Friday, September 21, 2007
Cozy little surgery centers safer
…The first ambulatory surgery center HA used was in a downtown office building in Washington DC. There was a doorman to help shaky patients to the car, but otherwise, it was pretty much a business site.
…Four out of every five operations nowadays are same-day, and 20% of those are done in surgery centers, not hospitals.
…They are patient-friendly, cost-effective, and most importantly (to HA), not filled with people hocking up germs.
…Mikhail Zalmanov, MD, is director of anesthesia at Gramercy Surgery in NY.
…These places are regulated and safe, he points out. Not all doctor’s offices, for instance, are so closely scrutinized. If Medicare patients go there, the places are also certified by the Feds.
…Zalmanov points out some other advantages. One is that you are less likely to have your operation start late or be bumped. These places don’t do emergencies that can throw off the timing.
…Often they are focused on one or just a few conditions, with the people being better trained in the specialized techniques and equipment more up to date. Where HA went for two of her four eye operations, only peepers were being operated.
…The atmosphere is often more congenial and relaxing. The physical plants are usually smaller than a hospital—the surgeon cannot wander off, Zalmanov says, and slows things down.
…HA can vouch for the informality. At her favorite ambulatory surgery place you don’t even have to get undressed for eye surgery. They put little covers on your shoes and it’s like going to the dentist.
…Only there are still a lot of scary people there in blue outfits, a bunch of needles, hushed voices, and worried faces.
…The good part? You get up and leave and don’t hang around for the Jell-O.