The latest data about ambulatory surgery shows that more than half of such surgeries are covered by private insurance, and 53% were performed in hospitals vs. 47% in ASCs.1

There were 48.3 million ambulatory surgery procedures performed in 2010 — the year of the study data. Of these, 70% involved operations on the digestive tract, eye, musculoskeletal system, integumentary system, and nervous system.1

Other findings in the report include the following:

• Thirty-nine percent of procedures were performed on people in the 45-64 age group.

• Nineteen percent of procedures were performed on people in the 65-74 age group, and 14% involved people who were 75 years of age or older.

• About 2% of ambulatory surgery patients were admitted to the hospital as inpatients.

• Endoscopy of the large intestine, including colonoscopies, was performed 4 million times, and endoscopy of the small intestine was performed 2.2 million times. There were an additional 1.1 million performances of endoscopic polypectomy of the large intestine.

• There were 2.9 million extraction of lens operations on eyes, and 2.6 million prosthetic lens insertions.

• Nervous system operations included 2.9 million injections of agent into spinal canal, including pain relief injections.

• About 1.3 million musculoskeletal procedures included operations on muscle, tendon, fascia, and bursa.

• There were 1.2 million integumentary system operations that included excision or destruction of lesion or tissue of skin and subcutaneous tissue.

• The average ambulatory surgery operating room time was 57 minutes, with 33 minutes spent in surgery.

• Ambulatory surgery in hospitals took significantly more time than surgeries performed at ASCs: 63 minutes vs. 50 minutes.1


  1. 1. Hall MJ, Schwartzman A, Zhang J, et al. Ambulatory surgery data from hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers: United States, 2010. Nat Health Stat Rep 2017;102:1-14.