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General information about surgery

Admission details

Your surgery will be at Epworth Hospital, Richmond.

Admission and fasting times

Please phone the rooms on (03) 9038 5200 on the afternoon prior to surgery (Friday for Monday surgery) with regard to these times. Please note that fasting means nothing to eat or drink. For the safety of your anaesthetic you must observe the fasting time.


Please take all relevant X-rays and scans with you to hospital and remember to take them home again on discharge.

Follow up appointment

A follow up appointment will be made for you at the time your surgery is booked. The appointment card will be given to you prior to discharge from hospital. Please check the details. Should the appointment time or location be inconvenient, please contact the office staff to see whether the appointment can be changed. Note that I am usually heavily booked, so changing an appointment time can sometimes be difficult.


The following notes have been prepared to provide you with some additional information about expenses related to your forthcoming admission to hospital. Hopefully they will answer many of the questions which you may have.

My fees are based on what I believe to be fair and reasonable. Generally they are mid-range in comparison to other surgeons. With regard to out of pocket expenses, there are many factors which come into play. For those patients with private health insurance, there are differing levels of insurance funds and differing agreements with private hospitals. For those patients covered by a sports insurance policy, these policies vary even more.

You will receive an informed financial consent form regarding out of pocket expenses for the surgeon’s fee when you make your booking for surgery. The surgical fee includes initial follow up visits. However, later consultations (generally those more than twelve weeks after surgery) usually attract a separate charge. If you anticipate difficulties in paying your account, please discuss this prior to surgery.

It is routine for me to use an assistant. They will usually introduce themselves to you prior to surgery. Assistants’ fees are calculated at a rate of up to 20% of the surgeon’s fee.

Naturally, there is also a fee for the anaesthetist and there is likely to be an associated out of pocket expense, even with private health insurance. You will have the opportunity to contact the anaesthetist’s rooms prior to surgery.

Health insurance funds only cover medical fees up to certain levels. Most fees charged will be above these levels so that an out of pocket expense can be anticipated by virtually all patients regardless of their insurance status.

Most sports insurance policies require you to pay your accounts first and then send the receipts to the insurance company for reimbursement. This means that you will be required to pay your hospital account on admission.

An estimate of the actual hospital expenses can be obtained prior to surgery by speaking to the admissions department of Epworth Richmond and quoting the  Commonwealth Medical Benefits Schedule (CMBS) item number/s (available from our office) as well as the expected length of admission.

Please note that an estimate of the hospital expenses is just that and only includes the cost of the hospital bed and theatre fee. Other expenses may be incurred (see below) and the final CMBS item numbers may vary depending on the findings at surgery.

Other expenses which may be incurred include:


Many procedures involve having an X-ray taken during or following an operation. In such cases you may receive a separate account for radiology.


Medications which are prescribed for you to take home on discharge will attract a separate fee.


Should you require pathology investigations such as blood tests, you may receive a separate account for these.


Many operations involve the use of fixation devices such as screws and anchors. These are usually covered by private health insurance. However, self-insured patients and those patients covered by sports insurance can expect a separate account for these implants. The cost of these implants is often surprising.


Occasionally I will ask a physician to become involved in a patient’s management. This is usually if you are having a knee replacement. In these circumstances you will receive a separate account from the physician.


All surgery carries the risk of complications. These include general complications of surgery as well as specific complications of the particular procedure.

General complications include infection, bleeding and bruising, and deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in a vein in the leg). Precautions are taken routinely to reduce the risk of these complications. Despite this, they will occasionally occur, and may require readmission to hospital which would of course involve additional costs.

Complications that are specific to the type of procedure that you are undergoing will have been discussed with you. Should you have any questions, these should be raised prior to surgery.

These notes have been prepared by Prof Julian Feller at OrthoSport Victoria. They are a general overview and do not constitute medical advice. The contents are provided for information and purposes only and not for the purpose of rendering medical advice. Please contact the office with any questions regarding medical conditions and treatment.