A lot has changed in the field since Dr. Robert DeMaagd began joint replacement surgery 30 years ago.

At that time, a knee or hip replacement would keep a patient in the hospital up to 10 days, but technology and the procedure have evolved over the years.

Since October, he and Dr. Thomas Matelic have performed nearly a dozen outpatient surgeries at Metro Health OAM Surgery Center.

A patient could arrive at the center the morning of the operation and be home by dinner.

More and more, he said doctors are viewing hospitals as where people go when they’re sick, completing tasks such as joint replacement in outpatient offices whenever possible.

“Hospitals are still important, but you’re not having everything done at the hospitals like it used to be,” he said.

The same-day aspect is important to patients because of cost savings and comfort of recovery, DeMaagd said.

In a hospital, there always will be an overhead cost that makes services more expensive. Outpatient facilities do not have many of those costs, he said.

You can read the rest of the article in the Grand Rapids Business Journal. It is available at locations throughout the city.