Benefits of Outpatient Joint Replacement Procedures
Hip and knee replacement procedures performed in an outpatient facility, not in a hospital, are becoming more common. In fact, researchers expect that over half of all joint replacement surgeries will be outpatient procedures by 2026.
In 2015, Dr. Mark Hollmann established a Rapid Recovery Total Joint Program for total hip & total knee patients at what was then Florida Hospital Deland. This program was first of its kind in Volusia County and allowed patients to leave the hospital the next day after their total hip or total knee procedure. Over the last year he has moved this program to the Ambulatory Surgery Center facilities making it possible for patients to go home in less than 5 hours after surgery.
In this month’s blog post, Dr. Mark Hollmann outlines the benefits and the ideal candidate for outpatient joint replacement surgery.
What is outpatient total joint replacement?
Many minimally invasive surgeries can be performed on an outpatient basis. These surgeries are typically performed in an Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC). For the right patient, advances in technology have made it possible for a person to forgo an overnight stay in the hospital. Procedures are more precise than ever. The less invasive the surgery is, the fewer complications and time it takes for the patient to heal.
We schedule numerous surgeries as outpatient procedures, allowing our patients to go home a few hours after surgery. If anesthesia is required, the patient may need to wait for it to wear off before returning to the comfort of their own home.
More complex surgeries often take place in the hospital. These require a longer recovery time, and our physicians will want to keep an eye on the patient to ensure everything went as planned. If complications do arise with this surgery, the hospital staff can step in immediately.
What are the benefits of outpatient joint replacement surgeries?
- Lowered Medical Costs: Especially for those whose insurance won’t cover the full cost of a joint replacement; an outpatient center is significantly less expensive than an overnight hospital stay.
- Shorter Stay at the Hospital: With the outpatient procedure, patients will be able to make the recovery in the comfort of their own home.
- Faster Recovery and Lessened Risk of Infection: Studies show that patients tend to recover from surgery more quickly and in addition, are less of at-risk of hospital-acquired infection.
Who is the ideal outpatient surgery candidate?
Same day surgery is not recommended for everyone. The right patient for an outpatient hip or knee surgery is:
- Healthy: Those with serious pre-existing conditions require more attentive medical attention following a surgery than those who don’t. Only healthy patients should undergo an outpatient procedure because there will be much less risk of something going wrong during the recovery process.
- Motivated to Recover: Recovering from such a major surgery at home requires a great deal of will and determination. Recovery exercises will need to be performed regularly and correctly. The patients who make the best recovery are those who are excited about the results they can achieve after the procedure.
- Assisted by a Good Support System: It’s often harder to recover without someone’s help. A family member or a close friend who will help the patient through the first few days of recovery can provide a huge boost to their recovery efforts. They can help with anything from medication, to doing the exercises alongside the patient, to just providing encouragement.
Although joint replacement may make sense for some patients, only your surgeon can help you decide what is best for you. It is important to talk with your doctor if you have any questions about joint replacement and outpatient vs inpatient surgery in general.