Jackie Perlis is always on the go. At age 80, she cooks, dances, rides a stationary bike, swims, and keeps up with her five grandchildren. When her hips wore out and threatened to slow her down, she got a new pair.
“I had both of my hips replaced on December 16, 2009. It was a piece of cake,” said Perlis. She went to the hospital on a Wednesday, returned home on Friday, and within three months she was wearing high-heeled shoes and dancing at her granddaughter’s bat mitzvah.
Orthopaedic surgeon Edward Whelan, III, M.D., of Memorial Bone and Joint, performed Perlis’ bilateral hip replacement. He used a technique called the anterior approach, which involves replacing the hip joint through an incision in the front of the hip instead of going through muscle in the back of the hip. The anterior approach is less invasive and has a lower risk of infection and bleeding. Whelan was the first surgeon in Savannah to offer anterior approach hip replacement surgery. Perlis traveled 200 miles -- from Cordele, Georgia, to Savannah -- to have Whelan perform her surgery.
“I got along so well with Dr. Whelan. He really listens to you. He encourages you. He makes you want to get well,” said Perlis.
Perlis received physical therapy in the hospital and arranged to have four home health visits in Cordele.
She left Memorial University Medical Center with a small three-inch incision on each hip and a walker. When she returned for a follow-up visit 11 days later, she only had two questions for Whelan. She wanted to know when she could drive and when she could get back into her kitchen. He let her get back to cooking delicious meals right away, and allowed her to start driving less than two weeks later.
Perlis had a comfortable recovery and was thrilled to dance at her granddaughter’s bat mitzvah in March.
“I’ve not had any problems since my surgery. I ride a stationary bike for an hour and swim for 30 minutes almost every day,” said Perlis. Her new hips have enabled her to stay active, independent, and pain-free.