08:16 AM

Knee Replacement Surgery in the Morning, Home That Evening: The New Outpatient Trend

Healthline discusses outpatient total knee replacement surgery according to experts including Steven B. Haas, MD, chief of the knee service at HSS.

As more orthopedic groups across the country are putting this procedure in place, they are finding that it not only reduces costs but also has better patient outcomes. “My belief is this: When you do a surgical integration, especially a quality of life one, we want to disrupt the patient’s life as little as possible,” said Dr. Haas. HSS started its shift toward outpatient surgery for joint replacement nearly four years ago, one of the first in the nation to do so. Dr. Haas explained HSS was not only driven by cost cutting, but more so by how they believed this would improve both the experience and outcome for the people undergoing the surgery. “There is no doubt there were multiple drivers,” he said. “But if you look at the bigger picture, this really hits the sweet spot of decreasing costs while improving care and the patient experience. It’s the right thing to do.”

Dr. Haas noted outpatient surgery isn’t for everybody - a patient needs to be motivated and have the right attitude. “There is no doubt there are people who are a good choice for this and those who are not,” he cited. “I don’t envision 100 percent of [total joint replacement patients] going home the same day. That’s never going to happen.” The patient must be willing to do their at home physical therapy daily, stay up to speed on their medications, and be willing to push themselves. “If you are not a motivated patient, this is not for you. I tell every patient: This is a team effort, and I have the easiest part on that team. I give them the equipment. They have to use it.”

Dr. Haas added part of the reason this works is that at home, people must get up and do things. “If you lay someone down for a day, they will want to lay down the next day too,” he said. “At home, you have to get up and do things that seem hard, but once you do them, you see you can.”

Read the full article at Healthline.com.