A delighted patient has praised a Grimsby surgeon for his patience, persistence, and skill in mending his complex shoulder problem while he was wide awake when he went under the knife!
John Drinkell, 65, of Grimsby, injured his shoulder two years ago after a fall. However, his surgery to mend the damage had to be put on hold after he was diagnosed with throat and tongue cancer. He is now in remission after undergoing surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy.
The surgical team at Grimsby were given the green light to carry out his shoulder replacement, however, were concerned about passing an anaesthetic tube down his throat following his cancer treatment which had led to severe narrowing of his oral cavity making it a very challenging anaesthetic and operation.
The solution – John would have his shoulder replacement surgery done while he was wide awake and sitting up in the theatre!
I was chatting to the staff, and I think I even had a cat nap at one pointJohn Drinkell
John said: “I got to the stage where I couldn’t lift or move my arm as the pain was so bad and it was really affecting my life. I have had two hip replacements, and one of those was while I was awake, so I just thought why not, let’s go for it.”
Orthopaedic consultant, Mr Aravind Desai, specialises in shoulder and keyhole surgery and was the first person to do a shoulder replacement as a day case here at NLAG. After speaking to his team, and Anaesthetic Consultant Dr Zafarulla S Mohmed, he offered John the option of having his much-needed surgery using a ‘nerve block’ and a local anaesthetic.
Mr Desai said: “It is the first time here at our hospitals we have performed a shoulder replacement while the patient was wide awake. John was sitting up chatting to myself and the rest of team, having a laugh and a joke while I carried out the procedure in just about an hour. Teamwork was key in keeping him calm and comfortable.”
John said: “They numbed my shoulder and I have to say I didn’t feel a thing. They put a screen up so I couldn’t see what was happening. I was chatting to the staff, and I think I even had a cat nap at one point. I would certainly recommend this to anyone else, as I felt fine after the operation as I didn’t have to come round after a general anaesthetic. I went to a ward and had my physiotherapy later that day.”
Mr Desai, now hopes, where appropriate, they can carry out keyhole operations and shoulder replacements using a nerve block and local anaesthetic as post recovery is so much quicker.
Mr Desai added “It is a win-win for the patient as any anaesthetic carries a risk. It also means we can perform the surgery quickly, mobilise the patient early, start physiotherapy soon after surgery and they can be home and in their bed in a relatively short time. It is so much better for the patient recovery.”