Friday, November 26, 2010

More operations being done in docs' offices


I had one eye sewed shut once in a doctor’s office. If this sounds like a torture, it was. It was to keep the eye moist because I had a bad infection from something else another doctor did.

Anyway, I was less than thrilled to see the grumpy office nurse suit up to hand the doctor needles to stick around my eye and a sewing kit.

I had had many eye surgeries before this in a sort of funky eye clinic and didn’t even have to take off my shoes—which I actually liked because I pretend nothing is wrong with me when I am in a medical setting.

On the bright side, not being in a hospital may prevent rampant hospital-based infections.

Connie Midey got into this in the Arizona Republic, Nov 7, 2010. The problem with this can be that it is not as safe in case something goes wrong. We have all seen stories about people getting plastic surgery and suddenly gorking out from the anesthetic.

Out-patient surgery is common these days and usually could be done in a doctor’s office since the patient is leaving afterward.

But only 25 states regulate this. Such regulations require the doctor to be present during both surgery and recovery and written emergency rules that must be followed. There is a group called Safety in Office-Based Surgery. Check out http://isobsurgery.org/.

Ask a lot of questions before agreeing to this. See if the office is licensed to administer anesthesia of any sort. Is the doctor accredited by the Accreditation Assn for Ambulatory Health Care—aaahc.org. Two other agencies also offer accreditation.

Ask the doctor why he is qualified to do the procedure. Did he or she just learn it in a short course? Ask how many times they have done it.

Above all, ask about the anesthetic—who is administering it. A board-certified anesthesiologist or a nurse-anesthetist is best.

It will probably involve that Versed stuff—it makes you forget what happened. I don’t like that, but we know how I am.

They offered to sew my eye shut permanently lest I get another infection. I declined, fun as it was.

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