Preoperative Evaluation for Ambulatory Anesthesia: What, When, and How?

Anesthesiol Clin. 2019 Jun;37(2):195-213. doi: 10.1016/j.anclin.2019.01.014. Epub 2019 Mar 22.


Most surgery in the United States occurs in offices, free-standing surgicenters, and hospital-based outpatient facilities. Patients are frequently elderly with comorbidities, and procedures are increasingly complex. Traditionally, patients have been evaluated on the day of surgery by anesthesia providers. Obtaining information on patients' health histories, establishing criteria for appropriateness, and communicating medication instructions streamline throughput, lower cancellations and delays, and improve provider and patient satisfaction. Routine testing does not lower risk or improve outcomes. Evaluating and optimizing patients with significant diseases, especially those with suboptimal management, has positive impact on ambulatory surgery and anesthesia.

Keywords: Ambulatory surgery; Cardiac testing; Cataract surgery; Heart failure; Hypertension; Ischemic heart disease; Preoperative assessment; Risk assessment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Anesthesia / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Preoperative Care / methods*
  • Quality Improvement
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Surgicenters