ASCs Produce Successful Results, Low Complications

A new study suggests joint replacement patients may be happier going home on the same day as their surgery than staying overnight in a hospital.

If you are considering a total hip or total knee replacement, you may want to schedule it at an ambulatory surgery center (ASC). A new study presented at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ annual meeting suggests joint replacement patients may be happier going home on the day of surgery rather than staying overnight at a hospital.

More Patients Prefer Total Joint Replacement at ASCs

Richard Berger, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush in Chicago has completed more outpatient total joint replacement surgeries than any other physician in the country. He and his research team studied patients who had the same hospital, surgeon, anesthetist and nurse. The only variable was whether the patient chose to be admitted to the hospital and to stay overnight or whether the patient chose to be discharged on the day of surgery.

The team anticipated the patients who chose to stay overnight in the hospital would be happier than the patients who opted to go home, but they were incorrect. Patients who returned home on the day of surgery reported higher levels of satisfaction than patients who spent the night in a hospital. Dr. Berger said, "The research shows that patients like to be given a choice, and while the clinical outcomes are excellent for both, joint replacement patients are happier when they return to the comfort of home."

Patients who went home on the day of surgery reported satisfaction with staff communication regarding medication as well as pain management protocol. One patient said she was happy to be able to walk out of the center and rest at home in her own bed. She felt that she recuperated more quickly than friends who had joint replacement surgery in an inpatient setting.

ASCs Save Patients Money

Another benefit of outpatient total joint procedure is cost. According to Becker’s ASC Review, an outpatient procedure could cost up to 50 percent less than an inpatient procedure.

The number of total joint replacements is expected to increase by 77 percent in the next decade, and cost will be a significant factor in how patients make decisions. The number of inpatient joint replacement procedures is expected to rise only three percent, but outpatient total joint replacements are expected to increase by 457 percent for knee replacements and 633 percent for hip replacements.

Do you need a hip or joint replacement? Talk with your doctor about scheduling your procedure at an ASC. Patients who are in good physical health and are at low risk for complications are excellent candidates for outpatient joint replacement at an ambulatory surgery center. You could save hundreds of dollars on your procedure and recover in the comfort of your home.

Ask your doctor for a list of in-network facilities near you.