Joint Replacement is a relatively major surgery. Typically, patients spend 1-3 days in the hospital following the procedure to work with physical therapy and monitor for issues with pain. The hospital setting has been very successful, so why change something that works?
The hospital is a busy, and sometimes, chaotic environment, and the many moving parts are not always directed towards your direct care. In the ambulatory setting, there is considerably more surgeon control over the care episode. The teams are smaller and highly specialized, translating to an efficient and more personalized experience. Most centers that perform outpatient total joint procedures are highly specialized for orthopedic care. Boston Out Patient Surgical Suites performs only orthopedic procedures, and as a result, everyone on the team has extensive experience and interest in your case.
For you, outpatient joint replacement will likely be a less stressful surgical experience….and this means a quicker recovery.
But What about the Risks?
Not all patients are appropriate candidates for outpatient surgery. Despite this, current projections estimate that 50% of total hip and knee replacements will be performed in outpatient facilities by 2027. This is directly related to improved pain control options, less invasive surgical techniques, and more diligent management of risk factors known to complicate surgery. Talk with your surgeon about whether outpatient joint replacement is right for you.
The key to success for the patient is appropriate consideration and preparation by your surgical team. A thorough history and exam will be supplemented by the standard preoperative work-up including: EKG, a complete metabolic panel, complete blood count, and HgbA1C in diabetics.
Preparation is Key
Unlike hospital-based surgery, a lot of the work when operating at an ambulatory surgery center is front-loaded, utilizing a multi-disciplinary team before the surgery. This means that you will have a well-defined plan for your post-surgery care before you even have the procedure.
You should select a family member or close friend to stay with you for the first 72 hours after you go home. Ideally, this person will attend your preoperative evaluations to better understand the plan after surgery.
Boston Out Patient Surgical Suites uses an Arthroplasty Navigator to streamline the process. You will be contacted by one of our patient navigators after scheduling your surgery. This will be a friendly and consistent contact, who with your surgeon, will help manage perioperative expectations, coordinate logistics on the day of surgery, and plan for home care.
A Physical Therapist will meet with you before surgery to discuss the therapy protocols and review your living situation. They will help you prepare for the mobility restrictions that are expected in the short-term after surgery.
Home Health Care will be coordinated to visit you at home. Their team will visit daily and includes nurses and physical therapists to make your first week at home more comfortable.
Schedule an Appointment
While outpatient joint replacement is not for everyone, if you have arthritis but remain healthy and active, the ambulatory experience may be for you. Talk to Dr. Schena or Dr. Werger today to see if you are a good candidate for the patient-centered care of Boston Out Patient Surgical Suites.