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The Surgical Setting

What will the surgical setting look like?

In the past, surgery may have meant a lengthy hospital stay to recover. With modern medical advances, people now have several choices, depending on the diagnosis and type of surgery needed.

Inpatient surgery

Some of the more intensive surgeries still need you to stay overnight or longer in a hospital setting. This allows clinical staff to monitor your recovery and to make sure that you get immediate medical attention in case of complications.

Outpatient surgery

Because of advances in surgical procedures and anesthesia, many surgeries done today allow you to recover and go home on the same day. Outpatient surgery, when appropriate, has proven to reduce costs, reduce stress, speed up the recovery process, and reduce the time lost from work and family life. Outpatient surgery may also be called same-day surgery, in-and-out surgery, and ambulatory surgery. And, outpatient surgery is often done in what are called specialty surgical centers:

  • Ambulatory surgery. Ambulatory surgery, also called outpatient surgery, is done without admitting the patient to the hospital. The surgery may be done in the outpatient section of the hospital, in an outpatient surgical center, or in a healthcare provider's office.

  • Specialty surgery centers. Certain medical specialties, such as ophthalmology, may be located in their own office settings, away from the hospital. These specialty centers are comprehensive in their care, including offering outpatient surgery. Most outpatient centers are affiliated with hospitals, where you can be admitted if necessary after surgery.