Total joint replacement surgery has traditionally been performed in a hospital. In the past, bigger incisions, greater blood loss and unmanageable pain have warranted extended hospital stays. In fact, many procedures such as ACL reconstructions, rotator cuff repairs, and fracture repairs that are performed in ambulatory surgery centers today were historically performed strictly in a hospital setting. With the advent of better instruments, enhanced surgical techniques, restricted blood loss and much improved pain management protocols the hospital stay after surgery for hip, knee and shoulder replacement has routinely been shortened to a 1-2 day stay for the typical mid 60’s and older, less healthy patient. This whole paradigm is changing, however, and for younger, healthy patients… a hospital stay may be not necessary at all! In fact, across the country the concept of major joint surgery done in the outpatient setting in surgery centers is rapidly becoming an expectation preferred by patients, health care providers and insurance companies.
This revolutionary transition of joint replacement surgery to an outpatient setting enables patients to recover in the comfort of their own home without the distractions that are often presented in the hospital. Infection rates are considerably lower for surgeries performed in ambulatory surgery centers when compared to a hospital setting, and patient satisfaction rates are much higher. The staffing model in an ambulatory surgery center fosters a plan of care that is tailored to meet the needs of each patient on an individual basis. The high nurse to patient ratios enables the clinical team to provide patient centered care throughout the entire experience. A patient feels like the nursing team is actually paying attention to them and them alone throughout their short stay.
We understand that a joint replacement is a major event in each patient’s life. It is our belief that for certain patients, who are typically younger and healthier, a joint replacement done in the ambulatory surgery setting will provide a better patient experience than would traditional stay in the hospital. This idea is catching on across the U.S and is increasing being supported in the scientific literature on joint patient recovery. We have achieved proven success through a combination of minimally invasive surgical techniques, improved anesthetic techniques, and pain management techniques that permit early mobilization within hours after the operation. Carefully designed protocols for pain management, blood clot prevention, and physical therapy ensure a safe recovery at home.
In the appropriate healthy, younger patient; outpatient joint replacement surgery offers a safe, convenient and less stressful environment in which to undergo these highly successful procedures. Other benefits to outpatient joint replacement surgery at Seaside Surgery Center include:
- Returning home the same day as surgery
- Easier access — entering, checking-in and checking-out
- Decreased risk of infection
- Increased comfort as a result of performing rehabilitation almost exclusively at home
- Reduced recovery time due to the minimally invasive nature of the procedure
- Quicker return to recreational activity
Again, the ideal patient needs to be healthy, motivated, well informed, and fully prepared for a home recovery. It is imperative that patients have a good support system – family and/ or friends – at home. Patients who have their surgery performed in an outpatient setting experience numerous short-term benefits without sacrificing any long-term results.