Fifty-three patients who were undergoing outpatient inguinal herniorrhaphy with short-acting regional anesthetic agents and local infiltration of a long-acting anesthetic were retrospectively compared with a matched population of 53 hospitalized patients who were undergoing herniorrhaphy with a long-acting regional anesthetic. There was a significantly greater incidence of urinary retention in the hospitalized patients who received long-acting regional anesthetic agents. Otherwise, complications in the two groups were similar. Inguinal herniorrhaphy can be accomplished as an outpatient procedure without increased morbidity. This can result in significant savings in hospital bills. We suggest that anesthesia for inguinal herniorrhaphy is most satisfactorily provided by the combination of a short-acting regional anesthetic agent and a long-acting local one.