Same-day shoulder surgery refers to surgeries that needn’t require an overnight stay in hospital.  Majority of the arthroscopic surgeries and shoulder replacements in patients under the age of 70 can be same-day surgeries.  Same-day shoulder surgery is pondered on if you experience pain that is severe enough to limit your daily activities and the pain is not relieved with medications, injections, physical therapy or other conservative treatments.  The objective of the surgery is to get rid of the pain and to get back the alignment and function of the shoulder.

Conservative approach towards shoulder surgeries is linked to patient being admitted overnight in hospital.  With the advent of minimally-invasive technique, advanced pain protocols, state-of-the art anesthetic techniques and speedy rehabilitation protocols, surgeons are able to do shoulder surgeries on an outpatient basis.  As the name indicates, with same-day shoulder surgery, patient can go home in the first 24 hours post surgery provided there are no untoward incidents.  This provides the patient the benefit of recovering from the operation at home instead of staying overnight at hospital.  The psychological factor of staying-at-home can do wonders during the recuperative phase.  When you reach home after the surgery, you are likely to get a call that evening from the operating surgeon to check on the progress.  In addition, the contact number of an on-call physician may be given to you in case of any emergency.

On day two of the surgery physical therapy can be started at home with special focus on home exercises according to the patients’ individualized rehabilitation plan.  Having said that, it should be understood that same-day surgeries are not for everyone.  There are a lot of checkboxes to be ticked to be a candidate for same-day surgery, but for the ones who get qualified, same-day shoulder surgery is quite preferable.  Good health, motivation, positive attitude and family support throughout the rehabilitation period are the factors to be considered for same-day shoulder surgeries.

The advantages of same-day shoulder surgery over inpatient shoulder surgery are the following:

  • Decreased hospital stay
  • Improved pain management protocols
  • Early mobilization
  • Rapid recovery
  • Careful home monitoring
  • Fewer complications
  • Improved outcomes
  • Increased patient satisfaction
  • Low risk of hospital-acquired infections

Am I a candidate?

As mentioned earlier several factors come into play to confirm the candidacy of a patient for a same-day shoulder surgery, among them age is a prime factor.  The patient should be below 80 years old, in good health and having the support of a spouse, friend or a family member.

Type of anesthesia

As is the case of any other surgery, prior to surgery patient is put on pain-relieving agents to reduce the onset of pain.  In addition, a nerve block is generally given to completely numb the shoulder for 12-18 hours after the operation.  During the surgery, local anesthesia is given.  After the surgery, a combination of painkillers are used to keep the pain minimal or nil.  Generally pain medications are tapered off within two weeks after the surgery.

Duration of the surgery

With a minimally-invasive protocol, surgical time can be reduced to an hour or less.  A competent medical team and thorough preoperative plan are crucial here.

Prime benefits of same-day shoulder surgeries

Reduced rate of complication – Medical studies have shown that sane-day shoulder surgeries are safe and have reduced risk of complications vis-à-vis inpatient operation.  In a hospital there may be hundreds of patients who are sick, primarily with contagious deceases.  After the operation, patients’ immunity may be compromised and there is a high likelihood of getting infections if proper care is not taken, leading to the possibility of hospital-acquired infections.

Recover in the comfort of your home – No matter how well you are taken care of in the hospital, the overhang of being-in-hospital can weigh on your mind, but in the case of same-day shoulder surgeries you have the privilege of recovering in your home setting which can lift your morale.

Reduced cost – As recovery and rehabilitation is taking place at the patient’s home, a good amount of money in the form of room rent and other hospital expenses can be saved.

With latest communicative devices, follow ups can be conducted remotely through phone calls and video conferencing, thereby eliminating the need of visiting the surgeon at hospital periodically with a recently operated shoulder.

Times are changing, so are medical procedures.  Same-day surgeries are indeed a milestone in providing quality medical care to patients without the requirement of getting admitted to hospital for a prolonged period of time.

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