Learning Center for Patients

Surgery performed in the office can be an alternative to a hospital or an ambulatory surgery center. Thus, office-based surgery (OBS) is a type of ambulatory (outpatient) surgery. Millions of different surgical procedures are performed in the offices every year by dermatologists, plastic surgeons, dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, gastroenterologists, gynecologists, otolaryngologists, interventional radiologists, cardiovascular and other surgeons and proceduralists. Many of these procedures also require sedation/anesthesia, and options may include local, “conscious” sedation, regional (a nerve block) or general anesthesia.

As the number, type and complexity of office procedures continues to grow, it becomes essential that the offices maintain the highest standards of care and comply with all state and federal regulations.

As a patient, you have a right to know about your OBS facility and your healthcare provider. Questions to ask your provider include board certification, qualifications to performed planned surgical procedure, and whether your provider is credentialed at a local hospital facility to perform a similar procedure. You may also want to learn about your provider’s safety record – some of this information is public and is generally available on your state’s Medicine Board of Registration website. If your procedure requires anesthesia, inquire about the qualifications of your anesthesia provider and discuss all anesthetic options available to you.

The safety of OBS in accredited facilities is well-established. As a patient you need to make sure that the office where you are to undergo a surgical procedure meets all state and federal guidelines and has obtained all proper facility accreditation. There are major organizations that accredit offices: American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF), the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), and The Joint Commission (TJC).

Given numerous reports of healthy patients suffering major harm while undergoing routine office-based procedures, the Institute of Safety in Office Based Surgery strives to provide more information and educational resources for patients, and to increase public awareness. Read recent information for patients below, including an interview with the ISOBS team.

  1. Interview with ISOBS from The Arizona Republic on what patients need to know 
  2. What you need to know before undergoing surgery in the office: ISOBS interview with The Arizona Republic
  3. Interview with ISOBS leadership on patients learning how to heal themselves