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One-stop surgery: Evolving approach to pediatric outpatient surgery

Journal of Pediatric Surgery
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0022-3468(99)90242-7
  • Communication
  • Medicine


Abstract Purpose: Maximizing patient satisfaction is of prime importance in today's competitive outpatient surgery market. The authors recently devised a system, one-stop surgery, which simplifies outpatient surgery for pediatric patients and their families by combining the traditionally separate preoperative evaluation and subsequent operation into one visit. This report describes our initial experience with one-stop surgery. Methods: Umbilical hernia repair, circumcision, and portacath removal were considered surgical procedures appropriate for our one-stop surgery pilot study. Medical information obtained by phone or fax from referring physicians was used to identify potential candidates. Families were contacted, precertified for their surgical procedure, and given nothing by mouth instructions. The day of surgery the child was evaluated by the attending pediatric surgeon. If the diagnosis was confirmed, and no contraindications to surgery were identified, the child immediately underwent the prescheduled surgical procedure. Results: From April through October 1997, 61 children were scheduled for one-stop surgery. Nine patients (15%) were no shows, and one additional family opted not to proceed with circumcision. The remaining 51 children (83%) underwent their one-stop surgical procedure: umbilical hernia repair (n = 23), circumcision (n = 19), portacath removal (n = 8), and inguinal hernia repair (n = 1). No child had an anesthetic contraindication to surgery, and only one minor postoperative complication (wound hematoma) occurred. Conclusions: This pilot study has demonstrated that with appropriate patient screening and cooperation of the entire surgical team, a variety of outpatient surgical procedures can be handled using this one-stop surgery method. By combining one-stop surgery with our previously reported phone follow-up system, many minor surgical procedures can be managed with only one visit to the hospital. Decreasing the “hassle factor” of outpatient surgery for children and their families, who frequently live far from their closest children's hospital, while providing the highest quality of specialized surgical and anesthetic care, may potentially be a very powerful marketing tool for pediatric surgical specialists.

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