Roger McCabe, 80, of Calverton had his right knee replacement surgery done last year by Dr. Michael Ciminiello at Peconic Bay Medical Center.
When asked how it went, he summed it up simply, saying, “It was a piece of cake.”
He took no pain killers or other medications and never had to resort to using a cane, he said.
“What did it for me was the physical therapy. The doctor called me an ideal patient,” Mr. McCabe said. “He told me it is not going to be easy but you have to work at it and I did.”
Mr. McCabe was headed to Peconic Bay’s 8th annual Joint Replacement Reunion Barbecue and Barn Dance event Friday afternoon at Martha Clara Vineyards.
There were about 400 former patients and 250 guests and medical staff in attendance, said Paul Furbeck, the assistant director of rehabilitation at the hospital, who came up with the reunion idea to celebrate the patients’ renewed freedom of movement and improved quality of life.
Peconic Bay, a destination hospital for joint replacement surgery, earned an award called the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Total Joint Replacement for Hip and Knee last October.
“Last October we were the third on Long Island and fifth in New York State to get this designation,” Mr. Furbeck said.
“We get attached to the patients who go to therapy,” he continued. “We get close to them and want to see how they are doing and get feedback on how to improve. It really is a celebration of how well they are doing.
“It speaks to how the hospital is providing better and better care each year. It is blossoming into a great program. We are attracting people from all over Long Island and the tri-state area.”
Since it is an elective surgery “people are going to go wherever the care is good,” he said.
After surgery, it is a two- to three-day hospital stay, then with a stay in the inpatient rehab unit from a week to 10 days.
The trend is to get patients home faster.
“We get then up and going as soon as possible,” Mr. Furbeck said.
Hospital officials said Peconic Bay now has 13 orthopedic surgeons on staff.