A new analysis of outpatient hand and shoulder surgeries reveals an impressive safety record. The study, published in Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, examined the surgical outcomes of hand and shoulder procedures performed at an ambulatory surgical center over more than a decade and found few complications. Researchers reviewed cases to identify adverse events including post-operative infection, return to the operating room or transfer to a hospital, blood clot or other complication related to surgery.

​Among the 28,737 procedures performed from 2001 and 2012 at a freestanding outpatient center, researchers found just 58 reportable adverse events for an overall complication rate of 0.2 percent. As lead study author Kanu S. Goyal, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center explained: “Our study shows that with proper patient selection, hand and upper extremity surgery can be completed safely at a free-standing ambulatory surgery center.” According to a news release about the study from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, earlier studies have documented other benefits of surgery conducted at outpatient centers, including cost savings and specialization.

According to Illinois Bone & Joint Institute’s Dr. Leon Benson, who is board-certified in hand and orthopaedic surgery, “This study confirms what we have seen for the past 10 years at our own surgery center. Efficiency and quality can go hand in hand in health care, and surgery centers are a great example of this. Patients often don’t know that surgical centers are subject to the same strict licensing and accreditation standards as hospitals. Not only are they held to the same high standards, these surgery centers often provide a more personalized and less stressful experience for the patient.”

“Complex surgeries that would not have been considered for an outpatient setting five to 10 years ago are now performed routinely by IBJI’s team of fellowship-trained, board-certified hand and shoulder surgery specialists,” explained Dr. Benson. “This change illustrates the current efforts that are underway at places like IBJI to offer innovative ways to reduce health care costs while ensuring that patients get the safest and highest quality care possible.” For more information about IBJI’s expert team of hand and orthopedic surgeons, please visit Chicago Hand Surgery | IBJI or Chicago Orthopedic Surgeons.