Outpatient spine surgery

Practice Management

Outpatient surgery centers in general, are specialized facilities designed for outpatient surgical procedures. When a patient elects to have surgery, their procedure will either be performed in a hospital or ASC. If your surgeon is a physician partner at a neighboring ASC, chances are you’ll have your much-needed surgery in that setting.

Regardless, ASCs are designed with the patient in mind. Many ASCs are outfitted to meet the surgeon’s desired specifications, allowing the surgeon to work with ease and provide patients with the best possible experience and outcome. Additionally, the cost of an outpatient surgery is usually 45 to 60 percent less than one performed at a hospital.


The advantage of out-patient surgery is that patients can recover in the comfort of their own home. This also removes them from proximity to other patients who may have more serious and possibly contagious illnesses.


The Advantages of an ASC


• Shorter wait time. If you wanted to have your procedure in a hospital, you often have to wait for it. The operating room has to be scheduled, the doctors and support staff have to be brought together and the hospital administration staff has to oversee every step in the process. If you opt for having your procedure in an ambulatory surgery center, there is very little wait time.
• Same day surgery available. ASC physicians follow a conservative handbook, meaning they always try non-surgical options first. If, however, your spine physician determines that you need surgery to relieve your pain and finally resolve your health issues, you can have your operation on the same day as an outpatient.
• Lower overall costs. A hospital, as you can imagine, has lots of overhead. That’s one reason hospital bills are so high. An ASC, on the other hand, is a smaller, dedicated space, keeping costs down. As a result, you’ll pay less for your procedure if it’s done in an ASC instead of in a hospital.
• Outpatient procedure. Because no expensive overnight stay is required after the procedure, you can recuperate at home. Overnight stays contribute to the higher prices hospitals charge, but you’ll be home with a complete set of doctor instructions on how to care for yourself as you heal.


The Disadvantages of an ASC


• Outpatient procedures only. Ambulatory surgery centers suggest in its name that they are for patients who can walk in. Not all surgical procedures are appropriate for an ASC. Your spinal surgeon can determine whether or not your procedure qualifies for the ASC.
• No overnight facilities. An ASC is for outpatient procedures only. If you need to spend a night in a supervised location, most ASCs do not have overnight facilities. Instead, they will transport you to a nearby hospital for overnight observation.
• Complications and emergencies require transfers. In the rare event of a surgical complication or a medical emergency, you may need to be transferred to a nearby hospital. ASCs are not prepared for every type of emergency, but the surgeon can safely transfer you to a hospital that is.
• Some patients do not qualify. If you have a particularly complicated medical issue or prior health problems that increase your risk, you may be better off having your procedure done in a hospital. Your spinal physician will be able to explain to you the decision if it is determined that you cannot have an ASC procedure. It’s for your own safety.


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