Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Surgery Center Vs Children's Hospital

In this post, I'm sharing my thoughts about pediatric trigger thumb surgery.  Two of my children have had it; one at Denver Children's Hospital and the other at the Surgery Center in Manhattan, KS.  We had great experiences both places.  But, if you have a choice between a hospital or a surgery center, there are differences to weigh.  Here are so of the things that I noticed.
At the surgery center before surgery with her bear, compliments of the surgery center.

1.  Size:  Hosptials are big and busy.  Surgery Centers are smaller and often located right near a hospital.  Hospitals have sick people, so if you are concerned about germs, it's just something to consider.
2.  Check-in: Check in time varies between a surgery center and a hospital.  We didn't have insanely long waits at the hospital, but the surgery center, just because of its smaller footprint, was faster for us to get from the car, to check-in, to the waiting area, and then to the operating room.
3.  Level of  care:  If you can go to a children's hospital, you will get very specialized care, targeted to children, which is very nice.  The children's hospital gave my daughter a Barbie doll after her surgery.  That was very nice.  At Denver Children's, one parent is allowed to accompany the child going in for surgery until he/she is a asleep under anesthesia.  We didn't get to do that at the surgery center.  However, the surgery center did a wonderful job with our three year old.  There was a little stuffed animal waiting for her which she got to take with her to surgery.  They even allowed her to take her nasty, filthy blankie too!  The doctors and nurses at the surgery center were very sweet to our daughter.  It helped me feel good about my decision to have her surgery there.
4.  Cost: Surgery Centers generally cost a bit less.  I tried to get a quote from the hospital and the surgery center here so that I could compare the two, but the hospital never got back to me.
(For those of you wondering what the insurance gets billed for a job like this, it's roughly $12,000.)
5.  Accessibility: In my experience, the Surgery Center really wins here.  When I call, I get a person on the line right away.  I ask questions and I get connected with a knowledgeable person.  When call-backs are necessary, they are fast.  Calling a hospital is a bit more daunting, starting with an automated message and then a menu to choose from.


  1. I have read your post on both your kids trigger fingers and I have a question my son is 22months and his thumb is completely locked in place. I went to a childrens hospital today and right off the bat they want to do surgery. I am very afraid of surgery, I wonder what would happen if I dont have the surgery on his hand, will his thumb curl under his hand? Should I wait to see if it straightens itself? He may have been born this way, I just found that it would not straighten about 4 or 5 months ago, any help I would really be thankful for, Thanks for sharing your blogs with us. P.S. your children are beautiful...Thank you Amber

  2. Hi Amber, Thanks for commenting! I can understand your concerns for your son and having surgery so young. If you don't do surgery, his thumb will just stay how it is: locked. It won't curl under his hand. Once it is locked, though, it will not straighten on it's own. I will say, that from my experience, it has been easier to deal with a younger child having surgery than an older one. I'm sure if you talk to your son's doctor, he wouldn't see any harm in waiting a year for surgery if that would make you feel better about it. But the surgery is very quick and easy for surgeon (20mins). It's hardest on the parent. :) I hope you can come to a decision you feel good about. If you have other questions, feel free to ask.

  3. Hey I was looking through to see what I might go through! I am a 13 year old female and I haven't gone to the doctor because I just figured out it didn't grow back differently from being broken and it's been like this for 3 years. Does time make the case worse or doe sit not matter?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Well, I'm no doctor, so I really can't say about your situation. You might want to talk to a couple different doctors and get their opinions.


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