Dr. Michael Amini on the ASC-friendly shoulder procedure

Keeping costs down at an ASC involves a lot of moving parts, and adopting quicker procedures that demand fewer resources can go a long way.

Michael Amini, MD, shoulder division chief at The CORE Institute in Phoenix, joined "Becker's ASC Review Podcast" to talk about an ASC-friendly procedure that's already become popular in Europe.

Note: This is an edited excerpt. Listen to the full podcast episode here.

Question: Why is the InSpace balloon shoulder procedure a good fit for ASCs? 

Dr. Michael Amini: A shoulder replacement is a big repair that is a fairly lengthy procedure. They take time, they take equipment, they take capital, whereas the InSpace procedure is a very quick operation. The average time to insert the balloon from start to finish is roughly four minutes. 

That's a very ASC friendly environment. You can get somebody off to sleep, do a quick scope, clean out the shoulder, verify that you see what you thought you were going to see, put the balloon in, and that's the end of the operation. There's a really great opportunity for high throughput, faster operations and short anesthesia times, which also helps facilitate short recovery room times.

It's a much less invasive operation than really any of the other alternatives for these patients. And we have to always consider what happens if we get it wrong, or it doesn't work. 

InSpace is kind of a burn-no-bridges opportunity, whereas all the other treatments, if you try them and they don't work, you've burned some bridges there. You've left implants, you've created a certain level of scar tissue. There's an infection risk.

The leftover complications are very minimal because the InSpace balloon is a biodegradable device. By a year, it's essentially completely gone, so if it doesn't work, you're still left with a fairly benign-looking shoulder.

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