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The Benefits Of Choosing Outpatient Surgery

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

  • Outpatient surgery is a type of surgery where patients can bypass the hospital entirely, instead receiving their procedure at an ambulatory surgical center.
  • Outpatient surgery is becoming a more popular option for many procedures, with joint replacement surgery being one of the most common.
  • Benefits of outpatient surgery include easier scheduling, more cost-effective pricing, and a lower risk of infection compared to hospital settings.
  • Outpatient surgery allows patients to return home shortly after their procedure and recover in a more comfortable environment.

Outpatient surgery allows patients to receive surgery at a designated center and recover from home, preventing them from having to visit the hospital at all. This option allows patients to recover in a more comfortable environment and even save costs, on top of receiving more personalized care. The complete benefits of outpatient surgery are wide-ranging.

These benefits have quickly made outpatient surgery the preferred option for many patients seeking surgical procedures like joint replacement surgery, cataract removal, tendon and muscle repair, and more. Opting to receive surgery through an outpatient procedure offers many advantages, from convenience to cost-effectiveness, especially when you choose the right surgeon.

What Is Outpatient Surgery?

Outpatient surgery is a type of surgery where patients receive their procedure in a surgery center as opposed to a hospital setting. Typically, these surgeries are performed at ambulatory surgery centers, which are healthcare facilities focused on providing same-day surgical care.

In the US today, more than 70% of surgeries are now performed at surgery centers, over 23 million a year. The market size of ambulatory surgery centers is expected to continue to grow even further, at a rate of about 6.9% from 2022 and into 2028. With this increased growth, patients seeking outpatient surgery over a traditional hospital setting will likely become even more common.

Some common surgeries already performed at outpatient surgery centers include:

  • Cataract surgery
  • Tendon & muscle repair
  • Sclerotherapy
  • Rotator cuff repair
  • Ear/nose/throat surgery
  • Gallbladder removal
  • Hernia repair
  • Hip & knee arthroplasty (joint replacement surgery)

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. The full number of procedures that can be performed through outpatient methods is even longer and will likely continue to grow as technology advances.

The Benefits of Choosing Outpatient Surgery

Outpatient surgery has become the preferred method for many patients seeking procedures thanks to its level of convenience and increased availability in recent years. There are many reasons to choose outpatient surgery over a typical hospital setting.


Receiving outpatient surgery is generally more cost-effective than traditional surgery, as ambulatory surgery centers are considered less expensive than hospitals. A large reason for this is that they offer lower facility fees and fewer overhead costs, especially since you do not have to stay overnight—you don’t have to worry about the extra costs associated with staying in a hospital for multiple days.

The Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) highlighted that patients who choose to receive outpatient surgery save Medicare as much as $4.2 billion each year. If half of the remaining eligible procedures moved to ambulatory surgical centers, Medicare would save an additional $2.5 billion a year, simply because of the lower costs associated with designated surgical centers.


One of the biggest perks of outpatient surgery is its convenience—most people prefer recovering at home instead of undergoing a prolonged stay at a hospital. Spending the recovery process at home, as opposed to a hospital setting, allows you to recover at your own pace in a comfortable and familiar environment. The comfort of being in your own home can help reduce stress and allow you to feel less confined as you heal.

Outpatient centers also offer more personalized care, including more personalized pre- and post-op services. With a staff that typically dedicates their time to one specialty area, surgery centers are able to provide patients with more guidance in preparing for surgery and navigating the post-operative process. 

Because hospital staff have a much wider range of patients to care for, it can be more difficult to find that same level of personalized care.

Lower Risk of Infection

Outpatient surgeries may not just be more convenient, but they might also be safer. Studies show that the risk of infection in hospital settings is actually higher than in an ambulatory surgery center. With a larger pool of people in a hospital setting experiencing a range of conditions that may be able to spread, this makes sense. Infection risks include surgical site infections, as well as bacterial infections, gastrointestinal infections, and others.

In one study, the post-surgical deep infection rate in a multi-specialty ASC was 0.81% in 2,867 operations, with an even lower rate of 0.38% in 7,311 operations in a single specialty ASC. Meanwhile, in a hospital setting, surgical site infections occur in 2% to 4% of all patients who undergo inpatient surgical procedures—these infections are the leading cause of readmissions to the hospital after surgery.

More Reliable Scheduling

Ambulatory surgery centers typically have more reliable scheduling compared to a traditional hospital. Hospital settings are often unpredictable, with emergency surgeries and treatments that arise and can delay previously scheduled procedures and appointments.

Because ambulatory surgery centers are dedicated specifically to carrying out specific surgeries, they have more rigid processes and timelines. As a result, fewer surgeries are delayed or rescheduled, making it easier for patients to find an appointment and stick to it. 

Schedule an Appointment with Scottsdale Center for Robotic Surgery

Outpatient surgery is an increasingly popular option for a convenient approach to several surgical procedures. Featuring a more cost-effective process and the chance to recover in a more comfortable environment at home, the benefits of outpatient surgery make it worth pursuing.

For outpatient joint replacement surgery, turn to the Scottsdale Center for Robotic Surgery. We provide outpatient surgery through innovative methods with the latest surgical technology and the support of a caring, compassionate team. 

Under the direction of Dr. Shane Martin, we’ve managed thousands of successful procedures. Our advanced surgical methods allow us to provide patients with comfort and peace of mind while minimizing downtime so that they can get back to their lifestyle and favorite activities sooner.

Schedule a consultation with us today to start your journey to healthier joints.