12 September 2011
By, Hetal Vyas
1980: Suresh Kumar, a businessman from South Bangalore, undergoes hernia surgery in a city hospital. He had to stay there for about a week.
Although Suresh and Siddharth underwent a similar surgery, there was a major difference in the kind of treatment given by the hospital to Siddharth. This is due to technological advancement in the past three decades, thanks to ‘ambulatory surgery or daycare surgical procedure’ where a patient is discharged from hospital within 24 hours of admission.
Ambulatory, or short–stay, surgeries are procedures that take between 24 and 72 hours from admission to patient discharge. Surgeries include hernia, eye, cosmetic and some orthopaedic procedures. “When I was a student, patients undergoing surgery for hernia would take 10 to 12 days to recover and go home. In some complicated cases, patients were required to stay for about 5 months. In countries like United Kingdom where I studied in the late 1980s, patients for the same treatment were discharged in three days. I wouldn’t believe it, then I studied the treatment given there and found out about the concept of ambulatory surgery. Today, this technology is popular among patients,’’ said Dr M G Bhat, medical director, Nova Medical Centers.
Dr Krishnamurthy, medical officer at Sagar Hospital, said: “It’s a fast–paced surgery where hospitalization of a minimum one day is required. Patients have preferred this type of treatment over the years because it is less timeconsuming and also cheaper as one needn’t stay in hospital for a longer period.”
The most preferred treatments under this procedure are minor facial corrections, chin and lip corrections, nose reduction, etc. Many women opt for these. “About 10% of the total number of patients undergoing ambulatory surgeries are women who prefer minor plastic or cosmetic surgeries,” said Dr Krishnamurthy.
Dr Sunil Rao, GM, Columbia Asia Hospital, said: “Laparoscopy, ophthalmological operations and minor plastic surgeries can be done under ambulatory procedure. This has become popular in the past 4 to 5 years in Bangalore as it has also got acceptance from insurance companies.” “On an average, 10% to 15% of patients in our hospital prefer daycare surgical process. Patients who choose cash payment generally opt for this treatment. They prefer to go back home within a day. It saves money as well as time,” said Dr Ashish Shah, consultant laparoscopic surgeon, Fortis Hospital.
Dr N K Venkataramana, vice–chairman, BGS Global Hospital, said at least one patient undergoes surgery every day in their daycare ward.
WHAT IS AMBULATORY SURGERY?
Ambulatory surgery or outpatient surgery is one where surgical procedures do not require a patient to stay overnight.
Such surgeries are less complicated, cheaper and less time–consuming than hospital stay
THE TREATMENTS DONE
Surgical treatments like minor plastic and cosmetic surgeries, laparoscopy, minor orthopaedic, ophthalmological and paediatric surgeries are done through this procedure
WHAT IT NEEDS
Strict guidelines, quality control and wider insurance backup