FAQ

Robotic Surgery?

A number of orthopaedic surgeons and private hospitals are currently advertising the supposed benefits of robotic orthopaedic surgery. At this stage, Dr Crowley does not offer the option of robot assisted surgery for his patients. Whilst there are some promising developments in this area, in Dr Crowley’s opinion it offers very little benefit to patients in terms of reduced pain, easier rehabilitation or reduced hospital stay. 

Dr Crowley is actively monitoring the development of this technology but will only consider offering it to patients once its benefits have been appropriately proven.

Country patients?

We understand it can be difficult to access specialist surgical care if you are based in a country or regional area. We have cared for many country patients over the years who have travelled to Adelaide for surgery. We appreciate that it can be a stressful time for patients and their family and our staff endeavour to make the whole process as easy as we can for them. 

  • Many issues we need to discuss with you can be dealt with over the phone, including completing the admission forms for surgery. We encourage you to call us as often as you need to.
  • Tests and imaging can often be done by a facility in your local area and results sent to us. We can often access test results and x-ray images online (depending on the facility you use) meaning it may not be necessary to send hard copy x-rays to us.
  • If you require relatively uncomplicated surgery (e.g. primary hip or knee replacement or arthroscopic surgery) and are in reasonably good health, we may be able to see you for your first consultation one day and admit you for surgery on the following day.
  • If your surgery and health issues are more complex, we work with you to make arrangements which suit you best. In this case, much of the necessary paperwork, consent forms etc. can be done in advance of your arrival by email/mail – or on the day before your surgery.
  • In some cases patients will require review by an anaesthetist before surgery – our staff will provide details for you and can help to coordinate your appointments so that the whole process is as easy as possible.
  • There are several accommodation options available around each hospital where Dr Crowley operates which may be suitable for family members who want to be with you. Our staff will be happy to provide recommendations.
  • The length of time a patient spends in hospital after an operation will obviously depend on the nature of the surgery and the patient’s post-operative assessment by hospital staff. Please speak to Dr Crowley at the time of your appointment and he will give you an estimate of the amount of time you are likely to need to remain in hospital, so that you can plan ahead as much as possible.
  • Initial and post-operative appointments may be organised in Port Pirie if more convenient for you. Please note that the waiting time for consultations in Port Pirie is significantly longer than that for consultations in North Adelaide, as they are publicly funded consulting sessions.
Length of hospital stay and rehabilitation?

The length of time you need to stay in hospital following a procedure will depend very much on the nature of the procedure, your general health, your home environment and care arrangements and your post-surgical assessment by the hospital’s nursing and physiotherapy staff. Dr Crowley will advise you on the likely length of stay, but this may be affected by factors which are out of his control.

Some private patients at The Memorial Hospital may be referred for in-patient rehabilitation. The availability of this service will depend on the hospital’s nursing and physiotherapy staff’s assessment of a patient’s progress, and is not determined by Dr Crowley and his staff.

Private in-patient accommodation?

At The Memorial Hospital, rooms are allocated by the hospital’s staff. While you can express a preference for a single room at the time of booking your surgery, it may not always be possible to guarantee a single room as availability will depend on the number of patients in the hospital at any given time.

Post-operative appointments with Dr Crowley?

Dr Crowley likes to see patients at regular (but increasing) intervals following surgery. Generally, your first post-operative appointment will be between 2 and 4 weeks after surgery. This appointment will be made at the time of booking your surgery. At this first post-operative appointment, Dr Crowley will advise you of any additional review appointments you may require. Frequency of review will depend on your post-operative progress, and obviously if you have any issues in the post-operative period further appointments can be made if necessary.

For patients living near Port Pirie, post-operative appointments are generally arranged in those clinics rather than at North Adelaide. Please let us know at the time of booking your surgery if you would prefer to travel to North Adelaide for these appointments.

For patients who have had surgery at Noarlunga, please note that it may not always be possible to see Dr Crowley for your post-operative appointment, as a number of different Orthopaedic Surgeons consult at the Noarlunga Orthopaedic Outpatients Department on different days. If you have any particular concerns you wish to discuss with Dr Crowley, please speak to the Clinic staff on (08) 8275 3137. They may be able to assist you in booking an appointment at a time when Dr Crowley is consulting in the Outpatients Clinic.

 

Costs of consultations?

Please feel free to contact our rooms prior to your appointment for confirmation of the costs that will be payable on the day of your consultation. Please note that Dr Crowley offers discounts on his consulting fees for aged pensioners. He also recognises that everyone faces financial pressures and as a result he has implemented a number of discount arrangements for patients with healthcare or other concession cards.

Risks of surgery?

Dr Crowley will advise you at the time of booking your surgery of the key risks involved in proceeding with the proposed surgery. Please feel free to ask as many questions as you like at this stage, as it is important that you are fully informed about the possible consequences of your operation. 

