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How The Same Day Discharge Program Is Transforming Total Joint Replacement

Same day delivery, same day financing, same day photo prints — our society is in full support of getting things done right away. One same day option you might not be aware of, however, is related to total joint replacement. It’s called the Same Day Discharge (SDD) Program, and it’s offered right in your community at Chester County Hospital  in West Chester.

The Chester County Hospital Same Day Discharge Program has two primary goals: to relieve you of your joint pain and to get you back to a more active lifestyle -- quickly, comfortably and safely. With the SDD program, you can actually go home the same day of your surgery, providing you with a more familiar atmosphere and speedier return to normal life.

Dr. Christopher Lyons, MD is one of the Chester County Hospital orthopaedic surgeons who performs these same day total joint replacements. Dr. Lyons is passionate about his work and taking care of his patients, and he loves that the Same Day Discharge program offers them more options — and a quicker recovery.

"For certain patients, they’re just going to be more comfortable in their own home," Dr. Lyons says. With the SDD program, this is a viable option for more Chester County Hospital patients in need of a total joint replacement.

What Is Same Day Discharge for Total Joint Replacement?

Due to technological advancements, surgical techniques, and extensive expertise, the field of total joint surgery has grown rapidly. As a result, patients have benefited from being able to move around and recover more quickly. In fact, over 80% of patients who have total joint surgery are actually able to be discharged the day after surgery.

The Same Day Discharge Program went live at Chester County Hospital in early April 2021, and was one of the first acute care hospitals in the Chester County, PA region to offer a program that discharges patients the same day of surgery.

Dr. Lyons explains that this is a whole new landscape for total joint replacement — but also a development that makes sense with recent length of stay trends.

"Ten years ago, patients were spending five or six days in the hospital," says Dr. Lyons. "Five years ago, they were spending two days in the hospital. For the past couple years, they’ve been overnight stays. Now, we're seeing a lot of patients heading home by the end of the day."

With Same Day Discharge, you’ll spend even less time in the hospital — and more time recovering from the comfort of your own space.

Am I a Candidate for the Chester County Hospital Same Day Discharge Program?

Though the Chester County Hospital Same Day Discharge Program is designed to meet the needs of as many patients as possible, not everyone is an ideal candidate.

Here are a few considerations for successful candidates:

  • Have access to a strong home support system, such as a partner, family member, or close friend.
  • Create an ideal home layout, such as being able to avoid the stairs temporarily.
  • Maintain overall good health or only mild, well-controlled conditions, like mild lung disease.
  • Maintain a body mass index of less than 35.
  • Maintain controlled blood sugar, if diabetic.
  • Don’t smoke — or quit 4 weeks prior to surgery.
  • Read the SDD patient guide booklet and attend the virtual patient education class for general information and preparation tips.

Conditions that can keep you from being a candidate for SDD include: chronic anemia, bleeding disorder, bladder incontinence, and certain heart problems, such as arrhythmia or congestive heart failure. 

"I would only really offer [Same Day Discharge] to patients that I felt were really going to be suitable candidates," says Dr. Lyons. "We have not had problems with the patients that have gone home same day because those are patients who have been preselected to be strong enough and have a strong support network, which is a key success factor."

This pre-selection process means that the patients who participate in Same Day Discharge total joint replacement are the best candidates for this type of outpatient procedure.

What Should I Expect with Same Day Discharge Total Joint Replacement Surgery?

Preparing for any surgery takes time. With Chester County Hospital Same Day Discharge, team members are committed to making the process easy and seamless for all patients. Still, preparation for SDD is critical.

One key to success for the program is education. The team highly recommends that patients and their families educate themselves as much as possible on what to expect leading up to and post-surgery. The team is with patients every step of the way and provides information to aide both patients and their families.

Once you arrange a date for surgery, your team will be right there beside you to walk you through the next steps. Because it can be tough to remember it all, you'll receive a surgical folder that contains everything you’ve discussed, including how to sign up for the Pre-Surgery Joint Replacement Education Class and when your post-operative appointment will be. You'll also receive an information booklet that explains your surgery in detail, including what to expect with — and how to prepare for — recovery.

Your team will go over everything from how to prepare your home for surgery to what to expect on the day of your surgery and how to promote a healthy recovery.

Chester County Hospital’s Individualized Approach to Total Joint Replacement

Returning to the comfort of your own home with the Same Day Discharge Program is an excellent option. However, it's not for everyone. Some patients might need more time in the hospital to recover — and that's okay.

"It’s important for patients to understand that they have options," says Dr. Lyons. “Sometimes you get this program that’s the latest and greatest and people feel like, 'Well if I don't do it this new way, I can't have the procedure.’ And that's not true. It’s important that you are comfortable with the process and the decision that’s made."

After surgery, if a patient or surgeon feels more care or observation is needed, the patient can easily be transitioned to stay overnight — or even multiple nights, should the need arise. That is one of the biggest benefits to receiving surgery at the hospital — extra resources and support are available seamlessly should someone need it.

While the Same Day Discharge Program isn't for everyone, you may find that it is a good opportunity for you.

If you need a total joint replacement — like a hip, shoulder, or knee — talk to your Chester County Hospital provider about your options. Identifying the right approach with the support and recommendations of your provider is what will ensure you recover safely and comfortably.

Do You Have Hip Pain?

Join us on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 for a discussion with Dr. Lyons to learn about the latest surgical and non-surgical treatments for hip pain. Register by phone at 610-738-2300 or register online.

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