Kevin Gannon is a 59-year-old business executive who travels a lot for both work and recreation. In his years on the road, he’s become accustomed to seeking out the best experiences—whether it’s the perfect restaurant to take a client, a bowling tournament in a faraway city, or a great trout fishing stream. It was Kevin’s passion for pursuing great experiences that led him to travel from his hometown of Roanoke, Virginia to undergo knee replacement surgery at the Virtua Joint Replacement Institute in New Jersey.
Admittedly, facing surgery is a more serious venture than planning the perfect weekend fishing trip. Still, Kevin was determined to seek out a great experience and recovery. “After suffering knee pain for almost five years, I started doing research online,” he said. “I had tried all the different shots, but those were only a temporary solution for pain. The more I read, I kept coming across the term ‘minimally invasive,’ and I was intrigued. I reached out to top local orthopedic surgeons, but no one nearby was performing this procedure for knee replacement.”
Kevin was undeterred. He said, “I was tired of the pain and I was willing to travel to find the doctor who would perform the procedure that felt right for me.” He made a consultation appointment in Chicago to coincide with a business trip there. About the same time, he viewed a video about Virtua’s quad-sparing procedure on YouTube—where he first learned of the Virtua Joint Replacement Institute and Dr. Scott Schoifet.
“New Jersey was a lot closer to home than Chicago,” he said. “And I have a good friend who lives in Philadelphia, so I asked him about Virtua. I found out he was actually seeing Dr. Schoifet, so that helped reinforce my decision.”
Kevin’s first meeting with Dr. Schoifet was in April 2013 and he was immediately impressed “Dr. Schoifet explained that they don’t cut the quadriceps tendon, so it might take longer for the procedure, but it’s better for the patient,” he said. “That is not something you usually hear. When I realized Virtua surgeons perform this technique to ensure quick recovery for the patient, it was interesting. They clearly had a passion for the patient.”
Kevin scheduled the surgery and immediately was assigned to a nurse navigator. She helped him with all the surgery details and also helped him find a convenient hotel within five miles of the hospital. He said, “I didn’t have to do anything. Everything was organized and efficient. I felt someone was watching over me the whole time. It was wonderful.”
Kevin had the surgery on a Monday and left the hospital on a Wednesday. He recovered for a few days at a local hotel and attended physical therapy sessions at the hospital. He said, “I only had to do that for a few days, then I stayed in upstate New York with family, close enough to travel back for my two-week checkup.”
Today, Kevin enjoys the newfound freedom of having his knee back in working order, without the pain. He said “Before the surgery, I couldn’t even walk on uneven ground, like sand or grass—and I had no stability when I fished in trout streams. Now I’m not afraid to stand in fast-moving water. I would definitely travel to Virtua again if I needed another knee done. It was worth the trip.”