There’s a common misconception out there about surgery. Namely, that if you need it, you have to go to the hospital—no exceptions.
While that may be true for many different conditions, of course, it’s not a hard-and-fast rule for all types of surgery. A significant majority of foot and ankle surgeries can be performed right in the office or clinic of your local podiatrist.
As a matter of fact, in many cases you’re actually better off skipping the hospital and scheduling an outpatient appointment with a trained specialist that you trust, like Dr. Joel Foster. This may be true for a variety of reasons—some having to do with the training of the surgeon, and some having to do with the environment generally.
Let’s look at a few of the big reasons you might consider scheduling your foot surgery with Dr. Foster.
You Can Select an Advanced Procedure
When it comes to foot surgery—especially for structural deformities
like bunions, hammertoes, or flat feet—there is usually no one universal procedure widely used by all doctors. In fact, there could be dozens of different types of surgeries that could be effective—osteotomies, arthrodesis, joint resection, joint replacement … you get the idea.
Because new procedures are being developed all the time, you may wish to choose a specialist who has recent, extensive training in a more advanced procedure, or at least one that best fits your current needs.
For example, Dr. Foster employs minimally invasive surgical techniques
which offer advantages such as:
- Lower risk of infection
- Less scarring
- Quicker procedures
- Shorter recovery times
He also has the only Atlas FAI Certified HyProCure treatment center in the state of Missouri—HyProCure
being a dramatic and effective minimally invasive surgical option for certain foot misalignments.
Lower Cost of Care
Inpatient hospital procedures can get very expensive very quickly. Hospitals have a ton of overhead to cover. Overnight stays (especially when space is limited) can be costly for hospitals, and those costs get passed on to patients. More of the recovery takes place at the facility.
While all this extra time and attention may be necessary for more serious conditions, most foot surgeries don’t actually require the full facilities, staff, time, and expense associated with inpatient hospital treatment. Furthermore, your insurance may cover a significant portion of an outpatient procedure but a smaller percentage of the inpatient equivalent. By getting the surgery done as an outpatient and never walking through a hospital door, you could save hundreds or even thousands.
There’s an added financial advantage if you qualify for a minimally invasive procedure. Since these techniques can be performed more quickly and don’t require the use of pins, wires, screws, or other internal or external hardware, the procedures themselves are usually less expensive than a more invasive alternative.
Greater Scheduling Convenience and Certainty
We’ll probably be able to see you sooner, and you will likely have more choice about when your procedure is scheduled. As a matter of fact, in some cases we might even be able to accommodate same-day or next-day procedures for elective surgeries!
At a hospital, you’re almost always going to have to wait and take whatever slot they give you, simply because there is greater demand and more complex scheduling rules for facilities and staff.
Hospitals are also more likely to be forced to delay or reschedule your procedure due to unforeseen circumstances and emergencies. However, since we see fewer patients and perform a smaller set of elective surgeries with more predictable and routine outcomes, minute-to-minute scheduling tends to be closer to the mark.
Individualized Care and Attention
Hospital bureaucracies can create natural barriers to getting the individual attention you deserve. The people you talk and ask questions with may not actually be the same people performing your procedures, or have full and detailed knowledge of your condition or treatment plan. Your caregivers may not be consistent from day to day. Information may be missed or miscommunicated.
At our office, communication and bureaucracy are much simpler and more streamlined. You’ll be talking to the same specialist at every point, and he’ll also be the one performing your surgery. (Plus he’s also your regular podiatrist—and he’s the administrator, too!) This approach means fewer things fall through the cracks, you get more individual attention, and we’re better able to provide innovative and personalized care options (rather than cookie-cutter solutions).
You Can Recover at Home
This is, of course, the defining difference between inpatient and outpatient treatment. It’s worth mentioning, though, because for many people the ability to go home the same day and rest and recover in their own beds is a massive relief.
Hospitals can be stressful, unfamiliar, and even frightening (especially for children). Privacy is limited. That kind of distress not only makes the initial recovery more agonizing, but can even slow the recovery process. If you think you’d be much happier and more comfortable at home, surrounded by loved ones, you probably want an outpatient procedure.
You Don’t Have to Make Compromises
There’s a mistaken impression that independent clinics or ambulatory surgical centers offer lower quality services, or aren’t held to the same standards as a large hospital. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
Our office is held to the same rigorous standards as any other medical facility in terms of licensure, accreditation, safety, and quality. Furthermore, because Dr. Foster’s training and experience are focused exclusively on the feet and ankles, you can expect an exceptional level of care. Would you rather have your bunion fixed by someone who only works on feet occasionally and has performed your surgery a handful of times? Or someone who works on feet every day and has performed your surgery countless times?
Not all foot surgeries can be handled in-house, but most can. If you’re struggling with foot pain or you think it’s finally time to get that foot deformity fixed, give us a call and find out what your options are. You can reach our Lee’s Summit, MO office at (816) 246-4222.