Hip surgery and home the same day
Outpatient joint replacements could result in savings of more than $100M annually
At 11:47 a.m., anesthesia assistant Angela Chan wakes patient Kaori Noguchi. Women's College Hospital is doing same-day joint replacement surgeries. Kaori Noguchi recalls being taken aback when her surgeon’s office called to book her hip replacement surgery.
She was told she could have the operation as an outpatient, meaning she would be in and out of hospital the same day.
Thirty years ago, this procedure would have required a hospital stay of up to seven days, and more recently it’s taken an average of three days.
“Initially I was a bit freaked out,” Noguchi said, explaining that she was concerned she would be in too much pain and not mobile enough to leave the hospital so soon.
But on Monday she did just that. The 47-year-old Toronto resident left Women’s College Hospital just after 4 p.m. — only four hours after being At 4:04 p.m., Noguchi waits for her husband to pull the car around to pick her up. At 2:39 p.m., Noguchi works with physiotherapist Hari Nair who will help her learn to stand, sit, walk, and climb stairs before leaving the hospital.
wheeled out of the operating room and eight hours after arriving at the hospital.
Women’s College is the only fully ambulatory hospital in Ontario, meaning it has no overnight beds. It describes itself as “a hospital designed to keep people out of hospital.”
Part of its mission is to help improve the broader health system. One way it’s trying to do that is by spreading the word about the advantages of ambulatory, or outpatient, surgery.
Surgeon-in-chief Dr. David Urbach said doing more jointreplacements this way could take significant pressure off the entire hospital system.
“This approach, applied throughout the province, has
the potential to save a huge amount of money and free up many beds in the Ontario hospital system,” he said.
According to data from the hospital, approximately 50,000 hip and knee replacements are done annually in Ontario.
The average hospital stay is three days.
If 50 per cent were done on an outpatient basis, that would free up 75,000 days of hospital beds annually.
That would be the equivalent of opening up a new 200-bed hospital.
The savings would amount to more than $100 million annually.