The hospital used to be the only place people would go for surgery – no matter how big or small the procedure. Leading up to the surgery, there’d be several tests, and after, a couple days in the hospital. Then, advancements in surgery techniques and the growth of outpatient surgery centers allowed patients to have same-day surgeries for many procedures. You still need pre-surgery tests, but you are able to go home the day of your surgery.
Now, patients can have some procedures performed right in the clinic setting. This type of treatment is often called “office-based surgery.” The OSMS physicians can perform many hand and minor procedures in this setting, including:
- Finger cyst removal
- Trigger finger release
- Carpal tunnel release
- Nail bed repair
- Tendon repair and transfer
- Some lacerations from injuries at home or work.
How the Procedure Room Works
The procedures performed in the OSMS procedure room are the same ones performed in the surgery center. The physicians use the same tools and follow the same techniques. However, there are a few differences.
- Office-based procedures do not use general anesthesia or sedatives; patients are wide awake. All procedures are done after a numbing medicine is injected into the surgical site to “freeze” the area. Even though patients are awake, they are not required to watch the surgery or see the surgical site. Being awake allows for more time in discussion with the care team and education of the recovery process. This serves to ensure the patient has even more time to communicate with the surgeon.
- There is not as much pre-procedure prep required. You don’t need any lab work, a pre-op physical, or other testing.
- You can eat normally on the day of your procedure. Just avoid eating a large meal right before coming in.
- You can drive yourself to the clinic and back home after your procedure.
- You can leave immediately after your procedure is done.
- There aren’t any restrictions on who can have a procedure in the clinic setting. No age, health, or condition severity limitations. This setting will work for most patients who are comfortable with it.
“In the procedure room, the OSMS physicians follow many of the sterilization techniques used in the operating room,” says Dr. Ben Zellner, OSMS orthopedic hand surgeon. “We use surgical soap to wash our hands; we wear gloves and a gown; and we clean the procedure site (arm, wrist, hand, finger, etc.) with a surgical cleanser before starting.”
Benefits of Office-Based Surgery
The three main benefits of office-based surgery are time, cost, and flexibility.
- Fewer pre-procedure tests mean you’ll have fewer appointments to schedule and go to.
- You’ll be able to immediately resume most daily activities with a bandage on the surgical area. (Your physician will go over any specific restrictions you may have based on your procedure).
- You can go home right after your procedure is complete because you won’t have to recover from anesthesia, and your recovery instructions will be reviewed during the procedure instead of after.
- Saving time also saves money – with no pre-surgical tests, your overall cost of care will be less.
- You won’t have any overnight stay or operating room costs, so on average, your procedure will cost about 50% less than if it were performed at a hospital or surgery center. This significant cost savings could be very beneficial to patients with high deductible health plans.
Office-based procedures may be a good option for patients who are nervous of going under anesthesia. They also allow patients to receive treatment who might not typically be able to have a surgery due to a health condition like diabetes or an inability to stop medications leading up to surgery.