With improved technology and advances in anesthesia and pain control, many less invasive surgical procedures are now being performed by our doctors on an outpatient basis at SW11 MEDICAL. Common procedures that are now routinely performed on an outpatient basis include gynaecological, urological, orthopedic, wound repair and costmetic surgery and more.
Outpatient surgery does not require overnight hospital stay and patients may return home after surgery and time spent in the recovery room. However, not all patients are candidates for outpatient surgery and some procedures still require hospitalization. A patient's medical history and the advice of the surgeon and anesthesiologist are important in determining if the procedure is best performed on an outpatient or inpatient basis.
What kind of operation may be appropriate for outpatient surgery?
The most appropriate procedures for outpatient surgery are those associated with
post-operative care that is easily managed at home, and those with very low rates of post-operative complications, requiring care by a doctor or nurse.
What are the benefits of outpatient surgery?
There are many advantages of outpatient surgery over traditional, inpatient surgery. These include the following:
- → • Convenience. The convenience of recovering in your home generally makes recovery time easier than an in-hospital stay.
→ • Lower cost. Since there are no hospital room charges, and related hospital charges, costs are much lower for outpatient surgery. Some insurance companies will cover certain surgical procedures only on an outpatient basis, unless your physician certifies that you require a more intensive level of post-operative care due to an underlying medical condition.
→ • Reduced stress. In the majority of cases, outpatient surgery is less stressful than inpatient surgery. This is especially true for children who are afraid of being away from home. Most persons, moreover, prefer to recover in their homes rather than in the hospital.
→ • Scheduling is more predictable. In a hospital setting, emergency surgeries and procedures that take longer than expected can delay scheduled surgeries. An outpatient setting can generally stay within a set schedule since the procedures are less complex and more routine.
Preparing for surgery
While many outpatient surgeries are covered insurance plans, many are not. Candidates for such surgeries should check in advance with their insurance company whether their procedures are covered on an outpatient basis.
Preparing for outpatient surgery varies, of course, with the surgical procedure to be performed. There are, however, guidelines common to most outpatient surgeries. Patients should be in good health before undergoing outpatient surgery. Colds, fever, chills, or flu symptoms are all reasons to postpone a procedure, and surgical candidates should notify their doctor if such conditions exist.
Patients should check with their doctor for all information covering preparation for outpatient procedures. A near-universal requirement is to have a family member or friend take charge of delivering the outpatient to surgery, either to wait there or to arrive in time to pick up the patient on release from recovery.
The evening before, a light meal is recommended to preoperative patients, with no alcohol taken for a full day before surgery. Nothing is to be taken by mouth after midnight of the day preceding surgery. Smokers should stop or cut back on smoking prior to surgery. Loose-fitting clothing is recommended, and it is advised to bring enough money along to cover postoperative prescription medicine.
This same information applies if the outpatient is a child. If children are permitted clear liquids on the day of outpatient surgery, parents will be told when the child must stop taking them. Surgery will be cancelled or delayed if these requirements are not met.
Is outpatient surgery safe for elderly patients?
Age, alone, is not a reason to disqualify an elderly patient from having outpatient surgery. However, age does affect the reaction of elderly patients to certain anesthetic drugs, as short-acting drugs often take a longer time to be metabolized by elderly persons. Elderly persons may also have more underlying medical conditions that could make an outpatient surgery riskier. It is important for an elderly patient to have a thorough medical evaluation before any surgery to determine the best surgical setting for that individual.
How soon after surgery do patients go home?
The scheduled time of discharge depends on the type of surgery, the anesthesia. In general, most patients go home between one and four hours after outpatient surgery. The anesthesiologist can give you more specific information based on your case. Occasionally, it is necessary for a patient to remain overnight. SW11 MEDICAL Outpatient Surgery has arrangements with local hospitals if this becomes necessary.
What are the responsibilities of the patient upon returning home?
Patients who undergo an outpatient procedure should have someone to drive them home and stay with them following the procedure. Most patients are restricted from driving for at least 24 hours after surgery. Patients often experience drowsiness and minor after-effects, such as muscle aches, sore throat, and occasional dizziness and headaches. Occasionally nausea may also be present. There may also be fatigue and discomfort for a day or two following the surgery. This discomfort varies depending on the type of surgical procedure performed.
Once at home, the patient must be able to tolerate any pain from the procedure, with the prescribed pain medicine. Written and verbal instructions for proper pain management will be given and the patient must be able to follow these instructions. A nurse or the physician will generally follow up these instructions to make sure the patient is recovering normally. The patient will also receive telephone numbers to call if there are concerns or emergency help is needed.
Following is a list of commonly performed procedures at the SW11 MEDICAL. This is an abbreviated list for quick reference. Please call the Outpatient Care Team on 0208 648 5111 if you have a question about a specific procedure.
- Laser Varicose Veins
→ Freezing Skin lesion
→ Laser skin lesions removal
→ Fingernail/ toenail removal
→ Laser plastic surgery of ingrown toenail
→ Sclerotherapy of hemorrhoids
→ Scryosurgery and ligation of hemorrhoids
→ Laser closing of blood vessels
→ Phimosis plastic surgery
→ Removal of genital or anal warts