Last fact-checked: 11 February 2020
Hip replacement surgery, as the name suggests, replaces a damaged hip joint (or one or both) with an artificial one. The need for this surgery is indicated when everyday activities, such as standing or moving around become difficult due to pain caused by degeneration or injury.
Prices at home can be unaffordable, particularly if medical insurance isn’t covering it all, and many patients find waiting list times too long. A solution to these problems is to undergo the operation abroad, with our quality-checked clinics in Bangkok offering affordable hip replacement surgery without cutting any corners.
The hip joints are the largest in the body and support the upper body when doing pretty much everything from standing, bending, stretching, walking, running and just sitting. In healthy hip joints, the bones are connected to each other lubricated ligaments, which help prevent friction. Hip joints can become damaged either through injury, or some other conditions, including osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Many conditions that damage the hips are age-related and usually occur in adults over 60 years old.
If you are experiencing persistent problems, either due to pain or immobility of your hip, with everyday activities, including getting dressed or driving, then you may be a candidate for hip replacement. If you have injured or fractured your hip, a hip replacement may be necessary.
A hip replacement will relieve pain, improve function and help you to move around. The overall result is a much better quality of life. However, you must be prepared for some discomfort and hard work on regaining your mobility following surgery.
Thailand is not just a world center for cosmetic surgery—it also has more than its fair share of specialist surgeons across every specialty, and orthopaedic surgery is no exception. Bangkok is the nation’s capital, and so it follows there are more specialist orthopaedic centers here than anywhere else in the country.
With the latest technology, modern, contemporary facilities and skilled surgeons, Bangkok offers patients world-class services, and a commitment to customer care which is often head-and-shoulders above the quality patients receive at home.
Orthopaedic surgeons in Thailand undergo years of rigorous training, just like other surgeons, and have their own professional organization, the Royal College of Orthopaedic Surgeons of Thailand (RCOST), and so there is no need to feel that Thai surgeons are any less qualified.
The cost of hip replacements in Bangkok is the most prevalent reason that patients consider coming here; at around half the cost of the prices at home, patients can save tens of thousands, which is a substantial sum that more than makes the trip worthwhile.
Cost may be the overriding factor for making the decision to travel to Bangkok for surgery, but it shouldn’t be the only reason, and patients should do their due diligence to ensure they are seen by trustworthy surgeons at reputable clinics or hospitals.
Booking with Medical Departures gives patients a safety net, in that we have already pre-checked doctors and clinics, confirming qualifications, professional memberships and performing background checks into legal and criminal records. We also pay personal visits to clinics and hospitals and provide high-definition photos on our website so patients can get a good idea of how they look.
With real patient reviews to add that ‘word of mouth’ check that is obviously hard to do when clinics are so far away, we give you all the information you need to make an informed choice.
The surgery usually takes between one and two hours and may be carried out under general anesthetic, or with an epidural (where the lower body is numbed).
The surgeon first makes an incision into the hip and removes the damaged hip joint, replacing it with the artificial, prosthetic one, before closing the incision with stitches.
People recover at different times, and as the majority of hip replacements are usually carried out in elderly patients, times vary considerably.
You will be encouraged to get up and walk about as soon as you can after surgery. Some people even manage it the same day, as moving around quickly helps to reduce swelling and other complications. Initially, there will be discomfort, stiffness, soreness and your legs or feet may be swollen. You may be given antibiotics and medication to prevent blood clots forming.
With the help of walking aids, such as crutches, and physiotherapy, you will gradually improve over the next four to six weeks. Most people can usually return to normal activities after two to three months, but it may take up to a year before you feel the full benefit. Be prepared to work on your mobility after surgery and keep up with the exercises recommended to speed your recovery.
In terms of when you will be able to fly home from Bangkok, this again depends on a number of factors, such as whether you are having one or two replacements, your age, other mobility issues, as well as how far you need to fly (i.e., medium or long-haul). This is something your chosen surgeon in Bangkok will be able to advise you on.
Hip replacements in Bangkok cost around AUD $12,000, saving around 50% on the cost in Australia of AUD $25,0000.
[Please note: these prices are approximate estimates based on international data, calculated at the time of writing.]
For updated prices, as well as clinic photos, surgeon profiles, patient reviews and other useful information, look three these top facilities in Bangkok where you can your book hip replacement at through Medical Departures:
Find out more about our quality-checked orthopaedic surgeons.
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International Association of Orthopedists. Website accessed: 11 February 2020.
Ishidou, Y et al. Osteoarthritis of the hip joint in elderly patients is most commonly atrophic, with low parameters of acetabular dysplasia and possible involvement of osteoporosis. March 2017.
Why is Thailand so popular for medical tourists? The Thaiger. 19 February 2019.
Arthritis and Hip Replacement Surgery. WebMD. 5 May 2018.