Spectrum Ambulatory Surgery Center helps patients get home and on the path to recovery faster.

What is an Ambulatory Surgery Center?

Ambulatory Surgery Centers, or ASCs, are facilities where surgeries can be performed without admitting the patient into a hospital overnight. It’s a cost-effective way orthopedic surgeons can provide certain procedures. Patients often appreciate that the process is more convenient and less stressful than a hospital stay. This means you can recover entirely at home, where you are likely to be more comfortable and at less risk of infection from other patients.

“Fifteen years ago, when I got out of fellowship, I was not a believer in same-day discharges,” says M.T. Newman, MD, FAAOS, an orthopedic surgeon at Spectrum Orthopaedics. “I thought we were probably going to be on the wrong side of history. In the past, post- operative issues with blood loss, including cardiac and neurologic complications as well as the possible need for blood transfusion, were much higher. Now with newer medication and techniques those issues have become significantly less of a concern.”

Today, with our ambulatory surgery center, Spectrum Orthopaedics offers patients a better experience.

“With advances in surgical techniques and technology, many orthopedic procedures can now be performed on an ambulatory, or outpatient, basis, allowing patients to go home the same day as their operation,” says Bryce Wolf, MD, orthopedic surgeon and medical director of Spectrum ASC.

Does Spectrum Orthopaedics perform outpatient knee replacement?

Yes! Outpatient knee-replacement (also known as “same day total joint replacement”) is a common procedure, and Spectrum’s orthopedic surgeons perform total knee replacements, partial knee replacements, and minimally invasive knee replacements — all at our ASCs. Partial and minimally invasive replacements both preserve more of your knee. Often this means you will recover faster and enjoy greater range of motion after you have healed. If you need a total knee replacement later on, that is still an option.

Spectrum Orthopaedics also offers non-surgical knee treatments such as physical therapy and pain management. You can learn more about Spectrum’s full range of knee services here.

Is hip surgery outpatient?

It can be! Spectrum’s orthopedic surgeons also perform total hip replacement procedures in the ASC. This means the recovery is generally quicker and less painful. However, not all patients needing a hip replacement are suitable for the procedure to be done on an outpatient basis, depending on factors like overall health, weight, and age.

Spectrum ASC also offers something called a “direct anterior hip replacement.” In this procedure, none of the tendons around the hip get detached. As a result, patients are able to return to their favorite activities soon after surgery, with much less risk of dislocating the hip joint.

You can read more about the hip services at Spectrum Orthoapedics here.

Is shoulder replacement surgery outpatient?

Absolutely! At Spectrum ASC, our orthopedic physicians specialize in both surgical and non-surgical shoulder treatments, to get you back to doing what you love. In fact, we boast the most experienced shoulder surgeons and physicians in Maine.

In shoulder replacement, the damaged parts of the shoulder joint are removed and replaced with a highly polished metal ball attached to a stem, and a plastic socket. It sounds futuristic, but you will be able to go home the same day for your recovery.

We also perform what’s called “reverse total shoulder replacement.” This procedure is for patients with large rotator cuff tears who develop a specific type of shoulder arthritis. It’s also an option for someone who has had a shoulder replacement in the past and now needs surgical treatment again on the same shoulder.

As with our other outpatient surgeries, these procedures allow you to recover more quickly in the familiar setting of your home. And if your shoulder injury is not severe enough for a replacement, we’ll work with you on non-surgical treatments. You can read more about our full approach to shoulder replacements here.

A full range of procedures in the ASC

Spectrum Orthopaedics is one of the most experienced ambulatory surgery teams in Maine and performs thousands of outpatient procedures each year. Spectrum ASC performs joint replacement surgery (hip, knee, and shoulder), minor soft tissue procedures, fracture repairs, ACL reconstructions, rotator cuff repairs, and many hand procedures for carpal tunnel release, wrist fractures, and arthritis.

With traditional joint replacement surgery, patients typically spend several days in the hospital and require extensive rehabilitation. Instead, Spectrum ASC patients can go home the same day with less invasive outpatient procedures involving smaller incisions and less tissue damage.

After surgery, Spectrum anesthesiologists administer a nerve block to control patients’ pain to get them home comfortably and safely. Patients will also receive medications and necessary assistive devices (such as a walker) to begin recovery.

Home is where recovery is

“I think many patients are amazed they can go home after surgery,” says Wayne Piers, DO, an orthopedic surgeon at Spectrum Orthopaedics. “There was a time when patients spent a couple of weeks in the hospital for joint replacement. With the ASC, we can get people home the same day, and they are better off. They are not exposed to other people, and the best place for the patient is at home where they are comfortable and can begin recovery.”

“I think there’s a lot of proof in the literature suggesting going home the same day is safer than staying in the hospital,” Dr. Newman adds.

Dr. Piers and Dr. Newman both call out the importance of home health physical therapy in recovery, especially after joint replacement. Physical therapists can help patients manage pain, improve range of motion and strength, and teach people how to navigate everyday things like using the stairs, toilet, shower, and safely getting in and out of bed.

Patient care does not stop when recovery starts. Spectrum Orthopaedics helps patients get back to work, life, and favorite activities as quickly as possible.

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