Surgery at our ASC: What to expect

You’ve been diagnosed with an orthopedic issue and your provider tells you the best way forward is surgery. It may be an ACL repair, or to have your wrist fixed so you can do daily activities without pain again. No matter the surgery you’re facing, the thought of it can be scary. You start to wonder what will it be like? Where will I have it done? Will I have to spend the night?

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. 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 orthopedic care in the ambulatory setting.

Below we answer 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 orthopedic procedures that are performed at the hospital—even hip, knee and shoulder joint replacements. We can perform a range of surgical treatments from minor soft tissue procedures to fracture repairs, ACL reconstructions, rotator cuff repairs, and joint replacements. Spectrum also performs many 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 any questions you may have will be answered. You will have an IV placed and 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.

Is surgery in the ASC safe?

Our team of experts have extensive experience in ambulatory care. Additionally, we have a very strict screening process to make sure that you are healthy enough for surgery in our center, making it as safe as possible for our patients. Our ASC 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.

How does having surgery in the ASC benefit me?

In addition to being able to go home the same day, the ASC provides patients with a close, more personalized care experience. The ASC is much smaller than a hospital and patients often tell us their experience is more peaceful and smoother than a larger facility. Outpatient surgery tends to be an easier recovery, have less risk of complications and is typically less expensive than inpatient surgery.

What will my bill look like after having surgery in the ASC?

At Spectrum we want our billing to be completely transparent and are always available to help our patients digest the bill they receive. It can be confusing when you receive a bill from Maine Medical Center for your surgery and then a separate bill for imaging arrives from RAY/US and a third bill from Spectrum for anesthesiology or radiology. Before you go in for a procedure with Spectrum, it is our goal to provide you with the overall cost to you and where you can expect your bills to arrive from. We also encourage patients to be clear on their Explanation of Benefits (EOB) before a surgical procedure. This is another way to assure our patients of the cost of their procedure and what portion of the cost their insurance will cover.

If you have an upcoming procedure, talk to your Spectrum Orthopaedics provider about whether our ASC may be a good solution for you.

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