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What is an ambulatory surgery center?

An ambulatory surgery centers (ASC), also known as an outpatient surgery center, is a healthcare facility where surgeries that do not require hospital admission are performed. An ambulatory surgery center provides a cost-effective and convenient environment that is an alternative to a hospital-based environment that many patients and surgeons prefer.

Patients who elect to have surgery in a surgery center arrive on the day of the procedure, have the surgery in an operating room, and recover under the care of the nursing staff, all without a hospital admission.

How long have ambulatory surgery centers been around?

Outpatient surgery centers have been a part of the U.S healthcare system since 1970. There are approximately 5000 surgery centers in the U.S. where approximately 20 million surgeries are performed annually.

How are ambulatory surgery centers regulated?

Just like hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers are monitored by State health departments, the federal government and non-governmental agencies like the Joint Commission (previously known as JCAHO) and the AAAHC (Accreditation Agency for Ambulatory Health Care). In fact, ambulatory surgery centers are one of the most highly-regulated healthcare facilities and are required to meet strict standards.

Since 1982, Medicare has certified ASCs and up to 85% of ASCs are certified by Medicare. In Illinois, each and every ASC is required to be licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Is this ambulatory surgery center Medicare-certified?

Yes, this ASC meets the strict standards of Medicare.

Is this ambulatory surgery center accredited?

Yes, this Center is accredited by the Joint Commission, a prestigious honor not available to every ASC or hospital that is difficult to achieve and demands a high level of care.

What types of surgery are performed in ambulatory surgery centers and in this Center in particular?

Most of the surgical subspecialties perform procedures in an ASC, as long as the patient can go home the same day. The types of procedures performed in ASCs include orthopedics, opthalmology, general surgery, gynecology, ear/nose and throat, pain management, urology, plastic surgery, GI or gastroenterology, and podiatry.

Why choose an ambulatory surgery center?

Studies have shown that patients cared for in an outpatient surgery center have very high (up to 98%) patient satisfaction. In addition, the care is generally more cost effective and, according to one study, 47% less expensive than comparable care in a hospital.

Your surgeon may also have chosen to care for you in this center because of the ease of scheduling and decreased waiting time due to the efficiency achievable in ASCs in general and this center in particular.

When will I find out what time to come to the Center?

You will receive a call before the end of day the business day prior to surgery. If you do not hear from the center by 4 pm the day before surgery, please feel free to call the center.

Is it OK to eat or drink the day of surgery?

In almost all instances, you should not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery. Whether or not you can take your regular medications with a small sip of water the morning of surgery depends on specific instructions you will get from your doctor and the center no later than the day before surgery.