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The Evolution of Same-Day Surgery

It used to be that any surgical procedure required patients to stay overnight in the hospital. But advances in medicine and technology have made it possible for more patients than ever before to have surgery and return home the same day.

According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 57 million outpatient surgeries are performed in the U.S. each year. The number performed in freestanding surgical centers and physician offices increased more than 300 percent since 2001.

“Generally, most patients don’t like to stay in the hospital,” said Ronald Zlotoff, MD, Section Chief of Gastroenterology at Saint Mary’s Hospital, who refers many of his patients to the hospital’s Naugatuck Valley Surgical Center on Robbins Street in Waterbury. “That fact that they don’t have to stay overnight is very appealing.”

Dr. Zlotoff said he performs most of his procedures, including colonoscopies and endoscopies, at the NVSC.

“The center is clean. It’s efficient, and it has experienced personnel,” Dr. Zlotoff said. “I know the patients’ experiences are going to be good from the time they walk in until the time they walk out.”

Changes in anesthesia and insurance have made it easier and more comfortable for patients to have surgery and return home the same day.

“We have all of the same equipment as we do at the hospital, and endoscopic procedures can be done safely in the outpatient setting,” Dr. Zlotoff said.

With about 100 surgical specialists on staff, the center is able to perform a wide range of procedures, including dental, ear, nose, and throat, gastroenterology, urology, general surgery, gynecology, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pain management, plastic surgery, and podiatry.

“As technology continues to improve, more complex procedures are offered on an outpatient basis,” said Betty Bozzuto, RN, MBA, Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Surgical Services at Saint Mary’s.“We want to continue to provide the best care for patients as our options for same-day surgery expand.”

“We pride ourselves on the skilled and individualized care that we provide,” said Mary Campion, RN, CASC, Division Director of Patient Care Services at Naugatuck Valley Surgical Center and Saint Mary’s. “We treat our patients as we would our own family.”

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