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What is elective surgery?

If you haven’t already undergone a surgical procedure, chances are that you will have one in the future. The American College of Surgeons completed a study that estimated Americans undergo an average of 9.2 surgical procedures in a lifetime. The majority of surgeries are elective surgery, which means the patient can decide whether or not to have the procedure. Elective surgery usually does not need to be done immediately. This is in contrast to medical emergency surgery, which must be done quickly in order to save a person’s life.

The term ‘elective’ and insurance coverage – Since a person can decide whether or not to have elective surgery, there is a misconception that medical insurance will not cover these types of procedures. This is not true. The majority of medical procedures performed in the United States are elective surgeries. Many of them are covered in full or in part by medical insurance.

Types of elective surgery – Elective surgery can be classified two ways. The first is elective surgery that is medically necessary. These types of surgeries are recommended when all other remedies are no longer effective. For example, if someone has knee arthritis and is no longer able to get relief from injections, medications or therapy, a knee replacement becomes the best option to improve quality of life. When any part of the body is no longer functioning properly, elective surgery can be scheduled to remedy the situation. Medical insurance will usually cover all or part of the cost for these surgeries. It is important to get pre-approval and follow all of the medical management rules.

The other type of elective surgery is elective surgery that is not medically necessary. These are procedures that a person may desire but that do not fulfill a medical need. One example is a face lift. Since the face operates just fine without surgery, this procedure is not considered medically necessary. Most insurance plans will not cover these types of surgeries. There are a few exceptions like reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy. The best plan is to always contact your insurance company before scheduling any procedure.

The most common elective surgeries – There are several common elective surgeries. Musculoskeletal surgery to replace a knee, hip or joint is a common surgery. Cardiovascular surgery involves repairs to the heart and placement of stents or pacemakers. Exploratory surgery is used to determine the extent of a medical problem like cancer. In many cases, tissue samples are taken for a biopsy during exploratory surgery. Refractive surgery is performed to correct vision problems. Plastic surgery is performed to address either cosmetic or reconstructive issues.

Non-invasive choices with elective surgery – Although surgery is performed for a specific purpose, there are sometimes choices for the methods of surgery. Traditional surgeries are those where an incision is made to open up an area for a procedure. Today, many procedures can be performed with the non-invasive approach known as laparoscopy. With this method, there are one or more small incisions where a small scope and tools are inserted to perform the procedure. In some cases, laparoscopic surgery can be performed with a robotic device that assists the surgeon. There are also choices now for hip replacement using an anterior or front approach, a lateral or side approach or a posterior or rear approach. Most surgeons will outline the options for each patient and explain the risks and benefits for each option. If you are unsure about the choices, getting a second opinion from another surgeon can help make the decision process easier.

Another good choice

Deciding to have elective surgery to improve your quality of life is a positive first step, but a good second step is choosing to recover in a short-term care facility where there are therapists and equipment to help you regain your balance, strength and good health as quickly as possible.

One of the most effective and luxurious options for this recovery is Whitehall of Deerfield’s Elective Orthopedic Pavilion. This dedicated wing is designed with beautifully appointed and spacious private guest rooms with world-class amenities. An attentive concierge is present to fill special requests, including bringing coffee and the newspaper to your room each morning. A wellness spa and massage services are also available for guests.

In addition to high-quality accommodations, Whitehall of Deerfield offers top-notch medical care. Whitehall of Deerfield has consistently received Medicare’s highest rating in Medicare’s five-star rating system of nursing and rehabilitation centers, as well as receiving U.S. News & World Report’s highest “Top Performing” rating, making it one of the best options for short-term care in the area. Everything from therapy to pain management is provided around-the-clock by experienced staff. State-of-the-art rehabilitation gyms provide all the equipment needed to reach your highest level of independence and functioning. Discharge planners help the transition back to your home go smoothly and quickly. Care is consistent, compassionate and skilled at every level.

As you make your decision to have elective surgery, be sure to also decide to recover at Whitehall of Deerfield’s Elective Orthopedic Pavilion. To see all that is offered, arrange a tour by calling 847-945-4600. For more information, visit whitehallofdeerfield.com.

300 Waukegan Road Deerfield, IL 60015 | 847.945.4600