One main reason more patients don’t request surgery to be performed as an outpatient procedure is a simple lack of awareness – that it is actually possible to have their surgery done in the outpatient setting. “This is a travesty," says Dr. Thomas L. Lyons of the Center for Women’s Care & Reproductive Surgery in Atlanta, “because the infection rate is less than 1 percent for patients who have their procedures at outpatient surgery centers, whereas hospital infection rates usually run between 10 to 15 percent. People simply aren’t aware that outpatient surgery offers less pain, less risk and less recovery time."
Recently attending SCA’s (Surgical Care Affiliates LLC) Physician Leadership Conference along with 150 other medical directors, Lyons advocates more consumer education about the benefits of outpatient surgeries—now performed successfully for more than 20 years.
“For example, the big issue with joint replacement is infection," he shares. “I had my knee replaced and was out within 23 hours, which is considered an outpatient procedure but my procedure was done in a hospital with, therefore, a significantly higher infection rate. Now there are surgery centers doing outpatient joint replacement with that low infection rate."
Lyons developed the Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy in 1989 and has performed hundreds as outpatient procedures since then. A large proportion of these LS procedures have been performed at SCA Perimeter Surgery Center in Atlanta.
Myomectomy (removal of fibroids), pelvic floor reconstruction and more can also be performed as outpatient procedures. In fact, virtually all benign gynecology procedures can be done at an outpatient surgery center. Many procedures can even be done in-office.
With 17.9 per cent of government spending on healthcare, data demonstrates how effective and cost-efficient outpatient procedures are today. As Lyons points out, the challenge now is making consumers aware of it.