Encouraging response to same day surgery, discharge: Apollo Health

Chennai, March 27 (IANS) Healthcare chain Apollo Hospitals group will wait and watch the performance at its first Apollo Day Surgery outlet here before going for network expansion, a senior official said Wednesday.

“We are looking at the experience of the first outlet in Chennai. Then we will decide on expanding the network. The investment for such a centre will be in the region of Rs.12-14 crore and the centre is expected to break-even in one-and-half years,” Ravindra Pai, senior vice president-marketing, Apollo Health and Lifestyle Ltd, told reporters here Wednesday.
Apollo Health and Lifestyle that operates the Apollo Day Surgery branded outlet is a wholly-owned subsidiary of listed entity Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd.
According to Pai, the prospects for day surgery outlets are bright as they reduced the costs for patients and general insurers were increasingly in favour of expanding the list of day care surgical procedures to reduce claims outgo.
“Patients can save on hospital bills by up to 25 percent under day care surgical procedures. A patient will have to be in a hospital for two-three days when he undergoes a conventional laparoscopic surgery. But in Apollo Day Surgery, the average stay duration is only around five hours,” P. Radhakrishna, consultant surgical gastroenterologist, said.
“With techniques such as ultrasound bilateral dual TAP block anaesthesia, patients do not suffer post-operative pain and can resume normal duties the next day,” Pooja Agrawal, anaesthesiologist, told IANS.
The usage of minimal invasive techniques such as keyhole technologies and robotic surgery even for removal of big fibroids in women help patients resume normal activities in a day and enables them privacy of their problem from others, said Meenakshi Sundaram, gynaecological laparoscopic and robotic surgeon.
With the use of keyhole surgical techniques, big fibroids are minced and sucked out whereas under the traditional technique, doctors have to cut open the portion resulting in post-operative pain and higher number of days in hospital, she said.
The centre offers same day surgery and discharge service across 11 specialties and has done around 3,800 operations till date averaging around 200 a day.
“At an average, we operate around 20 patients at the centre. There are three operation theatres,” Radhakrishna said.
According to Pai, the centre, apart from getting its own patients, also gets patients from the parent hospital here, saving the waiting time for patients.
With chances of the patient getting hospital infections almost nil post-surgery, the rate of re-admissions is nil, said Venkatesh Munikrishnan, consultant coloproctologist and laparoscopic surgeon.
As a word of caution to the general public, Munikrishnan said people with rectal bleeding should get the problem checked as it could be due to cancer and not piles.