So you’ve been diagnosed with an orthopaedic issue and your provider tells you the treatment is surgery. Maybe you need an ACL repair, or perhaps to finally have your wrist fixed so you can type without pain again. Either way, the thought of surgery can be scary to many. The questions flood your brain: what will it be like? Where will I have it done? Will I have to spend the night? Hospitals are big and difficult to navigate, adding to your stress.
There’s a safe alternative to the hospital. With advances in surgical techniques and technology, many orthopaedic procedures can now be performed on an ambulatory (outpatient) basis—so you can go home the same day as your operation. Spectrum Orthopaedics surgeons perform thousands of outpatient procedures each year—making them one of the most experienced ambulatory surgery teams in all of Maine. They’re supported by a skilled team of anesthesiologists, nurses, surgical technologists, sterile processing technicians, and physician assistants who specialize in orthopaedic care in the ambulatory setting.
Some common questions about our ASC:
What is an ASC?
ASC stands for Ambulatory Surgery Center. This means that patients who have surgery here go home the same day.
What procedures can be done in an ASC?
We do most of the same orthopaedic procedures that are performed at the hospital—even hip, knee and shoulder joint replacements! We can perform a range of surgical treatment from minor soft tissue procedures to fracture repairs, ACL reconstructions, rotator cuff repairs and joint replacements. We also perform a lot of hand procedures such as carpal tunnel releases, wrist fractures and arthritis treatments.
What can I expect when I come in for surgery at the ASC?
When you arrive, you are escorted to the admitting area of the surgery center by one of the nurses. Once there, your health history and medications will be reviewed, the procedure you’re having is confirmed and all questions you may have will be answered. You will have an IV placed and will talk to your anesthesia provider and surgeon. After this, you will be brought into the operating room on a stretcher where you will gently go to sleep. Once the procedure is finished, your team will bring you to the recovery room where you will wake up. Once in the recovery room, your vital signs will be monitored and you will have something to eat and drink. If you are having any discomfort you will be given medicine. Once you are feeling good and are stable, you will be discharged home. Most people are in the recovery room for about 1.5 hours and walk (or crutch) right out to go home!
Is surgery in the ASC safe?
It is very safe! Our team of experts have extensive experience in ambulatory (or same day) care. Additionally, we have a very strict screening process to make sure that you are healthy enough for surgery in our center.
What benefits does scheduling my surgery in the ASC give me?
In addition to being able to go home the same day, the ASC provides patients with a close, more personalized care experience. Our ASC is much smaller than a hospital and patients often tell us their experience is more peaceful and smooth than a larger facility. Outpatient surgery also tends to be an easier recovery, have less risk of complications and is typically less expensive than inpatient surgery.
Spectrum Orthopaedics has an ASC?
We sure do! Our ambulatory surgery center is located right at our 33 Sewall St. location in Portland. In fact, our surgery center is accredited by The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC); this certification of accreditation is awarded to organizations with outpatient settings who reach nationally-recognized standards for the delivery of high-quality health care.
If you have an upcoming procedure, talk to your Spectrum Ortho provider about whether our ASC may be a good solution for you. You can learn more about what to expect from ambulatory orthopaedic surgery by clicking here.