Day surgery increasingly performed at public hospitals

Update: June, 17/2020 - 09:00


A doctor at the HCM City University Medical Centre’s day surgery unit speaks with a patient. Photo courtesy of the hospital

HCM CITY — Less invasive surgery procedures are being performed during one-day stays at many public hospitals in HCM City, resulting in lower costs, reduced incidences of infections contracted during hospital stays, and reduction in patient overcrowding.

Chợ Rẫy Hospital, University Medical Centre, Children Hospital No.1, Children Hospital No.2, the Municipal Children Hospital, Trưng Vương Hospital, Thủ Đức District Hospital are among the hospitals offering day surgery that allows patients to return home several hours after surgery.

For years, T.V.M., a 54-year-old man from HCM City, suffered external haemorrhoids until he recently visited Thủ Đức District Hospital for examination and treatment. He was advised to undergo day surgery to treat the disease.

Tests were completed in the morning and he underwent 30-minute surgery in the afternoon. He was discharged from the hospital one hour later.

“It is more convenient and less stressful than an in-hospital stay. The cost of surgery is only one third of inpatient surgery,” he said.

According to Dr. Mai Hóa, head of the hospital’s department of general surgery, doctors examine and give advice on whether patients are candidates for day surgery to ensure the best possible patient outcomes.

A patient’s medical history is important in determining if the procedure can be performed on a day surgery basis.

Elderly patients and patients with chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis are not candidates for day surgery.

"Day surgery is best performed by surgeons and anesthesiologists with extensive experience," Hóa said.

Lâm Việt Trung, head of Chợ Rẫy Hospital’s digestive surgery department, said the department had issued a list of day surgery procedures, with patient safety as the first priority.

Day surgery helps cut the costs of treatment and the time needed for in-hospital stays and reduces patient overload at the hospital, according to Trung.

Nearly two-thirds of all procedures are conducted on a day surgery basis in the US. However, the figure remains low in Việt Nam.

In developed countries, most patients want to undergo day surgery to save costs, which are very high. In Việt Nam, hospital costs remain low and patients are worried about possible complications after surgery, making day surgery an uncommon choice.

The HCM City University Medical Centre offers more than 470 procedures performed on a day surgery basis in a wide range of specialties such as digestive, urology, gynaecology, dental, ear, nose and throat, and plastics and reconstructive surgery.

Around 15-20 cases of day surgery are performed at the hospital each day.

Phan Tôn Ngọc Vũ, head of the hospital’s day surgery unit, said the hospital had seen an annual rise of 20 per cent in the number of patients undergoing day surgery.

“Patients are allowed to leave the hospital within six hours after day surgery and the incidences of complications are very small,” Vũ said. — VNS