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Booking Surgery

If surgery is agreed to be the best way forward for you Dr. Thornton-Bott will explain the options and you will be able to decide where you would prefer to have your operation and agree a date suitable to you. He will then explain the details of the procedure, explain the benefits and importantly any risks of complications that may occur and answer all of your questions. This is a legality and must be done prior to you signing the consent form for the operation. Only once you are happy and understand the procedure will you be asked to sign the consent form.

Dr. Paul Thornton-Bott will complete a Referral For Admission form (RFA) which details the procedure and the date of surgery and has the Consent Form attached. These are specific to the hospital you are going to.

Once he has completed this he will retain a copy and YOU WILL BE GIVEN THE ORIGINAL RFA. You will take the RFA away and fill in all the relevant contact and health patient information details which are on the following pages after the consent form.

The Mater Hospital Sydney and Nowra Private Hospital have on-line patient information forms. Shellharbour Private Hospital will have this facility soon.


This can be done by hand or post to

Theatre admissions Office
Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital
Scenic Drive
Nowra, NSW 2541

If you are in Milton or surrounding, the Public Hospital Transport can deliver the RFA for you.

As soon as they have the RFA you will be booked for surgery.

If you are having your surgery in a private hospital, Dr. Paul Thornton-Bott will then let the relevant hospital know that you have been booked for surgery.


What happens after you have been booked will then depend upon whether you are going through the public system or if you have insurance.


The RFA needs to be taken or sent to the hospital. You will need to contact the hospital soon after your booking/consultation and arrange an appointment in the Pre-Assessment Clinic (PAC). Usually you can drop off your RFA at the time of your PAC appointment.

Dr. Paul Thornton-Bott’s team will send you a ‘Surgical Pack’ soon after your booking. This will have information regarding your procedure and will also contain a formal quote explaining the costs associated with your surgery, the rebate you will get and any out-of-pocket expenses (Gap).

You will need to sign one of these quotes and return to Dr. Paul Thornton-Bott’s rooms prior to your operation.

It will also give you contact information for booking PAC, labs etc. It will have information explaining what to expect following your surgery, wound care, exercises/Physiotherapy and follow-up information etc.

All patients undergoing joint replacement surgery will need PAC.

At the PAC, you will be seen by a Nurse, an Anaesthetist (If necessary) and a physiotherapist. They will explain the process of admission, preparation, anaesthetic and post operative care in detail so that you are fully informed of what to expect.

Patients undergoing smaller operations may need to attend PAC if they are over 65 or have major health issues. Dr. Paul Thornton-Bott will advise if this is necessary.

You will need to get laboratory investigations completed. Dr. Paul Thornton-Bott will provide you with the necessary forms. ALL joint replacement patients will have a wide range of labs, swabs, ECG etc. Smaller ops will require less tests, and young fit patients only a few.

Labs should be done ASAP as they will be needed at the PAC appointment. Sometimes the labs identify unknown medical conditions which may require assessment and management prior to your surgery and may delay your operation. e.g. unknown diabetes.

The hospital will contact you with further information such as time of surgery, when to come in and what to bring etc.


Hand/post your RFA to the hospital as above.

You will be contacted by the Public hospital for your PAC appointment closer to the date of surgery.

This is typically about 6 weeks prior to your operation date at which time you will have all your labs done as well as see the Nurse, doctor and anaesthetist as necessary.

Again, you will be given all the information you need to ensure you understand the process completely.

Public operations are usually 12 months after booking but may be sooner.


If you have pre-existing heart, respiratory or kidney complaints, you may need to be seen by your Cardiologist/Chest Physician/Renal Physician etc. to ensure your condition is optimised before you embark upon a surgical procedure. This may require further specialised tests.


If you are having a joint replacement, it is pertinent to get your dentist to check your dentition. If you require major dental work then it is important to have this done BEFORE your joint replacement. Bugs in the mouth may get into the blood stream during major dental work, and these bugs can land on your new joint, causing an infection. This is a disaster and, although rare, can require major revision surgery involving two operations and long periods of antibiotics. As such, Dr. Paul Thornton-Bott requires you to have this check by your dentist prior to going ahead with a joint replacement.

Dr. Paul Thornton-Bott and his team are always happy to answer any questions you may have about your surgery.

Book a Consultation
  • The Mater Hospital, Sydney, North Sydney
  • Shellharbour Private Hospital
  • Nowra Private Hospital
  • Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital
  • The Royal College of Surgeons
  • Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)
  • Australian Orthopaedic Association (AOA)
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)
  • Medical Board of Australia
  • General Medical Council
  • Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • xyz