Outpatient surgical procedures, surgical cases not requiring post-operative hospitalization, have grown tremendously across the United States with continued growth on the horizon. The 129 million outpatient procedures performed in 2018 is projected to grow to 144 million by 2023. These surgeries are performed in a hospital outpatient or an Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) and are projected to grow 25 percent in the next decade! While outpatient surgery isn’t new, one source cites that during the pandemic, orthopedics cases in an ASC experienced a 47 percent increase. This spike was the result of limited hospital access and resources, as well as the safety benefits of not entering a hospital during a pandemic to receive an elective procedure.
What is the benefit of having an Orthopedic Surgery at an Ambulatory Surgery Center?
o An ASC allows patients to arrive directly to the surgical suite with easy parking and without navigating an overwhelming hospital. When it is time for discharge, exiting is equally accessible. Often the day of surgery requires planning for the patient and access to the surgical center should not be a major part of logistics considerations.
o Surgery in an ASC involves same day discharge and the comfort of your own home as recovery begins. Quick recovery and immediate return to your family (and pets!) improves the experience that can at times feel overwhelming.
• Reduced cost
o Same day surgery in an ASC means no costly recovery in the hospital. In some cases, even the cost of the procedure is less when performed in an ASC.
What kind of Orthopedic Surgery is performed at an ASC?
Elective and non-elective cases can be safely performed in an ambulatory surgery center including:
• Total knee/hip Replacement
• Total shoulder/ankle Replacement
• Rotator Cuff Repair
• ACL & Meniscus Repair
• Carpal Tunnel Surgery
• Fracture repair
• Achilles Tendon Repair
• Foot/Ankle Surgery
• Tendon Repairs
• Cervical and Lumbar Fusions
• Cervical and Lumbar Discectomy/Laminectomy
• Many more Open and Arthroscopic Procedures
Is there a difference in safety in the ASC?
Ambulatory Surgery Centers are subject to strict regulations equivalent to those of a hospital surgical suite. The facility must be licensed and successfully pass rigorous accreditation processes to demonstrate the safe and effective ability to treat patients.
How do I know if I am a candidate for orthopedic surgery at an ASC?
A variety of factors are considered when your physician recommends surgery in an ASC. These variables are an overview of your physical health, social support, and home environment. Every patient is unique, and your surgeon will be sure to place you in the best environment to have a safe surgery and successful recovery.