Surgery Center Cedar Rapids (SCCR), Cedar Rapids’ only designated ambulatory surgery center, and Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa have teamed up to perform total hip and knee replacement procedures on an outpatient basis, meaning patients can go home the same day as their surgery to recover. Jeffrey Nassif, MD, FAAOS, orthopedic surgeon at PCI, is performing the surgeries at SCCR, which is the first ambulatory healthcare facility in Cedar Rapids to complete these advanced surgical procedures.
Dr. Nassif and his partners at Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa perform hundreds of joint replacement procedures each year, but until now, have only done so in a hospital setting.
Traditionally, knee or hip replacements were done in a hospital, where patients stay to recover for several days. At SCCR, a patient receiving hip or knee replacements is admitted very early in the morning, goes through his/her final health screening and preparation, move to the operating room for the approximate 90-minute procedure, and then begin surgical recovery. Within a few hours, when he/she is stable, SCCR nursing staff start the recovery process by helping the patient walk again and prepare him/her for discharge. The patient is then transported across a private skywalk to the adjacent PCI Medical Pavilion for physical therapy training, prior to heading home for the final phase of recovery.
“The advantage of performing these procedures at an ambulatory facility is that, for patients who are healthy enough, they don’t have to spend a night or two in a hospital, but rather they can go home on the same day,” Dr. Nassif said. “Transitioning these procedures to ambulatory surgery centers is taking place throughout the United States, where now over a 100 non-hospital facilities are performing hip and knee replacement on an outpatient basis. This option is ideal for healthy patients and represents probably the greatest advancement in total joint surgery in the last 15 years.”
Dr. Nassif and Surgery Center Cedar Rapids have been working on the hip and knee replacement program for more than 8 months. Experienced surgeons, anesthesiologists and nursing staff have developed the structure of the program for those patients who are healthy enough for the procedure and want to recover at home. This includes specific criteria, which approximately 30 percent of patients will meet, and ensures their ultimate safety.
The surgery center is a partnership including UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital and more than 100 Cedar Rapids community surgeons and anesthesiologists, which also make up its Board of Managers and the Medical Staff Committees. Surgery Center Cedar Rapids has been offering an ambulatory surgery alternative for patients for more than 13 years; more than 90,000 procedures have been performed there since its inception in October of 2003.