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What is an Outpatient Surgery Center?

An outpatient surgery center, also called ambulatory surgery center (ASC), is a medical care facility specialized in elective, same-day diagnostic and surgical procedures. The OSC typically deals with surgical procedures that do not require an overnight hospital stay. 

An OSC can be located either within a hospital setting (as independent or as part of the hospital) or as a freestanding satellite facility. 

Significance of Outpatient Surgery Center

Modern medicine coupled with technological advances has led to many surgeries now being performed on an outpatient basis. While hospitals do offer these procedures, many patients today opt for an OSC as it can significantly reduce the frequency and duration of hospital visits for them. Also, the OSC can help you undergo the surgical procedure in a safe, comfortable and friendly environment.

However, not all patients are candidates for outpatient surgery. A patient's medical history and the advice of the surgeon are important in determining if the procedure can be best performed on an outpatient basis. 

Common Procedures Performed at OSC

Typically, surgeries that meet the following criteria are performed at OSC.

  • Minimally invasive procedure (such as arthroscopy)
  • Requires nominal postoperative care by a physician or a nurse
  • Has very low rates of postoperative complications 
  • Can be easily managed in the comfort of home 

Some of the most common surgeries now routinely carried out or conditions treated with surgery at OSC include but are not limited to the following:

  • Joint reconstruction/replacement: Arthritis or an injury can cause damage to your joint. Joint reconstruction/replacement surgery involves repair and restoration of the damaged joint or complete replacement of the joint. 
  • Joint operations: Many people injure their joints such as the hand, wrist, shoulder, elbow, knee, foot, ankle, etc. If there are broken bones, surgery is performed on an outpatient basis.
  • Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to visualize, diagnose, and treat problems inside a joint of your body with the help of a special instrument called an arthroscope.  Examples include knee arthroscopy, shoulder arthroscopy, etc. 
  • Your foot, ankle and related lower extremity structures can be affected by infections or certain medical conditions like bunions, hammertoes, osteoarthritis, etc. In such cases, they are treated surgically on an outpatient basis.

Advantages of OSC

An OSC comes with several advantages and include:

  • No hospitalization or hospital visits
  • Professional surgical care without any hassle
  • Comfortable, convenient and efficient
  • Relatively few complications 
  • Back at home on the same day of surgery
  • Recuperation in the comfort of your home 
  • Less time away from work or daily activities
  • Reduced stress and healthcare costs
  • Fast and safe recovery in a relaxed setting

Your Guide to Outpatient Surgery


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