Diseases and Conditions

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, the patient now has several options, depending on the diagnosis and type of surgery required:

  • Inpatient surgery. Some of the more intensive surgeries still require patients to stay overnight or longer in a hospital setting. This allows clinical staff to monitor the patient's recovery and ensures immediate medical attention in case of complications.

  • Outpatient surgery. Because of advances in surgical procedures and anesthesia, many surgeries performed today allow the patient to recover and go home on the same day. Outpatient surgery, when appropriate, has proven to reduce costs, reduce stress for the patient, speed up the process of healing, 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 performed in the outpatient section of the hospital, in an outpatient surgical center, or in a doctor'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 patients can be admitted if necessary after surgery. 

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