Having hip replacement surgery overseas

Has anyone ever done this? Not sure if I would consider this,but given the waiting times, is it something you would consider?

i think in some cases you are able to get a refund of costs.

lots to look into, would be interested to hear of any experiences.


  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669
    edited 16. May 2021, 15:44

    I have no experience of this, but it’s not something I would ever consider unless it was in a country where their standards of surgery and aftercare are very much higher than ours, and there are very few of those, and they will be even more expensive than us.Given that the pandemic is global, I suspect hospitals all round the world are stretched at the mo.

    You will have no reliable way of assessing the skill of the surgeon pre-op. THR is major surgery with plenty of scope for going wrong in unskilled hands, which could leave you worse off than you are now and may prejudice future options for corrective surgery. Personally, I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole.

  • Despite being diagnosed with OA of right hip over 10 years ago I have so far managed to avoid hip replacement but at one point when it was going through a worse phase I vaguely looked into having it done abroad (all before the pandemic) as I thought it could be combined with a recovery/holiday in more interesting surroundings. I looked (not in any great detail) into India and Malaysia. Both have very good hospitals (private) but I would probably feel more confident in Malaysia. I think there were packages to India that could be arranged with the hospital. I think at the time I fancied a prolonged stay in India or S E Asia. I also thought that the after care would be better in Asia but I think it would have been very expensive as you would have to stay for quite a long time and also in the tropics it would take longer for the wound to heal due to the high humidity in combination with heat. There are plenty of other countries such as Dubai where, I am sure, the standards are high or other European countries. I think at one point the NHS were funding surgery in other countries (European countries) but I doubt if the case now

    However, at the moment I would not even consider having surgery done abroad as things are so uncertain. You could pay privately here but that is very expensive. Maybe waiting times will start to reduce now.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,223

    I wouldn't have touched this with a bargepole even before covid. There are far too many uncertainties but if you're seriously considering it, do read this very carefully first. https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/going-abroad-for-treatment/going-abroad-for-medical-treatment/

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,669

    I would also add that I’m 4weeks post op. It appears I’m not a rapid healer, but there’s no way of predicting whether or not you will be. But the thought of international travel even this far down the line would fill me with horror. There’s no way I could stand in the queues at check in, security and boarding, nor could I manage the sometimes long walks round the airport. The airport seats would be too low and too uncomfortable, and I still can’t sit on a normal height loo without some degree of pain and assistance getting off again, and let’s not even start on the plane seats. Even using a wheelchair it’s a massive faff. Then there’s the journey home from the airport, which for us is a minimum of 2 hours, or over 5 hours from a London airport. Sitting in a car that long, after such a gruelling journey, would be the final straw. My energy levels are still very low and my muscle strength is poor. The pain is on,y just subsiding to being tolerable, just for pottering around at home.

    Don’t underestimate how rubbish you’re likely to feel (as I did, to my cost) after surgery. Unless you’re prepared to meet the cost of staying out there, wherever it is, for many weeks, if not months, until you’re ready to travel home, I wouldn't contemplate it.The surgeons at my hospital also recommend not flying for 3 months post op to reduce the risk of blood clots. The cost of surgery plus accommodation until your return home may mean it’s not much cheaper than private surgery in the UK. And there is still the risk of lockdowns and travel restrictions affecting your plans, leaving you stranded or self isolating.