List of the top 20 outpatient surgical procedures

Share this post

Hospitals and surgery centers offer different capabilities and specialties, and the outpatient surgical procedures performed at each type of facility vary significantly.

What are outpatient surgeries?

Outpatient surgeries are surgical procedures that can be performed on a patient without requiring an overnight stay at a hospital or other medical facility. Like other kinds of outpatient care, these procedures may be performed in a variety of settings, including primary care clinics, community health centers, urgent care centers, and ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs).

Outpatient procedures are increasingly being performed in ASCs due to reduced costs related to staffing, upkeep, and overhead. Our data shows that ASCs accounted for 14.3% of total outpatient surgeries in 2019 vs 17.1% in 2022.

Using data from the Definitive Healthcare HospitalView and SurgeryCenterView products, we’ve compiled lists of the most common outpatient surgical procedures performed at hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers.

Top 10 most common outpatient surgeries at hospitals

RankHCPCS/CPT codeDescription% of total outpatient surgeries at hospitals in 2022Explore dataset
111042Debridement of subcutaneous tissue, less than 20sq cm 1.70%Explore
220610Aspiration from or injection into a major joint (shoulder, hip, knee)1.10%Explore
312001Simple repair of superficial wounds of scalp, neck, axillae, external genitalia, trunk and/or extremities (including hands and feet)0.90%Explore
466984Cataract surgery with intraocular lens implant, 1 stage0.60%Explore
512002Simple repair of superficial wounds of scalp, neck, axillae, external genitalia, trunk, and extremities; 2.6 cm to 7.5 cm0.60%Explore
612011Simple repair of superficial wounds on face, ears, eyelids, nose, lips, mucous membranes; 2.5 cm or smaller0.60%Explore
727447Total knee arthroplasty0.60%Explore
864447Cataract surgery with intraocular lens implant, 1 stage0.40%Explore
929581Application of multi-layer compression system; leg (below knee), including ankle and foot0.40%Explore
1010060Drainage of skin abscess0.40%Explore

Fig. 1 Data is from the Definitive Healthcare product and represents outpatient surgical procedures performed at hospitals in 2022. Claims data is sourced from multiple medical claims clearinghouses in the United States and updated monthly. Data is accurate as of July 2023.

Top 10 most common outpatient surgeries at surgery centers

RankHCPCS/CPT codeDescription% of total outpatient surgeries at surgery centers in 2022Explore dataset
166984Cataract surgery with intraocular lens implant, 1 stage5.40%Explore
264483Injection of transforaminal epidural into lumbar/sacral spine1.30%Explore
364493Paravertebral injection to facet joint, lumbar/sacral spine, 1 level0.90%Explore
466821YAG Laser Capsulotomy; after cataract laser surgery0.80%Explore
5C1713Anchor/screw for opposing bone-to-bone or soft tissue-to-bone (implantable)0.80%Explore
662323Injection(s) of diagnostic or therapeutic substance(s) into lumbar/sacral spine (i.e. anesthetic, opioid, steroid) 0.70%Explore
764494Paravertebral injection to facet joint, lumbar/sacral spine, 2 level0.60%Explore
864635Destruction by neurolytic agent, paravertebral facet joint nerves0.50%Explore
969436Create eardrum opening0.50%Explore
10V2632Posterior chamber intraocular lens0.50%Explore

Fig. 2 Data is from the Definitive Healthcare product and represents outpatient surgical procedures performed at surgery centers in 2022, the most recent year available. Claims data is sourced from the Ambulatory Surgery Center Limited Data Set, released each January by CMS. Data is accurate as of July 2023.

What is the most common outpatient surgery?

At hospitals, debridement of subcutaneous tissue accounts for 1.7% of all surgical procedures performed. Aspiration from, or injection into, a major joint such as the shoulder, hip, or knee is the next most common surgical procedure at hospitals, representing 1.1% of all outpatient procedures.

Cataract surgery with an intraocular lens implant represents 5.4% of total outpatient procedures at ASCs, making them the most common outpatient surgeries at these facilities. They’re also fairly routine at hospitals, with two cataract surgery codes (66984 and 64447) making up 1% of procedures.

As with hospitals, injections are commonplace at ASCs: epidural injections into the lumbar/sacral spine account for 1.3% of procedures.

Our analysis did not include blood draws, diagnostic tests, or biopsy procedures. It’s also worth noting that colonoscopies are very common at both facilities and are among the priciest outpatient procedures for patients paying out of pocket, according to our data.

Learn more

We developed these insights into the outpatient procedure market using healthcare commercial intelligence from the Definitive Healthcare platform. Want even more insights? Start a free trial now and get access to the latest healthcare commercial intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare providers.

Home
  • Blog
  • List of the top 20 outpatient surgical procedures