Five Reasons to Request an Orthopaedic Ambulatory Surgery Center for Your Procedure

Orthopaedic & Spine Center


Boyd W. Haynes III, MD

Making the decision to have an orthopaedic surgery is a big deal.  It involves coordinating many moving parts, like your work, your family, and your responsibilities. Who will care for you while you recover? Will your insurance cover the cost fully or how much will you have to pay out of pocket? How long you will have to stay out of work? There are many questions to be answered and choices to be considered.

You also need to find the right surgeon with the experience and skill set to perform the needed procedure, who also has the bedside manner and the confidence to make you feel comfortable and assured in a successful outcome.  But, did you know that one of the most important choices you make could be the facility in which your surgeon operates?  In this article, I’ll give you five reasons why choosing a surgeon who can perform your procedure in an ambulatory surgery center (ASC) might be a priority.

  1. Orthopaedic Ambulatory Surgery Centers only host patients who are having orthopaedic surgery and who are relatively healthy. Hospitals and their operating rooms, by their very nature, can have any type of patient with any type of illness, infection or communicable disease.  By not treating sick people (needing a knee replacement or a spine surgery doesn’t make a patient sick), Orthopaedic ASCs typically have a lower infection rate than hospitals for common hospital acquired infections, such as MERSA, C-Diff and Staph.
  2. The cost of a surgical procedure at an ASC is typically half that of a surgery performed at a hospital.  Why?  Overhead.  When you compare the cost of running a 24/7, full-service hospital with ICU’s, inpatient rooms, full food service, ER, nursing staff, physicians, radiology, security, etc. to an ASC that runs normally for 8-10 hours a day, has no inpatient services and discharges every patient each day, you can easily see why costs are less.
  3. Efficiency – the staff at an Orthopaedic ASC are highly trained to care for Orthopaedic patients.  The ORs are specifically set-up for musculoskeletal surgeries and have all of the equipment and instrumentation that the surgeons will need.  This greatly decreases the turnover time needed between surgeries so that the surgical schedule runs much more smoothly and efficiently.  The operating rooms do not need to be turned into Cardiac ORs, or Gastro ORs.  They are always Orthopaedic or Spine operating rooms.
  4. Recovery at home is always better.  With the advent of better surgical techniques and multi-modal pain control, I have been at the forefront of moving joint replacement and sports medicine surgeries to the outpatient arena.  As long as the patient is doing well after surgery, they can be discharged and transition safely to their own home, eat their own food, sleep in their own bed, with their family pet beside them and recover more comfortably than they could in a hospital setting.  I provide in home nursing and physical therapy support care when needed, and my patients are always grateful for the experience.
  5. COVID-19 – While every medical facility is carefully doing its part to lessen patient exposure to the SARS Coronavirus, exposure can and does happen.  Even with stringent masking, pre-operative testing and quarantining, it is getting harder to prevent patients from becoming exposed before surgery.  An advantage that an ASC has is that it does not treat people who are sick with COVID-19, because ASCs do not have Emergency Rooms nor do they have inpatient or ICU beds where the sickest patients would be admitted, as do hospitals. 

When making your decision to have Orthopaedic surgery, I hope I have given you some food for thought about the importance of not only who performs your surgery, but also the importance of where your surgery is performed.

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Call (757) 596-1900 to schedule an appointment with OSC. Visit our Contact Us page for information on office hours. Our office is located in Newport News, VA. We are 40 minutes from Virginia Beach and an hour from Richmond, VA.