Specialist units reduce sugery stays
THE SETTING up of specialised breast cancer units will result in shorter stays in hospital for many patients who need to undergo a mastectomy, according to new research published yesterday.
The study at Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital, where a specialist breast unit was established in 2006, found that the number of patients discharged within 36 hours of a mastectomy and lymph node biopsy increased substantially between 2004 and 2007. Back in 2004/2005 just 3 per cent of patients were discharged so rapidly compared with 23 per cent in 2007.
The authors of the study, presented at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland annual research day yesterday, said it demonstrated that “the average length of stay for mastectomies and wide local excisions has fallen, with the introduction of a multi-surgeon specialised breast unit”.
They added: “The positive impact of specialisation in breast surgery is undisputed. Earlier patient discharge and a shift to post-operative care in the community may be challenging, but leads to more efficient use of limited healthcare resources.”
Source: Irish Times
This is great news although my mascetomy stay in the hospital in America was less than 24 hours. Everyting looked good so my surgeon discharged me after removing my drainage bulb. I had no complications and now a year later am actually looking forward to my free flap reconstruction this summer.
Thanks Jennifer for sharing your experience with us. It is great to know you are doing so well in your recovery 🙂
There are many good reasons why early discharge from hospital should be encouraged but compromising patient welfare to save on resources, should never be one of them.
This study doesn’t tell us about patient outcome or doesn’t the patient count? What was the experience of the women who were discharged within 36 hours? Was it favourable compared to those who had longer hospital stays?
JBBC – Do you know if the specialist breast centres are responsible for the post-operative care in the community?
Hi Steph – only just spotted your comment and as always you ask great questions. I posted this piece last week literally as I was going out the door to catch a plane to London and meant to come back to it and comment further. I certainly would share your concerns relating to the patient experience and to the best of my knowledge there is no definitive answer yet as to how the specialist breast units will address follow up. I would imagine they will be responsible for organising post operative care and ensuring that it is available although that would not necessarily mean going back to the SBC. It may mean using a local hospital (if it is approved). It becomes more unclear when we talk about post op care vs follow up as the two are not necessarily the same and follow up procedures in the sense of regular check ups has not been properly determined yet. Next month I am attending an information session as part of the Europa Donna AGM which will deal with follow up issues and I will cetainly be asking this question. Thanks again for your comments.