The development of less invasive arthroscopic technologies has made it possible to move total joint replacement out of hospitals and into more convenient and cost-effective outpatient facilities.
In addition to lowering out-of-pocket costs, the biggest difference a patient will experience is a shorter length of stay. Patients are typically released from the surgery center to their home in the first four to six hours after surgery rather than the traditional hospital stay of two to three days. In addition, a shorter acting anesthesia is used when the patient is in surgery which allows for an easier recovery.
A recent American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons study showed same-day outcomes were comparable to those of patients admitted to the hospital and staying at least one night following surgery. Surgical site infection rates, a common complication leading to re-admission, is also much lower at surgery centers. According to The Centers for Disease Control, surgery centers have an infection rate that is less than half that of hospital inpatient facilities.