What is the role of aftercare centers for the ambula-tory surgery patient?
Following some surgical procedures, patients may expe-rience significant postoperative pain that cannot be readily controlled with oral opioids. Additionally, although they may require some skilled nursing observation or specialized care, these may be accomplished outside the setting of an acute care hospital both at lower cost and with greater com-fort for the patient and family. With this in mind, the con-cept of a recovery care facility was born, thus creating a new category of inpatient postsurgical care. This healthcare model integrates ambulatory surgery with overnight or extended care outside of a hospital. Examples of procedures included in the present trial include hysterectomy, cholecyst-ectomy via laparotomy, shoulder repairs, and mastectomies. If this type of facility is unavailable, appropriate use of home care services including newer modalities of pain control may still allow a patient to avoid inpatient postoperative care.