Harrison used the newest hip replacement procedure, the “anterior approach,” entering in front of the hip and between tendons and muscles, as opposed to the posterior approach which enters through the back of the hip and requires tendons and muscles to be cut. The new anterior approach allows patients a quicker recovery.

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Dr. Patrick Harrison used the new anterior approach procedure to do hip replacement surgery on Susan Bobek.

Quick recovery is something Harrison is very familiar with. He served as a Squadron Flight Surgeon on a Hardship Tour in Korea from 2003 to 2004; as a Brigade Flight Surgeon, 17th Aviation Brigade in Seoul, South Korea from 2004 to 2005; and Flight Surgeon on the 1-52 Aviation Task Force 49 at Fort Wainwright, Fairbanks, Alaska from 2005-2007. Harrison recalls completing hip surgery on soldiers that returned to the line of duty within 24 hours. Harrison furthered his career in orthopedic surgery in Kansas City, Mo. prior to moving his family to Payson in 2011.

Bobek went to see Harrison for a routine checkup of her knee replacements.

“I had heard good things about him from his patients and was immediately impressed by his knowledge and experience. I checked him out online and was again impressed by what I found there. He is also a nice guy with good communication skills.”

Bobek has lived in many small towns and said she has heard a lot of people in these towns badmouth their local health care facilities and seek health care in the big city nearby. Most of the time she did not see any significant differences in the outcomes of those who sought services in their own hometowns and those who went to major medical centers, Bobek said.

Bobek said she had an excellent support system here in Payson and really wanted to stay local. She talked to people who had been patients at PRMC, walked around the hospital checking out the staff and nursing care and checked out the hospital online. She also prayed about her decision and after much consideration and discussing hospital and surgeons in the Valley with her relatives, she decided she would receive good care in Payson and be close to her home and friends.

Ordinarily, Harrison would send a patient home with physical therapy after an anterior approach hip replacement, but because Bobek lived alone, she chose to go to Payson Care Center’s short-term rehabilitation to recover and regain her strength. A psychiatric nurse, Bobek strongly believes having surgery locally allows the patient to be closer to family, friends and home, which is a huge psychological advantage in the recovery process.

“Plus, you just sort of trust a guy that can throw a grown man over his shoulder, toss him into an airplane, operate on him and have him return to duty within hours,” she said.

Harrison’s office is located at Payson Bone and Joint, 126 E. Main St., (928) 472-5260.

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