Outpatient Surgery Magazine - Subscribers

No More Empty Beds - Outpatient Surgery Magazine - February 2020

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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fort level with the instrument. This is especially true for oph- thalmic blades. "I like a non-disposable diamond blade because it's the sharpest instrumentation available," says T. Hunter Newsom, MD, a cataract and refractive surgeon and the founder of the Newsom Eye & Laser Center in Sebring and Tampa, Fla. But Dr. Newsom is the outlier in his own practice, where the other surgeons all prefer to use disposable knives. "They like that the disposable steel blades aren't quite as sharp, so they're more forgiving," says Dr. Newsom. "You can lean a little to the right and it's not going to extend the incision. You can't do that with the diamond blade. You have to go straight in, and straight out." Durability is an important consideration to keep in mind when deciding between reusable vs. disposable products. Consider the example of iris expansion devices, which cost around $50 for single- use options and $125 to $150 for multi-use versions. If you can use the reusable ones five, six or seven times, your cost per case drops down to $20 to $30, which is less than the cost of the disposable model. But here's where it's critical for surgical facility leaders to understand the skills of their surgeons. "If you have a surgeon who's taking what's supposed to be a multi-use device and consistently getting just one use out of it [due to damage], you're probably going to need to invest in disposables," says Dr. Newsom. Cost concerns Of course, cost is a major consideration when it comes to dispos- ables. But this isn't as cut-and-dried as it first appears. Diamond blades cost around $3,000 per knife which, of course, is a lot. But then again, Dr. Newsom performs around 3,000 cataract procedures annu- ally, and has invested in 16 diamond blades — a $48,000 investment. Now, compare those costs to disposable steel blades, which can run F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y. N E T • 7 9

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