Outpatient Surgery Centers Offer Dramatically Lower Infection Risk: Dr. Tom Lyons Medical Director of SCA Perimeter Outpatient Surgery

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One main reason more patients don’t request surgery to be performed as an outpatient procedure is a simple lack of awareness - that it is actually possible to have their surgery done in the outpatient setting. Dr. Tom Lyons, Medical Director of SCA Perimeter Outpatient Surgery led a discussion at SCA's Physician Leadership Conference on January 28, 2012 about the common GYN procedures that should be performed as outpatient surgery to lower pain, risk & recovery time.

Thomas L. Lyons, MD, Center for Women's Care & Reproductive Surgery

This is a travesty,” said Dr. Thomas L. Lyons of the Center for Women’s Care & Reproductive Surgery in Atlanta, “because the infection rate is less than one per cent for patients who have their procedures at outpatient surgery centers.

One main reason more patients don’t request surgery to be performed as an outpatient procedure is a simple lack of awareness - that it is actually possible to have their surgery done in the outpatient setting.

“This is a travesty,” said Dr. Thomas L. Lyons of the Center for Women’s Care & Reproductive Surgery in Atlanta, “because the infection rate is less than one per cent for patients who have their procedures at outpatient surgery centers, whereas hospital infection rates usually run between 10-15 per cent. People simply aren’t aware that outpatient surgery offers less pain, less risk and less recovery time.”

Attending SCA’s (Surgical Care Affiliates, LLC) Physician Leadership Conference along with the other 150 medical directors, Dr. Lyons advocates more consumer education about the benefits of outpatient surgeries—now performed successfully for more than 20 years.

“For example, the big issue with joint replacement is infection,” he said. “I had my knee replaced and was out within 23 hours, which is considered an outpatient procedure but my procedure was done in a hospital with, therefore, a significantly higher infection rate. Now there are surgery centers doing outpatient joint replacement with that low infection rate.”

Dr. Lyons developed the Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy in 1989 and has performed hundreds as outpatient procedures since then. A large proportion of these LS procedures have been performed at SCA Perimeter Surgery Center in Atlanta.

Myomectomy (removal of fibroids), pelvic floor reconstruction and more can also be performed as outpatient procedures. In fact, virtually all benign gynecology procedures can be done at an outpatient surgery center. Many procedures can even be done in-office.

With 17.9 per cent of government spending on healthcare, data demonstrate how effective and cost-efficient outpatient procedures are today.

Surgical Care Affiliates, LLC, headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama operates a network of 150 ambulatory surgery centers and surgical hospitals across the country with approximately 3,700 full-time employees and more than 2,000 physician partners. Dr. Lyons is Medical Director of SCA Perimeter on the north side of Atlanta, GA.

The 150 surgery centers and surgical hospitals operated by SCA focus on short-term care and primarily provide non-emergency surgical and other procedures in several specialties, including orthopedics, ophthalmology, gastroenterology, pain management, otolaryngology, urology, gynecology, neurosurgery, and others. The centers and hospitals provide the facilities, logistics and support staff necessary for physicians to perform these procedures.

Clinical quality is a primary focus for the company. SCA recently took the lead in creating industry-wide clinical outcomes reporting procedures, using metrics endorsed by the National Quality Forum. All SCA facilities pursue accreditation through the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the American Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers (AAASC) or the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).

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