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Ambulatory Anesthesia Services is putting BWH patients on the fast track toward home.
“For the first time in six surgeries, [I woke up] without feeling like I was miserably ill and fighting for my life,” said one patient who recently had a surgical biopsy under the anesthesia care of James Philip, MD, member of the Ambulatory Anesthesia team and director of Anesthesia Bioengineering, “I walked from the hospital front door to my car and went out for lunch!”
BWH anesthesiologists have been perfecting “fast track” anesthesia in recent years in order to help patients recover from day surgery procedures faster. “Our goal is to get patients back to their normal by the end of the day,” said Beverly Philip, MD, director of Ambulatory Anesthesia and Day Surgery.
Fast tracking minimizes hospital stays for patients undergoing day surgeries, such as a hernia repair, biopsy or hysteroscopy. The Ambulatory Anesthesia service combines the latest drugs and scientific knowledge with high-touch care. In what’s known as “Spa Brigham” on L1, patients sit in a reclining chair with family and friends before walking to the OR, where their “spa” treatment includes pneumatic boots for leg massage and a warm-air blanket. Both provide important clinical risk reduction while making patients feel pampered. Anesthesiologists then administer inhaled anesthetics with calming peppermint oil or pleasant intravenous anesthetics, and, forty seconds later, the patient is asleep. While under anesthesia, the patient receives medications to prevent nausea and pain after he or she awakens.
After surgery, many of these patients are able to take a few steps under their own power from the operating table back to the anesthesia chair, and they are ready to depart the hospital within an hour after their surgery. BWH last year performed more than 10,000 outpatient day surgeries, and the percentage of fast-track anesthesia services has grown each year since first launched by Beverly Philip in 2003.
The ambulatory anesthesia team includes Drs. Beverly Philip, James Philip, Robert Knapp, McCallum Hoyt, Michael Simon-Baker, Richard Urman and nurse anesthetist Brenda Roy.
Ambulatory anesthesiologists play a crucial role in making sure patients do well and feel at ease. “Everything we do is for our patients, and we cater our care to ensure every patient’s needs are met,” Beverly Philip said.