Predictability reduces anxiety.
When you’re In the hands of a team that has done your procedure thousands of times, you can be more comfortable taking advantage of outpatient joint replacement that streamlines processes and allows you to heal at home.
Dr. Scott Appell and his team have had so much success with outpatient joint replacement that 90% of their surgeries are now outpatient, done at a hospital or ambulatory surgery center.
Dr. Appell was the first surgeon in Alabama to do outpatient hip replacement surgeries in an ambulatory surgical center. He is dedicated to educating patients, step by step, and preparing them thoroughly for outpatient joint replacement surgery with at-home recovery. His areas of expertise include minimally invasive anterior hip replacement, robotic total knee replacement, partial knee replacement, and total shoulder replacement.
The team’s Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) approach, which avoids narcotics during surgery and addresses pain management with minimal to no opiates, enables patients to recover quickly, be active immediately, and resume independence as soon as possible.
Preparing for Outpatient Joint Replacement
All patients receive a comprehensive medical and/or cardiac examination to clear them for surgery. This will reveal if there are any risks that might require an overnight hospital stay. If so, Dr. Appell will do the procedure at the hospital, where there is an option to either go home the same day or remain overnight.
Education is essential:
- Dr. Appell and his team go through the procedure, and all related processes, with every patient, so they know what to expect every step of the way.
- A hospital-sponsored “Joint Camp” covers everything from anesthesia, to rehabilitation, to medication, and recovery timeline.
- Patients are so well prepared, that after they go through each step of the process as planned, they are comfortable going home, knowing their orthopedic team is only a phone call away.
- A three week follow up appointment is scheduled before they leave.
Dedicated Outpatient Joint Replacement Team
Dr. Appell works with the same dedicated joint replacement team at the hospital and the ambulatory surgery center.
- All processes and procedures are the same at either location.
- They use the same anesthesia and pain management protocols.
- This experienced team has been working together for years.
Enhanced Recovery After Surgery
Dr. Appell and his team utilize an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) system developed by the ERAS Society, with a multi-modal pain management protocol designed to avoid narcotics, minimize opiate use, reduce recovery time and improve patient outcomes.
- Spinal anesthetics allow Dr. Appell’s team to operate without narcotics.
- Propofol puts patients in a twilight stage.
- Spinal anesthetics last for two hours so that patients don’t wake up in pain
- Eliminating narcotics eliminates the post-op nausea and vomiting that has prevented people from going home post-surgery.
- Nerve medication, Tylenol, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) limit the need for opiates.
Outpatient Release Criteria
- You need to be able to get up and walk to the bathroom on your own.
- Your pain needs to be under control.
- You need to be able to walk up and down stairs and be relatively independent.
- Someone should stay at home with you for at least a day or two to get you settled and help out.
- All pre-surgery forms are filled out ahead of time, before you arrive at the ambulatory surgical center ─ allowing everything to progress smoothly from drop-off, to surgery, to pick up.
- Outpatient joint replacement surgery, done without narcotics, allows you to recover comfortably in your own bed, eating your own food, and managing your own medications.
- Pain management protocols are the same at home as they would be in the hospital.
Outpatient Joint Replacement in the Birmingham, Alabama
Dr. Scott Appell is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in total joint replacement. He was the first surgeon in Alabama to do outpatient hip replacement surgeries in an ambulatory surgical center, and now does 90% of his surgeries as outpatient procedures in either a hospital or ambulatory surgical center setting. He and his team are dedicated to providing patients with the education, attention, and opiate-free pain management resources needed to recover quickly and get back to living a pain-free, active life. If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Appell, please call (205) 397-5200 or book an appointment online.