Objectives: This report presents national estimates of surgical and nonsurgical procedures performed on an ambulatory basis in hospitals and freestanding ambulatory surgery centers in the United States during 2006. Data are presented by types of facilities, age and sex of the patients, and geographic regions. Major categories of procedures and diagnoses are shown by age and sex. Selected estimates are compared between 1996 and 2006.
Methods: The estimates are based on data collected through the 2006 National Survey of Ambulatory Surgery by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The survey was conducted from 1994-1996 and again in 2006. Diagnoses and procedures presented are coded using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM).
Results: In 2006, an estimated 57.1 million surgical and nonsurgical procedures were performed during 34.7 million ambulatory surgery visits. Of the 34.7 million visits, 19.9 million occurred in hospitals and 14.9 million occurred in freestanding ambulatory surgery centers. The rate of visits to freestanding ambulatory surgery centers increased about 300 percent from 1996 to 2006, whereas the rate of visits to hospital-based surgery centers remained largely unchanged during that time period. Females had significantly more ambulatory surgery visits (20.0 million) than males (14.7 million), and a significantly higher rate of visits (132.0 per 1000 population) compared with males (100.4 per 1000 population). Average times for surgical visits were higher for ambulatory surgery visits to hospital-based ambulatory surgery centers than for visits to freestanding ambulatory surgery centers for the amount of time spent in the operating room (61.7 minutes compared with 43.2 minutes), the amount of time spent in surgery (34.2 minutes compared with 25.1 minutes), the amount of time spent in the postoperative recovery room (79.0 minutes compared with 53.1 minutes), and overall time (146.6 minutes compared with 97.7 minutes). Although the majority of visits had only one or two procedures performed (56.3 percent and 28.5 percent, respectively), 2.6 percent had five or more procedures performed. Frequently performed procedures on ambulatory surgery patients included endoscopy of large intestine (5.8 million), endoscopy of small intestine (3.5 million), extraction of lens (3.1 million), injection of agent into spinal canal (2.7 million), and insertion of prosthetic lens (2.6 million). The leading diagnoses at ambulatory surgery visits included cataract (3.0 million); benign neoplasms (2.0 million), malignant neoplasms (1.2 million), diseases of the esophagus (1.1 million), and diverticula of the intestine (1.1 million).