It is known by several names: same-day surgery, day-case surgery, ambulatory surgery and outpatient surgery. Whatever the name, outpatient orthopaedic surgery is now considered by many to be safe and feasible across an ever-widening array of joints — hips, knees, hands, ankles and spine. Proponents of these procedures say they have the potential to increase patient comfort and satisfaction while improving hospital efficiency and reducing health care costs.
However, there are concerns among some physicians about this type of surgery.
“There is a big pressure towards ambulatory surgery because it is cheaper from a health care perspective,” said Peter Verdonk, MD, PhD, of Belgium. “The downside of it is we are pushing patients outside of the hospitals into their homes and sometimes there is a safety issue associated with the early move towards the home situation.”
Furthermore, there are barriers to widespread adoption of these procedures across Europe, with lack of reimbursement and different cultural views in some countries being among the largest. Many experts believe some orthopaedic procedures are just too complex to do as outpatient surgery.
Click here to read the full story in the September issue of Orthopaedics Today Europe.