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First Ever Same-Day Joint Replacement Surgery at Lawrence Hospital Center

Jonathan Samuels and his wife, Mary Jane, share a laugh after his surgery at Lawrence Hospital Center
Jonathan Samuels and his wife, Mary Jane, share a laugh after his surgery at Lawrence Hospital Center

For the first time in Lawrence Hospital Center’s history, a patient who had a joint replaced was able to go home the same day he had the surgery. Soon to be 65-year-old Jonathan Samuels of New City had his right hip replaced at Lawrence this morning, and just a few hours later doctors gave him the go-ahead to be discharged from the hospital. “I can’t get over how good I feel. The care at Lawrence has been great, so allowing me to go home today feels amazing,” beamed Samuels.

Douglas Unis, MD, a Lawrence orthopedic surgeon used the anterior approach to perform hip replacement surgery on Samuels’ hip. Dr. Unis made his first incision at 8:45am this morning. When he checked back in on the retired MTA worker at 2:00pm he was walking the halls and up and down the stairs at Lawrence. After an exam, Dr. Unis made the call to discharge Samuels the same day he had his operation.

“Mr. Samuels surgery went smoothly and he was moving remarkably well post-op. After examining him, I had every confidence he’d be able to begin his full recovery at home later today,” said Dr. Unis.

According to Mary Anne Rittenhouse, RN, Total Joint and Spine Care Coordinator at The Joint Replacement Center at Lawrence Hospital, Samuels was “breaking all of the records” when he was called upon to do specific exercises that measure his strength and mobility after hip replacement surgery.

“He was lifting his leg quite high and extending it out to here. There have been patients who couldn’t do anything near that three days after surgery. He’s really a star patient,” exclaimed Rittenhouse.

Samuels will be in good hands when he leaves Lawrence this evening. His wife, Mary Jane, is a nurse at a New York City hospital. She is currently working with kidney transplant patients, but in her years as an RN, she has worked with orthopedic patients like her husband.

“This is pretty extraordinary to see someone do so well after major surgery. I actually took off a week from work so that I could help my husband, but now I am wondering if he’ll really need me,” she laughed. 

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