The Pennsylvania health department reminded ambulatory surgery facilities that laparoscopic procedures such as gall bladder surgeries are only to be performed in hospitals -- prompting an uproar from a national trade group for outpatient surgery centers. The advisory was circulated because of a recent inspection of a facility where one such inappropriate procedure was being performed, and concern that the practice may be more widespread, said Richard McGarvey, a health department spokesman. "We don't feel (an ambulatory surgery center) has the ability to respond to some type of medical emergency," he said. "Laparoscopic procedures are often accompanied by a decrease in pain and shortening of the recovery period, but the risk of injury to abdominal and other internal organs and structures is not lessened," according to the advisory. The state's "decision is surprising and especially troubling because of its lack of clarity," the Federated Ambulatory Surgery Association said in a news release. "Ambulatory surgery centers are safe, cost-effective and patient-friendly facilities that offer patients a better way to have outpatient surgery." -- by Cinda Becker
Pa. surgery centers warned over laparoscopies
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