Things You May Not Know About Why We Use an Ambulatory Surgery Center

Ambulatory surgery centers, known as ASCs, are health care facilities that provide outpatient surgical care, with no overnight stay required. Recent advances in surgical techniques, anesthesia, and pain management, have allowed ASCs to grow both in the types and quantities of surgeries performed. Surgery centers allow you to save 26% less time compared to having the same surgery performed in a hospital setting. 

We’ve built our state-of-the-art facilities from the ground up and designed them to provide our patients with complete comfort, utilizing soft colors and plenty of lighting, including skylights. 

They also offer more complex procedures, like those for joints, bones, ear, nose, and throat, plastic, reconstructive, and even the abdomen. Part of the growth of ASCs can be attributed to progress made with minimally invasive surgery (MIS). Because these procedures are far less invasive, the amount of anesthesia, pain, and recovery time is also reduced.

There are other reasons why ASCs have become not just viable, but a comparable option to inpatient.


We seldom wonder if a surgery is going to be “convenient,” but when you consider the amount of staff required, the demands on the space, and the possibility of delays due to sudden emergencies, it’s easy to see how procedures performed in a traditional hospital setting could quickly become inconvenient. Ambulatory surgery centers, on the other hand, offer ease of scheduling and incur fewer delays since fewer emergencies are scheduled. Additionally, they are typically located away from busy (and larger) medical centers, which means easier access and parking.

Cost Savings

Medical care is expensive, but ambulatory surgery centers have found a way to decrease those costs. By being specialized in specific procedures and structured to function efficiently, ambulatory surgery centers enjoy lower overhead—which results in lower costs for insurance carriers and patients. Studies have shown ASCs are on average up to 60% less expensive than hospital procedures. And this benefits everybody.

Safety and Quality

Like any hospitals, ASCs are required to meet federal and state guidelines. To be licensed, they must pass not only an initial inspection, but must continue adhering to regulations and reporting. ASCs are typically Medicare certified, and many voluntarily go one step further and participate in accreditation programs and independent healthcare rating agencies. 

Studies also show a lower rate of infection in ambulatory surgery centers. Surgical site infection is half what you would find in a hospital setting on average: Hospital setting = 8.95/1000 while in a surgery center = 4.84/1000 patients*. Simply put, the risk of patients acquiring an illness or contagious disease at an ASC is significantly reduced, by almost half.

Much of this can be attributed to the avoidance of scheduling patients with known infection and the reduced exposure to patients with far more critical medical issues.

Other Benefits

Relying on an ASC for your procedure is much less stressful. Along with the reasons above, there’s the added benefit of recovering in your home, compared to a hospital setting.

One final thing to consider: ambulatory surgery centers, like our ASC in Killeen, focus on a select number of procedures, which means your treatment is provided by professionals specialized in your issues. Surveys report higher patient satisfaction with the care provided at an ASC. 

It’s easy to see why an ASC is the best choice for your care. And we expect more and more patients will reach the same decision. That’s why, to better accommodate this growing patient population, we’re building two new surgery centers in North and South Austin. This way we can offer the most advanced interventional procedures and surgeries in the safest environment possible. And that means the best outcome for you.

If you suffer from a condition that requires minor or day surgery, consider the benefits of an ambulatory surgery center. Then, give us a call to schedule a consultation. We think the benefits you’ll find in our ambulatory surgery center to be a welcome relief.


Dr. Pankaj Mehta (MD, DABA, DABPM), a nationally renowned interventional pain doctor, is the Chief Medical Officer at Pain Specialists of Austin and Central Texas Pain Center.

Dr. Mehta is a Board-Certified Anesthesiologist, trained at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, before completing an interventional pain fellowship at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic. During his training, Dr. Mehta was awarded a Harvard fellowship for NIH-sponsored research exploring the need for certain drugs in chronic opioid therapy.

Dr. Mehta, who has gained national recognition for his contributions to the field of interventional pain management, has been recognized as one of the Top Interventional Pain Management Physicians. He also was a recipient of the American Society of Pain and Neuroscience 2020 Clinical Excellence Award. In addition to lecturing nationwide on breakthroughs in interventional pain management, he is widely published in many prestigious medical journals. He serves as an educator for several healthcare companies that research and develop treatments for chronic pain. Dr. Mehta also collaborates with local clinicians to present pain management programs that encompass multiple interventional strategies.

A leading proponent of cutting-edge technologies, Dr. Mehta is not only a leading IPM practitioner, but he also trains other physicians nationwide on technologically advanced pain treatments. An early adopter of the latest scientific techniques to treat chronic pain, his goal is to provide effective pain management programs that delay or eliminate the need for invasive surgery. Conditions treated by Dr. Mehta include lower back and neck spine and associated leg pain, chronic postoperative pain, headaches, abdominal and pelvic pain, and degenerative joint disease.

Dr. Mehta’s practice at Pain Specialists of America focuses on a multi-disciplinary pain management approach based on each individual’s needs, integrating technologically advanced treatment modalities. His work as director of research for PSA’s ambulatory surgical centers plays a key role in the methodologies he uses to treat chronic pain, as he conducts cutting-edge research involving therapies to develop more effective treatment options for patients with chronic pain.

Dr. Mehta and his Minimally Invasive Spinal Therapy Team are “dedicated to partnering with our patients to eliminate or alleviate their pain, enhance their daily functionality and improve their physical and psychological well-being.”  This advanced team offers advanced programs for headaches, PTSD, spine pain and much more.

“We help pain sufferers regain their quality of life as quickly as possible,” Dr. Mehta said, “using evidence-based, cutting-edge therapies. We start with a comprehensive evaluation to diagnose the cause of their pain,” he explained, and “then we create a personalized treatment plan designed to provide long-term relief.”

Among his many accolades, Dr. Mehta is considered a leader in neuromodulation – the process of actively stimulating nerves to produce a natural biological response to pain.   Dr. Mehta treats patients referred from across Texas and the country. He is an active member of leading professional organizations, such as the North American Neuromodulation Society, International Neuromodulation Society and American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians.

“What I – and all the doctors at Pain Specialists of Austin and Central Texas Pain Center – want people to know is that they don’t have to live with debilitating pain. There are treatment options that are safe, sustainable, result in improved physical function and strength, enabling a much better quality of life. That’s why we’re here – to help reduce and, if possible, eliminate patients’ pain.”

Pain Specialists of Austin and Central Texas Pain Center is a network of 16 clinics and two surgery centers where medical practices provide multi-disciplinary pain management treatment options to their patients, under the administrative management of Pain Specialists of America. Pain Specialists of Austin and Central Texas Pain Center have provided Texans with high-quality, interventional pain management treatment options for over 20 years.

To learn more about Pain Specialists of Austin’s and Central Texas Pain Center’s multi-disciplinary, interventional pain management treatment options and how the science of pain management can change your life, please visit their website