Frequently Asked Questions
COVID-19 Update regarding surgery
Elective surgery is ON HOLD
Patients requiring medical treatment in Melbourne can still travel into and out of locked down areas.
The hospital can provide a letter to patients to validate travel as needed.
Preparation for Surgery
Routine information regarding preparation for Surgery will be provided by Andrea Svak, Mr Shepherd’s secretary.
- Advise of any medications that you are taking, In particular blood thinning medication, eg aspirin, Anti-inflammatory medications, warfarin, Plavix, apixaban.
- Stop smoking as soon as possible prior to surgery
- Please bring all relevant X-rays and scans.
Preparation for Surgery
- Attend an Avenue Hospital Preparation for Foot and Ankle surgery information session
- Perform general Range of Motion exercises, calf stretches and raises conditioning
- Attend a physiotherapist for pre operative conditioning.
- Get a chair or stool for the shower if necessary.
- Prepare for the period of 2 week elevation by organising meals and pets.
- Have someone organised to pick you up from hospital on the day of discharge.
- Mr Shepherd will organise if you need to see a physician prior to surgery for any medical issues.
Preparation for Admission
- You will be provided with an admission pack with further details when booking surgery.
- Pack sleepwear, clothes, toiletries, phone charger.
- Fasting instructions. The specific details will be given to you. In general, nothing to eat for 6 hours prior to surgery, and water up to 2 hours before surgery.
- Take routine normal morning medication on the day of surgery with a small sip of water, unless advised otherwise by the anaesthetist or Mr Shepherd.
- Shower on the morning of surgery and wear comfortable, clean clothing and flat shoes.
- Report to the hospital main reception on the day and time that you have been advised.
- At The Avenue or Glenferrie Private you will be directed to an admission area.
- Nursing staff will help prepare you for surgery and the operative site will be prepared for surgery.
- David Shepherd will see you prior to surgery to discuss surgery and address any questions.
- The Anaesthetist will see you and explain the anaesthetic, the use of a nerve block to the leg and post operative pain relief
The specific details of postoperative instructions will be provided and explained by Mr Shepherd
Details of postoperative contact numbers for question or concerns after surgery will be provided.
- Keep the limb elevated to reduce swelling.
- Obtain an elevation bolster from the nurses at MOG.
- Use the prescribed pain relief medications as required and directed.
- Follow the specific post operative plan for weight bearing.
- Move the other joints above and below the operative area.
- Dressings are left intact until the first post-op review. Keep dressings clean and dry until the appointment.
Fees depends on a number of factors; Which insurer you are with and level of cover, the complexity of the surgery, and your financial situation. There may be an out of pocket fee. Pensioners are rarely charged a gap for surgery.
An informed financial consent form regarding out of pocket expenses for the surgeon’s fee is completed when you make a booking for surgery.
The surgical fee includes initial follow up visits.
Mr Shepherd uses an assistant in surgery who has their own fees.
There is also a separate fee for the anaesthetist, for which there may be an out of pocket expense.
An estimate of the actual hospital expenses can be obtained prior to surgery by speaking to the admissions department.
Depending on insurance levels other expenses that may be incurred at the hospital may include:
Physiotherapy, Radiology, Pharmacy, Pathology and Physician fees.
Orthopaedic implants are usually covered by insurance.
Self Funded Patients (Uninsured)
- If self-funded (no private health insurance), a quote will be organised.
- This will also contain an estimated quote from the Avenue or Glenferrie Private.
- Self-funded patients will be liable to pay the following:
- The gap between the Medicare benefit and Mr Shepherd’s charge
- The gap for Radiology, Pathology services
- Physiotherapy services
- Hospital accommodation fees
- Orthopaedic Implants fees.
It is essential that patients fully understand all the best treatment options and benefits, likelihood of success and the risks each.
For each condition, often a trial of conservative treatment is recommended and commenced. Depending on the outcome surgical treatment may be advised.
Mr Shepherd will explain the procedure, the techniques and the goals and risks and answer questions.
A second appointment is useful to further discuss the goals of surgery, the likely outcomes and possible risks and to discuss them with family members and friends.