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Same Day/Next Day Surgery Puts Patients “Back in the Saddle” Quickly

Andrew and Donell Allen enjoy riding their horses on their Lexington County farm.

Andrew and Donell Allen enjoy riding their horses on their Lexington County farm.

Andrew and Donnell Allen love to ride their horses on their Lexington County farm. But a few bad moves during a ride in September left Andrew in serious pain.

A trip to his doctor revealed it was a hernia – with recommended surgery.

“I said, ‘Oh – no, no, no.’”

The thought of surgery terrified Andrew.

“I was a nervous wreck,” he said. “I’m 44 and I never had surgery before – except having my tonsils out in high school.”

Donnell said Andrew kept putting off the surgery.

“My husband thinks he’s He-Man,” she said. “He would have lived with it until it got much worse.”

And then it did. In October, Andrew slipped and fell at a horse show, hurting himself even more.

“The women precipitate our men going to the doctor,” Donnell said. “He kept saying, ‘It’s just sore.’ He was in denial.”

After another trip to the doctor, Andrew’s family practice physician referred him to Dr. Raymond Fryrear at Southern Surgical Group, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice.

Dr. Fryrear told Andrew and Donnell about Lexington Medical Center’s Same Day/Next Day Surgery program. This first-in-the-Midlands program gives patients a convenient option for surgical treatment. Consultations are scheduled daily with procedures performed that afternoon or the next morning at Lexington Medical Center or the hospital’s Outpatient Surgery Center in Irmo.

Dr. Raymond Fryrear

Dr. Raymond Fryrear

Dr. Fryrear scheduled Andrew for surgery the very next day in Irmo.

“I was a nervous Nellie,” Andrew said.

The surgery began at 6:30 a.m. Andrew and Donnell were home by 11:00 a.m. And it all took place just one day after Andrew had his first visit with the surgeon.

The ease and quick nature of the process calmed Andrew’s fears and changed his perspective about having surgery in the first place.

“For anyone up for Same Day/Next Day Surgery, do it,” Andrew said. “It eliminated a lot of the downtime for anxiety to build up. I didn’t have a chance to fret about it.”

Donnell called the experience efficient, quick and convenient.

“You can have surgery done lickety split right there at Lexington Medical Center in Irmo. The care was also top-notch and state-of-the-art.”

Same Day/Next Day Surgery also includes procedures for melanoma, superficial wounds, soft tissue tumors, diagnostic procedures for muscle, temporal arteries and oncology, vascular port placement, and surgeries for gallbladders, breast cancer and anorectal conditions. Other procedures may be available in Same Day/Next Day Surgery, too. Patients can talk about that with their doctor.

“Same Day/Next Day Surgery keeps a patient’s time, expenses and care at the forefront,” said Dr. Fryrear.

After surgery, there was a six week healing period. Today, Andrew feels well and he and Donnell are back to riding horses, glad to be “back in the saddle” again.

For more information on Same Day/Next Day Surgery, visit Southern Surgical Group’s website.

Tech Talk: Meet the O-Arm

The O-Arm at work during spine surgery in the Lexington Medical Center Surgery department.

Imagine a machine that can take real-time, 3-D, HD images of the inside of your body during surgery. Doctors can see exactly what’s going on inside of you and make sure every step is correct throughout the surgical procedure. You probably wouldn’t want to have surgery without it. And now – you don’t have to.

Lexington Medical Center is the first hospital in the Midlands with the technologically advanced O-Arm, a new imaging system for spinal surgery.

The O-Arm is a machine placed around a patient on the operating table. Before surgery, doctors use the O-Arm to capture images of the patient that help them develop a precise surgical guide. During surgery, the O-Arm images allow neurosurgeons to confirm proper placement of instrumentation. After implants are placed, neurosurgeons use the O-Arm again to confirm correct placement of instruments in the spine and address anything further that needs to be done. Images are displayed on a large, digital flat screen at a view station next to the operating table.

For an up-close look at the O-Arm in the Lexington Medical Center operating room, watch this video. Dr. Scott Boyd, neurogurgeon at Columbia Neurology Associates narrates.

What is the O-arm? from Lexington Medical Center on Vimeo.

An image captured by the O-Arm at Lexington Medical Center

Before O-Arm technology, patients would have an MRI or CT scan before surgery and doctors would use 1- or 2-Dimensional images to guide them. They would place instruments and implants by using their best educated guess based on standard anatomy. But in back surgery, doctors are working through a small opening and it can be difficult to know where you are in the spine. Margins of error are millimeters – and implants must be placed with a great deal of accuracy.

Manufactured by Medtronic, the O-Arm improves safety for surgeons and staff members, lowers the chance of revision surgeries and can enhance patient outcomes. Spinal problems can be chronic and debilitating. The O-Arm gives patients a great opportunity for excellent results.

Lexington Medical Center began using the O-Arm this summer. For more information, visit

Lexington County’s Coroner and Medical Examiner Service

Since the early 1970s, death investigations in Lexington County
have had the combined advantages of a coroner system and a
medical examiner service.

Dr. Guy Calvert, the founding director of Lexington Medical Center’s laboratories,
offered his forensic pathology expertise to Coroner Harry Harman in 1974,
during Coroner Harman’s first term in office. Dr. Calvert and Coroner Harman
worked closely in a wide variety of death investigations, establishing the
pattern of law enforcement advantages of a coroner system with the forensic
medicine expertise of a medical examiner system. As the Lexington community and
the LMC pathology group have grown, the advantages of this combined service
have become an important part of the hospital’s quality assurance program.

Pathology Associates of Lexington, P.A., the 10-member pathology group
at LMC, has played a critical role in the full spectrum of death investigations
and has served as expert witnesses in numerous homicide and accidental death
cases. Through these investigations, the group has played an increasing role in
LMC’s medical staff quality assurance program. LMC’s pathologists investigate
all manners of death to the full extent of inpatient medical autopsy studies
and submit complete reports to LMC physicians involved in the care of patients
within the coroner’s investigation.

Possibly uniquely in the United States, annual QA reports to the medical staff
indentify opportunities to improve care. Thorough investigations of infant
deaths have led to a significant decrease in the number of accidental infant
deaths (SIDS) in Lexington County, and a significant decrease in the number
of sudden, unexpected cardiac deaths. Observations of sudden cardiac death in
the coroner system led directly to LMC offering 24/7 STAT AMI profiling in
1994, which has significantly decreased the number of cardiac deaths after
discharge from a community medical center or ER visit. LMC was the first
hospital in the Midlands to offer this service. Similar results of death
investigations have prompted the urgency of physician office referrals of patients
presenting with acute coronary symptoms directly to a CMC or LMC’s ER.

By using coroner autopsy findings as a medical staff quality assurance process,
we have identified the absence of a personal physician as the single greatest
risk factor; refusal to seek medical care is the second most important risk factor.
Other survival benefits resulting from the coroner/medical examiner interface
include improvements in EMS intubation of critically ill infants, the evaluation
of prosthetic cardiac valve dysfunction and treatment of excess anticoagulant