The role of telemedicine in postoperative care

Aaron M. Williams, Umar F. Bhatti, Hasan B. Alam, Vahagn C. Nikolian


Telemedicine has become one of the most rapidly-expanding components of the health care system. Its adoption has afforded improved access to care, greater resource efficiency, and decreased costs associated with traditional office visits and has been well established in a wide array of fields. Telemedicine has been adopted in several domains of surgical care. In recent years, the role of telemedicine in postoperative care has caught attention as it has demonstrated excellent clinical outcomes, enhanced patient satisfaction, increased accessibility along with reduced wait times, and cost savings for patients and health care systems. In this narrative review, we describe the history of telemedicine, its adoption in the field of surgery and its various modalities, its use in the postoperative setting, and the potential benefits to both patients and healthcare systems. As telemedicine continues to emerge as a powerful tool for health care delivery, we also discuss several barriers to its widespread adoption as well as the future utility of telemedicine in postoperative care.