So I had arthroscopic surgery at a Healthsouth facility from a Brown & Toland surgeon on Friday. The admin staff and the nursing staff were superb, and the majority of my information from the physician’s office had in fact got over to the surgi-center, so there was no need for me to repeat everything. They also allowed me to not pay anything up front, as I explained that I thought my previous office visits and MRI would take up all my deductible and out of pocket. I even have a new MSA (should be HSA) card from the "MSA Bank" which I should be able to use to make those payments tax-free. So I am now one of those health care consumers I’ve been warning you about!
The surgery was in some ways rather fun, particularly as it was minor enough that I was able to be woken up after a quick general anesthetic and was able to watch the monitor as it happened. I could see a huge drill blasting the odd bit of white scar tissue, and although there was a cloth barrier stopping me from seeing the surgeon, I was even able to get the nurse to bring it down by joking that I was watching a tape from another surgery. But there he was slicing/drilling away, and describing to me what he was doing. I’ve since told several people about this but none of them seemed to be anything other than queasy.
The most amazing thing is that although I had a couple of Percocet in the facility, I have taken none of the Vicodin I thought I’d need over the past 48 hours. The knee is pretty swollen, but I can already walk OK–it’s stiff but not painful. Hopefully in a couple of weeks I’ll be better than before. I’ll keep you in touch, but going through this experience is always interesting for those of us in the health care business who don’t often see things from the "business" end!
By the way, if you don’t know the history, the surgery was follow up to much more significant knee surgery 2 years ago when I had ACL/PCL grafts following a violent snowboarding accident.