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Why have office-based procedures and anesthesia services grown so rapidly?
The number and types of surgical procedures per-formed in the office setting have risen dramatically over the last several years. This trend has been driven in part by the high facility fees charged by both hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. These costs are usually not covered by third party payers for elective cosmetic proce-dures. Convenience for the patient, as well as the surgeon, also plays a major role in this changing trend. A surgical office is often a more comfortable setting for the patient, thus creating a more relaxing experience. Other advantages of an office-based procedure include a decreased risk of nosocomial infection, and improved patient privacy since the staff is usually a small consistent group of workers. It has been estimated that approximately 8 million procedures are done annually in offices. These procedures cross many med-ical specialties, including gastroenterology, urology, general surgery, dermatology, orthopedics, plastic surgery, podiatry, and dentistry.
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