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From left, Dr. Ross Henshaw, Dr. John Dunleavy and Dr. Robert Deveney, are surgeons in Danbury Orthopedics recently completed outpatient surgery facility.From left, Dr. Ross Henshaw, Dr. John Dunleavy and Dr. Robert Deveney, are surgeons in Danbury Orthopedics recently completed outpatient surgery facility.

The News-Times — Doctors at the practice recently completed their first outpatient total knee, hip and shoulder replacements, which were performed at the practice’s new surgical facility that opened last year at its 226 White Street, Danbury facility. The introduction of the new service, doctors say, was driven by patients.

“These days, more and more of the expense and the burden of medical care is being transferred to the patient,” said Dr. Robert Deveney, who recently performed both a total knee and a total hip replacement on an outpatient basis. “As a result, it’s our goal to provide the highest-quality care in the most cost-effective environment.”

By providing total joint replacement on an outpatient basis, patients can often save thousands of dollars they might have had to pay as part of an overnight stay at an area hospital. The patients also receive extensive post-operative care in their home as part of their program to ensure a successful outcome.

Deveney said the practice is working with the Ridgefield Visiting Nurses Association to provide additional care for their outpatient clients including a visit to the home prior to the procedure. A nurse and a physical therapist are also at the home upon the patient’s arrival. Nurses also make daily visits to the patient’s home for up to a week after the procedure.

Dr. John Dunleavy, who also recently completed a total knee replacement, said joint replacement for outpatients isn’t the right choice for everyone, and that doctors carefully select who is a best fit. Someone who has a significant heart issue, for example, wouldn’t be considered for an outpatient surgery.

“Of course, the most important factor is the patient’s interest in having the procedure performed on an outpatient basis,” he said.

Dunleavy added, however, that advances in technology have allowed outpatient services that weren’t available in the past.

“Because the technology has advanced so much in the past 10 years, including anesthesia techniques and the smaller incisions that are now necessary, these outpatient procedures are now a reality,” he said.

Deveney noted that several practices in the Midwest have been performing total joint replacements on an outpatient basis for several years, and the service is now catching on along the East Coast.

He added that patients are also much more knowledgeable about their procedures than in the past.

Dr. Ross Henshaw, center, is a surgeon in Danbury Orthopedics recently completed outpatient surgery facility.Dr. Ross Henshaw, center, is a surgeon in Danbury Orthopedics recently completed outpatient surgery facility.

“In the past we would have taken a lot of time explaining the procedure itself,” Deveney said. “But these days people do much of their own research online and are already well informed. When they get to us, they usually have a number of questions including the length of the recovery time and when they can return to work. Much of these changes have really been driven by patient demand.”

While only a small percentage of the practice’s patients are eligible for the outpatient services, Dunleavy said that number will only increase as the program gains traction.

“Our experience so far is mirroring what other practices have seen in the Midwest,” he said. “They started with a select group of patients and began expanding the services out from there.”

Danbury Orthopedics completed the surgical center last year as part of a $5 million renovation of the facility.