Given the expanding role of ambulatory surgery and the need to facilitate an earlier hospital discharge, improving postoperative pain control has become an increasingly important issue for all anesthesiologists. As a result of the shift from inpatient to outpatient surgery, the use of IV patient-controlled analgesia and continuous epidural infusions has steadily declined. To manage the pain associated with increasingly complex surgical procedures on an ambulatory or short-stay basis, anesthesiologists and surgeons should prescribe multimodal analgesic regimens that use non-opioid analgesics (e.g., local anesthetics, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, cyclooxygenase inhibitors, acetaminophen, ketamine, alpha 2-agonists) to supplement opioid analgesics. The opioid-sparing effects of these compounds may lead to reduced nausea, vomiting, constipation, urinary retention, respiratory depression and sedation. Therefore, use of non-opioid analgesic techniques can lead to an improved quality of recovery for surgical patients.