Dr. Harwin is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon renowned for his experience, skill, and accomplishments in orthopaedics and musculoskeletal treatment. He has been named a "New York Super Doctor," a "Best Doctor" and "Top Doctor in the New York Metro Area" by Castle Connolly Medical, Ltd., and a "Best Doctor in America" by the Best Doctors® organization, founded by professors affiliated with the Harvard Medical School.
He understands that when performing a hip or knee replacement for you, his most important job is to provide you with a long lasting implant to restore your active lifestyle. But he also knows that you are also concerned about how big your incision will be and how it will look after it heals. Dr. Harwin uses the smallest and most cosmetic incisions possible. Smaller incisions and less invasive approaches to the hip and knee means less pain after the surgery and faster recovery and faster return to your normal life. The way Dr. Harwin does your procedure involves no cutting of muscles.
When Dr. Harwin performs your surgery, he takes into account your specific condition in order to perform the surgery with as little disruption of your muscles as possible. Some surgeons may take pride in performing surgery through 'key hole' tiny incisions, but the fact is that not only do many of those become unsightly due to tearing, stretching and pulling on the skin, but in many cases the implants cannot be positioned properly due to poor visualization of your anatomy. The use of ultra-small, so called 'mini-incisions,' has been documented as a significant cause of early failure of hip and knee replacements.
Therefore, Dr. Harwin developed methods to assure safe and effective, less invasive surgery that uses the smallest possible incision that is also cosmetically appealing. The size of the incision is not based upon a pre-determined measurement, like 4 inches or 6 inches. It is based upon the condition of your hip and knee, and how big you are. Dr. Harwin explains this simply: "If you wear a size 4 dress, then you get a size 4 incision. If you wear a size 14 dress, then you must get a size 14 incision." He will use the smallest incision possible to ensure safe and effective placement of your implant. Having said this, with Dr. Harwin's specialized techniques, almost all joint replacement incisions, no matter how big the patient is, are 6 inches or less.
Many patients are fearful of having sutures or steel staples removed. Dr. Harwin and his surgical team have developed a protocol that allows incisions to be closed with a 'plastic surgery' technique. That means there are no sutures or staples to be taken out. The incision is closed by absorbable sutures underneath the skin and they disappear by themselves. This means that you can shower almost immediately after surgery and you need not return to the office until 6 weeks after surgery. Importantly, these incisions will look better once fully healed because there are no scars left from staples or sutures.
For more information about minimally invasive and minimal incision surgical approaches and cosmetically appealing surgical incisions used for total hip and total knee replacement, visit the offices of The Center for Reconstructive Joint Surgery on the Upper East Side, or the satellite office in The Bronx.
By Dr. Steven Harwin