Outpatient surgeries increase in the U.S.

January 28, 2009

The number of outpatient surgery visits in the United States increased from 1996 to 2006, from 20.8 million to 34.7 million visits. Outpatient surgery visits accounted for about one half of all surgery visits in 1996 but nearly two thirds of all surgery visits in 2006. A new report from NCHS, “Ambulatory Surgery in the United States, 2006,” contains the first data on outpatient surgery visits since 1996. The data were collected from 142 hospitals and 295 freestanding centers as part of the National Survey of Ambulatory Surgery (NSAS).


•Females had significantly more ambulatory surgery visits (20 million) than males (14.7 million).

•The procedures performed most often during outpatient surgery visits included endoscopies of the large intestine (5.8 million) and small intestine (3.5 million) and extraction of lens for cataract surgery (3.1 million).

•The leading diagnosis for outpatient surgery visits was cataract, with 3 million visits, followed by benign tumor (neoplasm) with 2 million visits and malignant tumor with 1.2 million visits.