The volume of outpatient surgical cases performed in the United States and worldwide continues to expand, paralleling advances in surgical and anesthetic techniques. Today, upward of 60–70% of all surgical procedures in the United States are performed on an outpatient basis (Hall and Lawrence. Adv Data 359:1–16, 1998). This increase in outpatient volume offers an opportunity for healthcare providers to not only increase patient satisfaction but also provide a vehicle for cost containment in an era of ever-increasing healthcare expenses. Both anesthesiologists and surgeons are tasked with the challenge of expediting patient discharge. This is accomplished by optimizing recovery and decreasing side effects of surgery and anesthesia such as postoperative pain, nausea, vomiting, and oversedation (Chung et al. Anesth Analg 85:808–16, 1997; Rawal et al. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand 41:1017–22, 1997). Regional anesthesia, within the constructs of a multimodal analgesic regimen, helps address this challenge and can help expedite the transition from the operating room to home.
KeywordsOutpatient surgery Ambulatory surgery Continuous perineural catheter Single-shot technique Infusion pump Outpatient regional service
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