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Total Joint – FAQ’s


Why have Joint Replacement surgery at the Ambulatory Surgery Center?

Improved Patient Experience – Patients recover in the comfort of their own home.

Faster return to functionality – Patients ambulate the day of surgery, return and adapt to their real-life activities faster.

Decreased risk of infection and other hospital-acquired conditions – Joint replacement patients are not sick. They simply want to reduce their pain and return to the activities that they enjoy.

Lower costs – On average a joint replacement procedure at the The Surgery Center at Lutheran (TSCAL) costs approximately 46% less or saves as much as $15k compared to the same procedure at the hospital.

How long does the patient stay? – Patients can stay up to 23 hours if necessary but in most cases, surgery is done in the morning and the patient is walked to their car in the afternoon.

How many procedures has your surgeon done in the ASC? – Dr. Tom Eickmann performed his first joint replacement procedure in the TSCAL in February of 2012. Since that time he has successfully performed dozens of procedures with excellent outcomes.

Who is Eligible? – Not all patients are appropriate to receive a joint replacement in the Ambulatory Surgery Center. To be eligible, patients must:

  • Have an have an American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) physical score of one or two.

  • Not have significant comorbidities or health risks such as obesity, obstructive sleep apnea or cardiovascular disease.

  • Not be on significant amounts of narcotics prior to surgery in order to establish pain control following surgery within the 23 hour timeframe.

  • Must have insurance that is accepted by the TSCAL.

  • Be interested in having and agree to their procedure being performed at TSCAL.

What about Pain Control? – Patients undergo spinal anesthesia for the procedure and are given a periarticular injection for post-operative pain control in addition to standard oral medications. Many patients report having less pain as they leave the center than when they came in.

How do you ensure the safety of your total joint replacement patients?

  • The TSCAL staff has completed a comprehensive education and training on total joint procedures.

  • All patient charts are reviewed by anesthesia prior to surgery regardless of the ASA score.

  • Patients are kept in the surgery center until their spinal anesthesia wears off to reduce their risks of falls.

  • In the event of an unforeseen complication or the need for a longer length of stay, patients are directly admitted to the orthopedic floor at Exempla Lutheran Medical Center.

Download the PDF here.