A recent article published in the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery by a group from the Kaiser Permanente joint registry sought to compare hospital readmissions, infections and complications for patients undergoing total shoulder and reverse shoulder replacement surgery. They compared the frequency of these variable between patients who went home the same day and those who stayed in the hospital for between 1 and 4 days postoperatively. The authors found no difference in rates and any of these post-operative problems suggesting that same-day surgery is equally safe in terms of complication risk compared to a postoperative hospital stay.
In our practice, we have been performing outpatient shoulder replacement for 3 years and our experience mirrors the data from Kaiser Permanente. Successful development of an outpatient joint replacement program requires a high level of dedication on the part of the care team to help patients navigate the entire surgical episode from preoperative education and preparation through the recovery and rehabilitation process. Not every practice is capable of providing this level of service, nor does every practice offer the level of expertise necessary perform the surgery in an efficient and effective manner that allows patients to comfortable recover at home.
We have pioneered our AVATAR program for outpatient knee, hip and shoulder replacements. The concept of the program is alignment of all of the vital assets that lead to a more rapid recovery and better patient outcome. Our job is to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks and that patients are receiving the best care all the way through the process from anesthesia to the surgical technique, the implant, pain management and rehabilitation. We take ownership of this process with the commitment to set the stage for patients to succeed.
The great news is that it is no longer necessary to spend the night in the hospital after total joint surgery for a majority of patients. Equally good news is that our practice has an experience of over 2000 cases in successfully allowing people return home just hours after surgery. Our program is backed by clinical studies that demonstrate its safety and our expertise can help prevent problems from reaching the level of complications.