New technology could help surgery patients heal faster

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LONE TREE, Colo. — Mastectomies for breast cancer patients are up nearly 40 percent, but a new approach could help patients heal faster while saving money.

Sandi Bowen is an agent at Start Real Estate. She told FOX31 she isn’t slowing down, despite being diagnosed with breast cancer.

“It wasn’t something in my family, so it was a shock,” she said.

Bowen received a mastectomy at Kaiser Permanente’s Lone Tree Ambulatory Surgery Center and was released just 23 hours later. It often takes patients a week in the hospital to recover from the traditional surgery.

Bowen says the best thing was being able to be with her family at home for recovery.

“It was awesome. (My daughter), my son, my husband, the caring. I could get home to what I felt was comfortable: my bed,” Bowen said.

Dr. Michael Sawyer of Kaiser Permanente told FOX31 the new kind of procedure offers a wide range of benefits to patients.

“There are studies that show patients tend to do better and mend faster when they’re being cared for at their own home,” Sawyer said.

He adds that the care in the ambulatory surgery center is tailored to provide the best experience and care.

“We’re taking care of our own patients in our own facilities. We have all their records. The care is personalized because it’s a smaller space,” Sawyer said.

Many types of surgeries are performed at the center, including those to treat hernias as well as hip and knee replacements. This is not the best option for every patient, and each case is carefully evaluated. The savings can be more than 30 percent compared to traditional hospital stays.

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