Bluewater Health Performing Same-day Joint Replacements for Eligible Patients

Wednesday, June 23, 2021 - 9:22am


SARNIA & PETROLIA – June 23, 2021 – Bluewater Health Orthopaedic Surgeons recently began completing same-day joint replacement surgeries for hips, knees and shoulders. This progressive model is possible for eligible patients due to surgical approaches that have been proven to decrease recovery times and length of stay in hospital for patients compared to traditional methods. When the joint replacement procedure begins by 8:00 am the patient is expected to be discharged home by 5:00 pm.

While plans were underway prior to the pandemic to implement this model, it was accelerated in response to the surgical backlog created during the pandemic’s first wave when elective procedures were halted, and to avoid reductions in elective surgeries in the second and third waves by easing pressures on inpatient beds. Patients’ rehabilitation needs are met with assistance from the hospital’s rehabilitation team through in-person support pre-operatively along with online education, and community/outpatient rehabilitation services post-operatively.

“Patients who meet the outpatient criteria are able to recover more quickly at home, with online and outpatient supports,” says Dr. Gerard March, Orthopaedic Lead. “It also allows us to meet the needs of patients waiting for surgeries more quickly. I am extremely proud of our entire team, from therapists to nursing staff, who have worked very hard to bring this exciting option to our patients.”

The hospital expects approximately 25% of patients requiring total joint replacement will benefit from this same-day model, with Dr. Duncan MacKinlay performing shoulder replacements, and Dr. Nick Matlovich and Dr. March completing hip and knee replacements. Same-day patients are usually selected based on having no major ongoing medical issues outside of arthritis, and a technically routine planned surgical procedure. 

“While not all of these procedures can be completed on an outpatient basis, with each one, we shorten the list of those waiting for surgeries,” says Dr. Mike Haddad, Chief of Staff, Bluewater Health. “Our orthopaedic surgeons are all pursuing innovative opportunities to continue to provide surgical care to the residents of Sarnia-Lambton and beyond, while at the same time reducing the number of people in hospital beds, to accommodate the community’s needs.”


Bluewater Health, with locations in Sarnia and Petrolia, cares for the residents of Sarnia-Lambton. With close to 2,500 staff, Professional Staff and volunteers, Bluewater Health provides an array of specialized acute, complex continuing care, allied health and ambulatory care services. Bluewater Health’s Mission is: We create exemplary healthcare experiences with patients and families every time. For more information about Bluewater Health, visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

Media, for more information contact:

Julia Oosterman

Chief, Communications & Public Affairs

Bluewater Health


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