Iowa Specialty Hospital

Life Before and After Joint Replacement Surgery

By Dennis Day

Dennis Day - Orthopedic PatientDennis Day had joint replacement surgery with Dr. Emile Li in August of 2018. Here he shares with us his journey before and after surgery including how much his life has improved.


Dennis, what procedure did you have done with Dr. Li?
I had a left hip replacement.  In the past, I’ve had two knee arthroscopies with Dr. Li also.

What was life like before your surgery?
Before hip surgery, I was totally miserable – in terrific pain.  I was going to bed at 5:00 pm to try to sleep through the pain. 

Tell us a little about your journey to hip replacement surgery.
Dr. Li was very honest with me, and said for a safe surgery, I needed to lose weight first.  He referred me to Dr. Eibes, the weight loss surgeon at Iowa Specialty Hospital.  For insurance purposes, I had to follow six months of dietary guidelines before I could qualify for weight loss surgery.  This was good as it guided me in how to eat and live life prior to the surgery.

In December of 2017, I had the gastric sleeve surgery for weight loss.  By August 2018, I had lost enough weight to qualify for my hip replacement surgery.  Once I met my goal weight, Dr. Li got me scheduled as soon as possible for my surgery. In fact tomorrow (August 14th) will be my one year anniversary for my new hip. 

What was life like after your surgery?
I’ve had the blessings of two things.  My hip pain is completely gone, and I’m no longer suffering.  Since the weight loss surgery, I’ve lost over 140 pounds.  That’s made a big change in how I feel.  I’m definitely more active due to both procedures. Just like with the weight loss surgery, you also have to play your part for positive results.

What did you think about our orthopedic program/class?
I liked it – thought it was really good.  Thanks to the class, you know going into surgery what to expect – the ins and outs of it.  You also know that the staff will be available to help you with your questions.  Plus you know you’re going to receive great follow-up care. 

How was your stay at Iowa Specialty Hospital?
It was really good.  The way the staff treated me was excellent.  They are a great group of people who really care about the patients and how they are feeling. 

It’s a good facility.  Everyone is friendly.  Between being a patient and also seeing what they’ve done for family members, I’m very, very pleased.

On a scale from 1 – 5, how would you rate us?
9 – I couldn’t be happier between the two hospitals (Clarion & Belmond). 

Anything else you’d like to share about your experience?
My wife, Paula, has also had five procedures with Dr. Li, and sees Dr. Wells for pain management.  Besides that, she’s lost weight just learning how to eat right from the things I’ve learned. Her health is so much better. 

We are both very happy with the care we received at Iowa Specialty Hospital and with Dr. Li.  We think if we continue to get care from Iowa Specialty Hospital, we can both be pretty active as we age.

If we have a choice, we always choose to come to Iowa Specialty Hospital.

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