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8 Surgeries You Can Have and Go Home the Same Day

A team of doctors are performing surgery on a patient at hospital

You’ve probably heard the terms laparoscopic surgery, endoscopic surgery or “keyhole” surgery. These minimally invasive procedures shorten recovery times, and a growing number can be done on an outpatient basis.

Here are eight surgeries you may be surprised to learn can be done and send you home the same day. Keep in mind, even when a surgery can be done outpatient, some patients may still require a hospital stay, depending on individual circumstances.

1) Heart Valve Replacement

Heart surgery used to require opening the chest. While some surgeries still require it, a number of minimally invasive heart procedures are available that don’t require a hospital stay. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is among them.

This procedure is for patients with severe narrowing of the valve between the lower left heart chamber and the aorta, a condition that restricts blood flow. Doctors thread a special long, thin tube (catheter) into a blood vessel through the groin and guide it inside the heart to implant a new valve, without the need to open the chest. University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute was among the first in the country to successfully perform a minimally invasive TAVR with conscious sedation.

2) Total Joint Replacement

Millions of people suffer from joint pain caused by injuries, arthritis and wear and tear over time. Total knee and hip replacements used to require several days in the hospital, but now can be done outpatient for certain individuals. Going home the same day is attractive to many who don’t want a hospital stay and may help speed recovery.

Whether you’re a candidate for same-day joint replacement depends on overall health, willingness to be involved in a home care plan and recovery protocol, having an adequate support system and pain management considerations.

3) Spine Surgery

Various health conditions such as degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis can cause your vertebrae to move against each other more than they should. Spinal disc repairs today can be accomplished with minimally invasive surgeries, such as spinal fusion.

A surgeon will make one or two small incisions to access the spine and fuse together two or more vertebrae to prevent them from moving and causing spinal cord compression.

4) Prostate Cancer Surgery

About one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Not all prostate cancers require surgery. But when surgery is called for, a number of different procedures are available, including minimally invasive robotic prostatectomy, which removes the cancerous prostate gland.

Robotic prostatectomy involves making small cuts and removing the prostate using a laparoscope – a thin tube with a tiny camera in it. Surgical tools at the end of the laparoscope are used to remove the prostate.

5) Gastrointestinal Surgery

Advanced endoscopy allows doctors to offer minimally invasive procedures to treat problems of the GI tract. One of the procedures, peroral pyloromyotomy, is routinely done on an outpatient basis to treat gastroparesis, a condition that prevents the stomach from emptying properly. The doctor guides an endoscope – a long, flexible tube – down the throat to the stomach, and creates an opening in a valve that empties the stomach, allowing food to pass.

Outpatient endoscopy is also used to treat achalasia, a condition where the esophagus is unable to move food into the stomach. The procedure is called peroral endoscopic myotomy.

6) Breast Cancer Surgery

Breast-conserving surgery, also known as lumpectomy or partial mastectomy, is a safe and less invasive option than mastectomy for the treatment of breast cancer.

Patients undergoing breast-conserving surgery are routinely allowed to go home the same day of surgery. Planning for same-day discharge involves education about drain management, pain control, and exercises to maintain range of motion.

Studies have shown that women who have the same stage of breast cancer and have breast-conserving surgery have the same survival rate as those who have mastectomy. Early detection of breast cancer with routine mammograms increases the possibility that a patient will be a candidate for this less invasive surgical option.

7) Sleep Apnea Surgery

Obstructive sleep apnea is a common problem where breathing stops and starts many times through the night.

Sleep apnea can potentially lead to serious health problems, which is why treatment is critical. But some patients don’t respond to CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), a machine that uses mild air pressure to keep the airway open while you sleep.

So, doctors may recommend individualized surgical treatments such as palate surgery, expansion of the upper jaw (called distraction osteogenesis maxillary expansion), or implantation of an upper-airway stimulation device (called Inspire) to keep the airway stable.

8) Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy used to require a large incision in the lower abdomen to remove the uterus and sometimes other reproductive organs. Today, hysterectomy and other minimally invasive gynecological surgeries are performed through small incisions, and patients may go home the same day.

Like many minimally-invasive procedures, the benefits also include quicker recovery, less pain, less scarring and lower risk of complications and infection compared to traditional open surgery.

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