PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Allegheny Health Network is changing the way elective surgeries are being done.
Dr. Michael Levine has performed several thousand hip replacement procedures in his three-decade career.
“When I first started, people would come to the hospital the day before, have the surgery and then stay a full week,” said the chief of orthopedic surgery at Forbes Hospital.
But these days, patients are barely at the hospital for a full day. And in some cases, patients are not required to step foot in the hospital.
“We have a nurse coordinator who goes over everything with patients and their families so that everything is set up for them to go home that day,” Levine said. “Arrangements are made with a physical therapist.”
Allegheny Health Network said its health care system and Levine is the first in the Pittsburgh region to perform hip replacements in a stand-alone surgery center.
It is something it has been doing at a facility in Monroeville to save time for patients. It also limits their exposure.
“The surgery is done under a short-acting anesthesia,” Levine said. “The idea is for the anesthesia to last only an hour and a half. We do several preemptive things to prevent post-operative nausea.”
Jeff Walos had his hip replaced in December.
“I went here at 6 o’clock,” he said. “They took me in at about quarter to 6, and I was home by 11:30.”
Levine says outside of improving the patient experience, operations in spaces like this help save money for the patients and the system. This experience also limits patients’ chances of post-operative infection because they are able to heal from home.
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