Many patients requiring shoulder surgery many have their procedure performed at an clinic by an outpatient shoulder surgeon. Outpatient surgery is any procedure that does not require the patient to stay overnight in hospital. It is also known as ambulatory surgery, same-day surgery, day surgery.

A number of shoulder surgeries can be performed on an outpatient basis, including:

         Rotator cuff repair

         Subacromial decompression (bone spur removal)

         Glenoid labrum repairs (SLAP tears)

         Repair of shoulder instability (dislocated joint)

         Biceps tendon repair

         Bursitis

         Debridement (caused by arthritis)

         Frozen shoulder release

Benefits of Seeing an Outpatient Shoulder Surgeon vs Inpatient Shoulder Surgeon

There are a number of benefits in having surgery performed by an outpatient shoulder surgeon over a hospital stay.

         Convenience: Procedures performed by an outpatient shoulder surgeon mean that the patient can recover at home rather than stay in hospital, where they are generally more comfortable. It also means less time off work or away from family.

Inpatient surgery means adhering to the normal routine and environment of a hospital, including set mealtimes and possibly sharing a room.

         Location: Outpatient services are likely to be available to a wider locale as the surgeon can travel between clinics. Inpatient surgery, by contrast, is restricted to a particular hospital. This may require the patient to travel.

         Cost-Efficiency: Outpatient surgery cuts out the cost of hospital room fees, which can be significant. In some cases, insurance policies may even cover the procedure.  Inpatients are otherwise required to meet the cost of the room and any other expenses. They also may have to schedule time off work for both the surgery and recovery. In some cases pre-approval is required for inpatient services.

         Comfort: Many patients may be distressed at the thought of being away from their home and family, particularly very young children or the elderly. In this case, outpatient surgery may then be more suitable option.  

         Availability: An outpatient shoulder surgeon is more likely to have a set schedule of availability, allowing the patient to arrange a time and date to suit.

Scheduling inpatient shoulder surgery may be subject to bed availability, which can mean the surgery is delayed until there is space. It will also depend on the surgeon’s availability.


Benefits of Seeing an Inpatient Shoulder Surgeon

         Peace of Mind: Some patients who require more complicated surgical procedures may feel more comfortable staying in a hospital following their surgery – particularly if the patient has no one at home to look after them.

         Contact: An inpatient shoulder surgeon may be easier for the patient to reach if staying overnight in a hospital setting. However, an outpatient shoulder surgeon is still likely to provide contact information when their patient goes home.

Most medical treatments and investigations for injuries and illnesses can be performed in an outpatient setting, from diagnostic procedures to minor surgeries. An outpatient shoulder surgeon may also provide rehabilitative care or even telephone consultations. Patients can also rest assured that an outpatient shoulder surgeon has the same education and qualifications as an inpatient surgeon.