Toileting Aids

Toileting aids are designed to help you manage using the loo both before and after hip replacement surgery.

These aids will form an essential part of your recovery. They will keep you safe and save you from embarrassment and discomfort.

The aids I recommend are: -

  • Bedpans
  • Bedside commodes
  • Raised toilet seats
  • Portable urinating devices for ladies

When should I get my toileting aids?

If you are not already using these you must ensure that they are set up and ready for when you return from hospital. It's also useful to have a trial run on them so they feel part of your normal routine. You really won't want to be getting used to new things straight after surgery.

Private and independent hospitals should be able to supply you with everything you need but they will probably be more expensive then buying via the internet or in a store.

Will I have to buy my own toileting aids?

If you are being treated on the NHS you should be supplied with a bedside commode and a raised toilet seat. These will be on loan and at some stage the hospital will reclaim them. If you want to go on using these toileting aids for longer than you will need to buy your own. They come in various levels of quality and looks and if money is not too tight then I'd suggest buying one that you not only feel comfortable sitting on but looking at as well.

The Essential Toileting Aids

It is highly unlikely you will need to have a bedpan at home but you will use one in hospital for the first day or two. The nursing staff will look after all the practical aspects so no need for any more information here.

Bedside Commodes


I loved my commode. Apart from my walking aids it was the single piece of equipment that had the most positive impact on my recovery! Of course if you have an en suite room it might not seem such a big deal but to me it was heaven. Getting in and out of bed for the first week or so is challenging enough but then getting up the stairs to the loo in the middle of the night and then back down them and into bed was just too much. How much easier to use a commode.

Bedside commodes come in a large variety of models and prices. If you are going to use one long term I strongly advise getting one that looks like a good piece of furniture rather than a bit of hospital equipment for the elderly. After all who needs a visual reminder that their body is failing them morning, noon and night?

One word of advice is to check the structure of the commode before you buy it. If I tried to move the one the hospital lent me the side rails fell off and I'd have to put it back together. It didn't take long but was inconvenient. I can only assume that the hospital thought that once it was in place I'd not want to move it but my room is small and so I did.

Raised Toilet Seats

Until you've had your hip replaced you probably won't realise how low toilet seats are. I suggest they were probably designed by someone under 5' tall. One thing for certain is you can't use a standard one as it would mean breaching the rule of 90

Never close the angle between your body and your thigh by more than 90 degrees

The solution is to raise the height of the seat with one of these ingenious devices. This is a great temporary measure but if I had to go on using a raised toilet for the rest of my life I think I'd try and get the toilet put on a platform with proper built in grab rails on either side.

When ordering your seat please remember to get one with arms. These are absolutely essential to help lower yourself down and push yourself back up off the seat. You really don't want to get stuck!

Portable Urinating Devices

Now you'll either love these toileting aids or reject them without giving them a fair chance. They are small devices that allow a woman to wee standing up and you will need one if you ever have to use a loo in a friend's house, a restaurant, pub, cinema or other public place. Why? Because the loos are all too low for you to sit on and the chances are that even if you could get yourself down without breaking the rule of 90 there wouldn't be anything to grab onto to push yourself up. Stuck on the loo !

PUDs have sold really well since they were first invented. They are normally sold for camping, sailing, travelling (in the wilds not at the Hilton!), concerts (think Glastonbury not Glyndebourne) and anywhere that the cleanliness of the loo is suspect. They are brilliant for hip replacement patients and I strongly recommend them.

SheWee - is the one I know best. It's been around a while and has a very good reputation. Strong and sturdy and a good fit.

go-girlGo Girl This one is made out of silicon and so is pretty flexible and comfortable. I think it's going to be my favourite.

travel johnTravel John is a different type of PUD with a different type of purpose. It's a pouch designed to hold urine. The gell inside solidifies the urine on contact so there's no odour or leakage. Women should consider using it with a SheWee or Go Girl.

A few other thoughts

Loo Paper

This is not about another toileting aid its just a warning from one friend to another. BEFORE you sit down make sure you can reach the loo roll. Having a hip replacement makes you aware of all sorts of things you've never thought of before and one of them will be where people "hide" their toilet paper. If its on one of those stacking pegs on the floor you won't be able to reach down to it and if its on the tank behind you there is no way you can turn around to grab it without first standing up.

Be prepared!

Using toilets for the disabled

Another thing you will notice post-op is that all toilets are either up or down a flight of stairs except those designated for people with disabilities. These though are locked with a RADAR key. It used to be hard to obtain one of these keys but when I Googled it to find out the criteria I found them on sale at ebay and Amazon for about £3.25 plus p&p. I'm not sure I approve of that as the keys should be for people with disabilities and if they're widely available it is they who will suffer as the toilets will be over used. If you don't have a key then simply asking the owner of the establishment should be enough to get the door unlocked.

Related Links: 

Hip Dislocation 
Hip Precautions

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