What is outpatient spine surgery? | Dr. Andrew Cash, MD Las Vegas, Nevada

By Brooke Strickland and Andrew Cash, MD

Who would have thought that one day, a person could have surgery on their spine and the same day, go home to recover?  With advances in technology and surgical procedures, this is now possible.  For example, endoscopic spine surgery can now be performed on a patient suffering from herniated discs, whereas before, that same person would have been required to have a more invasive back procedure that would have required a hospital stay, more extensive scarring, and a greater risk for blood loss or infection.  Now, outpatient surgeries, meaning the patient can go home the same day as the operation, are common practice today.  Unlike traditional surgery, outpatient surgery is often easier, faster, and more affordable for the patient.  

Why have outpatient spine surgeries become more commonplace?

These “same-day” procedures have gained popularity through advancements in technology, anesthesia, and surgical techniques.  Because of the amount of these types of surgery performed every day, there are medical centers being built with sections just for outpatient surgeries. Patients often prefer to have outpatient procedures if possible, because they want to get back home to heal, where they are comfortable and more familiar.  In addition, procedures and recovery are quicker, meaning more people can get treatment faster instead of getting on a waitlist for a traditional surgery with extended stay. Because of the efficiency of these same day surgeries, if you need surgery, chances are that you’ll be able to schedule a surgery sooner rather than later.

Many times, outpatient spine surgeries can treat the same types of conditions and issues that traditional surgeries do, except without the pain and expense of more major operations.  Outpatient procedures are also less invasive, meaning the patient usually leaves with smaller incisions and less pain, overall.  Outpatient surgeries are also preferable for patients because they reduce the risk of muscle trauma, blood loss during surgery, and smaller incisions mean there is less risk for developing incision-related infections. 

While outpatient surgeries are helpful for many, many other patients will still require traditional surgeries with hospitalization.  To see if you’re a candidate for outpatient surgery, talk to your doctor in great detail, as surgery should be a last resort.

Contact Dr. Cash at Desert Institute of Spine Care for an appointment at: http://www.disclv.com.

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