Choosing a date for surgery?

For patients in a lot of pain, we can usually find you an early surgery date which means you don’t have to wait for too long. Many patients will need to make arrangements with family or arrange time off work and our staff can help you find a date that is most convenient for you. 

Surgery Cost?

At the time of booking your surgery, Dr Crowley’s staff will provide you with a quotation, which specifies fees payable for his services and an estimate of the fees payable to the anaesthetist. You are asked to confirm exact fees payable to the anaesthetist by ringing their rooms, and details will be provided to you at the time of making your booking. We will also provide you with information to enable you to check with your health fund whether you will be fully covered for the hospital costs.  

Your surgery consent form will be completed at the time of your consultation with Dr Crowley. The process after that will depend on where you are having your surgery.  

The Memorial Hospital encourages online electronic patient registration (eAdmission). The benefit of this eAdmission is that your details can be copied over, should you require further surgery in those hospitals. If you prefer a hard copy of the registration form, they are available. In both instances our staff are able to assist you to complete the admission process.

Admission Forms for Noarlunga are sent out by the hospital once a date has been booked for surgery. Any queries should be directed to the hospital on (08) 8384 9222.

If you are having surgery in Port Pirie, you will be given a Surgery Pack at the time of your consultation, which includes the admission form.

The hospital admission form needs to be completed and returned to the relevant hospital prior to your admission date.  

If you have elected to have surgery shortly after your appointment with Dr Crowley, it may be more convenient for you to complete the admission form at our rooms with the assistance of our staff. 

Anaesthetic?

Dr Crowley works closely with a small number of expert anaesthetists to optimise pain relief and recovery after the surgery. The anaesthetist for your surgery will depend on which day your surgery is scheduled, and which hospital you are having your surgery at.  

If you are scheduled for surgery at The Memorial Hospital, we will ask you to contact the relevant anaesthetist beforehand. You should ask them to provide you with a quotation for their services as they often charge a gap. In some circumstances, for example if you are having a joint replacement, the anaesthetist may wish to see you for a pre-anaesthetic consultation. This may often be carried out via Skype for country or regional patients, if that is more convenient.

Your Teeth?

Tooth decay and mouth infections can be a cause of infection in joint replacement. It is very important you talk to your dentist to address abscess and tooth decay prior to having surgery, as infections in the mouth can cause infections in other parts of the body. Even years after you have surgery, it is important to ensure you are vigilant about dealing with decay in your mouth, or any small infections on other parts of your body. Please take to your dentist, a copy of the current advice from the Arthroplasty Society of Australia, which outlines recommendations for mouth care after joint replacement surgery.

Pre-operative testing?

If you are having joint replacement surgery you will need to have an ECG and blood tests done prior to surgery. These are usually done 1-2 weeks before the scheduled date for your procedure.

If you are assessed as a high risk patient, there may be other pre-admission tests that you will have to undergo. Dr Crowley will discuss the requirements with you at the time of booking your surgery.

Also, some patients with complex medical conditions will need appointments with other medical specialists to ensure that it is safe to proceed with surgery. We will let you know if this is something you need to do.

Some hospitals also require patients to attend a Pre-Admission Clinic – you will be advised by the relevant hospital if this is required.

If you are having surgery at The Memorial Hospital, a pre-admission nurse from the hospital will contact you by phone 1 – 2 days prior to your admission to discuss you admission, ensure you know where to present and what to bring on the day of your surgery, and to answer any questions you may have. Please ensure that the contact details you give in your eAdmission or hard copy admission form are accurate so that the nursing staff can easily make contact with you.

Admission times and fasting?

If you are having surgery at The Memorial Hospital, our staff will contact you after 4pm the day prior to your surgery to confirm admission and fasting times – i.e. the time you need to arrive at the hospital, and instructions on when to begin fasting (nil by mouth).

For surgery at Port Pirie you will need to contact the hospital the day prior to your surgery for final confirmation of admission and fasting times.

For surgery at Noarlunga, fasting times and all other details will be confirmed by the hospital. Please call them on (08) 8384 9222 if you require any further information.

Managing your medications?

Prior to your surgery we will discuss your medications with you. You will be given important instructions about what you should and should not take prior to surgery. Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you are unsure about these instructions.

Joint replacement information sessions?

The Memorial Hospital offers a regular monthly information session on knee and hip replacement surgery. These sessions are suitable for you and a family member to attend. They are run by a Registered Nurse or Physiotherapist from the orthopaedic ward of the hospital. The sessions cover many commonly asked questions and can help you to feel prepared for your surgery. Please contact our rooms if you are interested in attending one of these sessions and we can provide details of the dates on which they are available.