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Outpatient surgery

Some tests and procedures are done as outpatient surgery.* This means you’ll feel better faster and go home the same day.

Advantages of outpatient surgery

Outpatient surgery is sometimes called same-day or ambulatory surgery. It can be a good choice for several reasons.


Doctors use less-intensive drugs

These drugs put you in a sleep-like state for a short time. 


Doctors make smaller cuts

This means you’ll probably have less pain and heal more quickly. 


You don’t need to stay overnight

You can go home the same day and feel better faster. 

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This depends on location, but some examples include:  

  • Colonoscopy (an exam of the inside of the large intestine)   
  • Cataract surgery (removing a cloudy lens from the eye)  
  • Skin cancer (removing cancerous moles and some tissue around them)  
  • Lumpectomy (removing a cancerous lump in the breast and some tissue around it)  
  • Appendectomy (removing the appendix, a small tube that branches off the large intestine)  
  • Tonsillectomy (removing one or both tonsils in the back of the mouth)  

This depends on the type of surgery, test or procedure you’re having. Your outpatient surgery center and doctor will let you know what you need to do. This may include limiting food and liquids hours before you arrive, for example.

Helpful resources

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Find care near you

Find a doctor based on where you live. 

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Prepare for your visit

Make the most of your visit by planning ahead.   

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Health and wellness resources

Learn ways to stay connected, safe and healthy.  

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*Outpatient surgery services vary by location. Check with your doctor’s office or health plan for specific information.