New surgical center opens its doors in Claremore

Thursday, December 9th 2004, 10:29 am
By: News On 6

Claremore residents now have more medical options within walking distance, almost. By definition, "ambulatory" surgical center means you can walk in and walk out. Now Claremore has a new one, the NorthPark Surgery Center.

News on 6 business reporter Steve Berg has more on this growing medical trend.

In the old days, there was no such thing as a simple surgery, but now says Dr. Hilton McDonald. "Many procedures that used to require one, two, three day stays in the hospital are now sent home on the same day."

NorthPark administrator Darrell Parke says technology advancements have opened the door to ambulatory surgical centers. "There's basically nothing that we cannot do in this operative suite. It's all state-of-the-art equipment. You can't find another center that's better equipped than this one."

Everything from laparoscopes that allow for less invasive surgeries, to better anesthetics that require less recovery time. Having this center in Claremore obviously saves residents a lot of driving time to Tulsa and elsewhere, but they say surgical centers in general save time over hospitals.

Dr. Mary Johnson: "A lot of times you have emergency situations in the hospital, when there's an emergency, a lot of the elective cases get bumped and keep getting bumped and bumped and bumped, that delays the time the patient can get in."

For that and other reasons, they say an ambulatory surgical center can be as much as 50% cheaper than a hospital and they say just as safe and closely regulated. Darrell Parke: “Our crash carts in an ambulatory surgery center are no different than those in any hospital setting."

Over the past 20 years, the number of surgeries that are done on an outpatient basis have gone from 16% to more than 60%. They say the growth of the walk-in, walk-out surgery market will keep on at a sprinter's pace.