In and Out in a Day


Outpatient Surgery Has Many Advantages

Many surgical procedures that once required a hospital stay, like small joint replacements, gallbladder removal and carpal tunnel release surgery, can now be done at an outpatient (or ambulatory) surgical center.

When your doctor recommends surgery, ask if having it at an outpatient facility is an option for you … you’ll be glad you did for a number of reasons:

  • Less time. You’ll be on your way home within a few hours of the procedure.
  • Recover at home. Rest in the comfort of your own home.
  • Reliable schedules. Because outpatient procedures are rarely emergencies, last minute operating room changes are unlikely.
  • Quicker recovery. Safer, less-invasive techniques (such as laparoscopy and arthroscopy) allow your body to heal faster.
  • Less anesthesia. Procedures are often done with local or regional anesthesia, which has fewer side effects than general anesthesia.
  • Lower risk of infection. You have limited exposure time and there are fewer infectious patients (compared to a hospital).
  • Save money. Outpatient facilities don’t have a hospital’s overhead costs, and your short visit requires fewer resources. A lower bill can mean a big difference in your out-of-pocket costs. For example:
  Average Total Cost Your Out-of-Pocket Costs
Outpatient surgical center $3,000–$4,000 $600–$800
Hospital $7,000–$10,000 $1,400–$2,000

 Tip: Use the Treatment Cost Estimator on to compare costs at outpatient facilities and hospitals in your area for a wide range of procedures.

Learn more about your options for surgery centers, birth centers and more at

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