Surgeon performs same-day total knee replacement at Apex


WESTMORELAND — Apex Surgical Center says it is the first ambulatory surgery center in the state to perform a same-day total knee replacement.

Dr. Andrew Wickline performed the surgery Dec. 1. Same-day total joint replacement is defined as a patient recovering at home on the same day as the surgery.

The patient went into the operating room at about 9:30 a.m. and was home in the afternoon, said Geoffrey Smith, the center’s CEO.

The surgeon and the center spent the last several years developing the program that allows a patient to leave the same day of surgery after total joint replacement. Wickline uses the SwiftPath method that allows surgeons to give patients the option to have hip and knee replacements on an outpatient basis.

“Total joint replacements have historically been performed in hospitals where the patient would traditionally stay one to two nights, said Smith. “However, in the last five years, less invasive surgical methods, better pain control, and a high degree of patient education and engagement have allowed total joint surgeons like Dr. Wickline and their care teams to offer patients the option to have the joint replacement in the morning and to go home the same day to recover in the comfort of their homes.”

The surgeon has not only implemented SwiftPath methods, he has been instrumental in developing methods used today, including patient self-directed physical therapy and a tourniquet-free total knee replacement, reports the Apex administrator.

Insurance carriers benefit from same-day replacements through a decrease in costs.

Same-day total joint replacement is not one-size-fits-all. Patients must meet pre-operative criteria that focus on both the health of the patient and on social factors like the candidate having adequate support at home, according to the surgery center. 

Wickline is scheduled to perform his first same-day total hip replacement in January.

“We anticipate this program growing rapidly in 2018, offering patients a cutting edge option for their total joint replacement,” said Smith.

Apex is also developing a spine surgery program.

Smith said the center has already performed successful spine surgeries and will expand its capabilities to include more surgical options for patients needing spine care.


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