When those living in the Triangle Area are looking for outpatient shoulder replacement surgery, types of outpatient knee surgery, or additional joint replacement procedures, they turn to the expertise of EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region. Compared to inpatient joint replacements, outpatient joint replacement procedures typically offer cost savings, the absence of a hospital stay, and reduced risk of infection (compared to inpatient hospital surgeries).
In addition to the many benefits of outpatient surgery, our patients have the added advantage of the convenient, local option that comes with access to the Triangle Surgery Center. And, the expertise of board-certified, fellowship-trained joint replacement surgeons skilled and practiced in performing outpatient procedures.
Advantages of Expert, Patient-Centered Outpatient Joint Replacement Surgery
Outpatient joint replacements often offer substantial cost savings since there is no hospital stay. And, as we mentioned earlier, they can be performed as surgery centers, which typically charge significantly lower fees than typical hospitals might.
In addition to helping patients save money, the advantages of outpatient joint replacement include:
- Greater convenience and comfort
- Fewer complications (and, the chance of picking up an infection from something or someone at the hospital is lessened the shorter the amount of time spent there).
- Reduced time waiting/recovering in a hospital (patients typically go home the same day as their surgery)
Sometimes patients scheduled for outpatient surgery may end up having to stay at a hospital (or be sent to a hospital from a surgery center) if unforeseen complications occur. To lessen this risk, we screen patients prior to surgery—your safety is always our top concern.
How Outpatient Joint Replacement Works in a Surgery Center
One significant difference in having an outpatient procedure performed at a surgery center as opposed to a hospital is the way anesthesia is administered. Anesthesia, which is used to help make patients more comfortable during surgery, is modified for outpatient joint replacement patients. A shorter-acting block or injection is usually given during outpatient surgery to allow patients to move their legs sooner. A long-acting local anesthetic is frequently used to numb the tissue around the incision to help provide comfort.
To assist with pain relief, your surgeon will provide a personalized pain management plan.
Another difference between inpatient versus outpatient surgery is that generally, urinary catheters are not used for patients undergoing outpatient joint replacement.
After surgery, you will have your first physical therapy (PT) consultation when recovered enough in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU). When you have proven you can walk appropriately and are deemed safe to be sent home, you will be discharged.
Patients undergoing outpatient joint replacements may stay in the PACU longer than inpatient replacement patients since they need to be fully recovered before being released. A follow-up physical therapy appointment will be made to help you continue your recovery at home.
Since you will not have a team of physical therapists at your disposal at home, it is important that you do have caregivers who can help you with initial assistance walking, taking medication, and preparing meals.
Maximize Your Recovery at Home
Many patients are more comfortable being in the familiar environment of home while they recover. And, they may also be more likely to avoid complications since they are likely to move around the home more than at the hospital.
To help maximize your recovery at home, it is crucial to follow the post-surgical instructions provided by your surgeon. This may include:
- Taking your medications as directed in your discharge paperwork.
- Being aware that your leg muscles may be weak for the first day or so—and, as a result, to make sure to wear any prescribed braces and/or use a walker or crutches.
- Wearing your brace(s) and using assistive devices until you are advised to stop by your therapist or surgical team.
- Drinking plenty of fluids and eating a healthy diet to provide the energy necessary for optimum healing.
- Following the instructions regarding your dressings and showering (given to you at the time of discharge).
The ultimate goal of our EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region Joint Replacement Team is to help each patient Emerge Stronger. Healthier. Better. Our 100% physician-owned surgery center was the first orthopedic ambulatory surgery center dedicated to orthopedics in the region. We strive for excellence in patient-centered care, cost efficiency, and offering the latest, most effective multidisciplinary surgical approaches for improved quality of life.
To learn more, self-schedule your appointment now. Or, call us any time at (919) 220-5255.