For many people, the thought of surgery causes anxiety. They worry about the associated pain, unexpected complications, and financial sticker shock afterward. But you shouldn’t postpone a much-needed procedure due to worry; consider an outpatient facility instead. These, like Longview’s Pacific Surgical Center, provide excellent medical care with upfront pricing and no overnight stays.
Officially the deep-seated fear of hospitals is called Nosocomephobia. Anxiety researchers in the U.K. admit that “Most people have experienced a certain level of sensible anxiety when faced with the prospect of medical or dental treatment, especially when it is invasive.” But, they continue, with a medical phobia “we tend to avoid the things we fear…until we find that our ability to live a normal life has been drastically reduced. In the case of medical phobias, avoiding treatment may put our health, and even our lives, at risk.”
While most fears aren’t that extreme, knowing you’ll be under kind, compassionate, skillful care makes a world of difference. At PSC, their team works with your primary care physician on the best overall approach and will keep you informed every step of the way. Financial specialists provide guidance about costs, payment options, and can even bill your insurance should you choose to do so.
But perhaps the best service they offer is minimally invasive, outpatient surgery which allows most patients to rest and recuperate at home. As they explain, “At Pacific Surgical Center, we offer a very attractive alternative to hospital-based surgery, eliminating common concerns most people have. Your experience will involve exceptional care with easier access, more privacy, less paperwork, greater comfort, and less stress than if your procedure were performed at a hospital.”
The surgical recovery process is almost as important as the operation itself. Letting your body heal fully and at its own pace means a reduced likelihood of reinjury or ongoing pain. Stanford Healthcare doctors explain that “In the majority of cases, outpatient surgery is less stressful than inpatient surgery…Most persons, moreover, prefer to recover in their homes rather than in the hospital.” Because few things in life are more beneficial than the comforts of home (and your favorite pair of jammies).
But, they stress, there are important factors to remember. “Patients who undergo an outpatient procedure should have someone to drive them home and stay with them following the procedure…Patients often experience drowsiness and minor after-effects, such as muscle aches, sore throat, and occasional dizziness and headaches. Occasionally nausea may also be present. There may also be fatigue and discomfort for a day or two following the surgery.”
During your initial visit, PSC’s doctors will discuss the procedure, answer any and all questions, and take a full medical history including which medications you take regularly. Most lab work and testing can be done on-site reducing the need for return visits or driving all over town. Afterward, you’ll be sent home with detailed post-surgery discharge instructions and staff will call to check in on your progress.
Some aches and pains are to be expected but VeryWellHealth.com explains that certain symptoms should be reported to your doctor immediately. These include difficulty breathing, a fever over 100.4, confusion, dizziness, fainting, vomiting, and swelling, redness, or discharge from the incision site.
Don’t wait. Postponing surgery can lead to impaired balance, reliance on medication, and limit your ability to enjoy life to the fullest. For example, if you’re suffering from leg or knee issues caused by arthritis or osteoarthritis, the joint is deteriorating every day you delay. The sooner things are fixed, the quicker you’re out enjoying a (safely socially distanced!) after dinner walk amidst our gorgeous Pacific Northwest scenery.
Athletes of all ages and abilities, check this out: PSC handles sports injuries too. While many team sports are on hold during COVID-19, don’t miss out on your morning run or Zoom-hosted yoga session. Take care of problems now so that you’re not benched when games eventually resume.
Nelson Mandela once said that “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” Sure, surgery seems scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Learn as much as you can and you’ll find those fears quickly fade away.
If an operation is in your future, ask the primary care doctor about outpatient options. PSC specializes in orthopedics, urology, gastroenterology, podiatry, and general surgery. You can schedule a consultation online or by calling 360-442-7900 and be home sweet home before you know it.