We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Different Types of Outpatient Surgery Procedures?

By Susan Abe
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Outpatient surgery — also known as walk-in surgery, ambulatory surgery or same day surgery — now constitutes more than half the surgeries performed in the US. Any surgical procedures performed without a hospital inpatient admission and an overnight stay are considered outpatient surgery procedures, whether they take place in a hospital, a doctor's office, a clinic or an outpatient surgical center. There are many reasons for this shift in surgical location. Outpatient surgeries are less expensive than those performed on an inpatient basis and technological advances have made outpatient surgeries safer. Outpatient procedures, once limited to very minor surgeries such as cataract removals, now encompass procedures as varied as facelifts, tonsillectomies, colonoscopies and even pacemaker implants.

Many outpatient surgery procedures have been performed this way for decades, particularly ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeries. Endodontists, or dental surgeons, have always performed root canals and other types of dental surgeries in their outpatient dental offices. Cataract surgeries are routinely performed in specialized eye surgery clinics. In recent years, laser vision correction has become one of the most commonly conducted outpatient surgeries. Tonsillectomies have also begun to be conducted in outpatient facilities.

Plastic surgery procedures that are considered cosmetic, and therefore not covered by medical insurance, are increasingly performed as outpatient surgery procedures. As elective cosmetic surgical procedures are paid for out-of-pocket by the patient, the decreased expense of an outpatient surgical setting is highly desirable to both the patient and the physician seeking additional business. Also, patient privacy is often a consideration best met in an outpatient facility. Joining office-conducted liposuction, outpatient plastic surgery procedures now include tummy tucks, face lifts and breast implants. Medically necessary plastic surgery covered by health insurance can also be performed on an outpatient basis, depending upon the complexity of the procedure.

Outpatient surgery procedures also include many gastrointestinal (GI) procedures. Upper endoscopies, colonoscopies and hemorrhoidectomies are routinely performed on an outpatient basis as well as any necessary polyp removal as indicated by the procedures. Orthopedic medicine has not escaped this shift, either. Carpal tunnel surgery, endoscopic correction of knee injuries, such as the commonly known ACL repair, and benign bone cysts are all current outpatient procedures.

Whether medical operations can be conducted as outpatient surgery procedures depends upon the potential for complications before and after the procedure. All facilities in which outpatient surgery is conducted are required to have the necessary equipment and personnel to conduct emergency resuscitations in the event that such cases arise. A patient's medical history, age and overall health may also determine whether or not a procedure can be conducted safely in an outpatient facility.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources

Related Articles

Discussion Comments
By Heavanet — On May 01, 2014

@raynbow- If you and your sister follow her doctor's instructions closely, she should be fine. Most patients simply want to rest after having surgery, so excessive tiredness or sleepiness are not concerns. Swelling and bruising around the surgical site will also occur. Feeling some pain or nausea are also to be expected.

However, if your sister develops a fever, severe vomiting, extreme bleeding from the surgical site, or severe pain, there could be a problem. Call her doctor immediately if you are in doubt at any point. Most physicians provide an emergency line for post-op patients to call at any time during the healing process.

By Raynbow — On Apr 30, 2014

My sister will be having her first surgical procedure this year, and it will be outpatient. I'm a bit concerned because I feel like she would be more closely monitored for problems if she were admitted to the hospital at least overnight. What are some indications of complications following surgery that I should look for since I will be her caregiver?

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.