What You Need To Know When Choosing a Surgical Hospital

You need surgery, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to endure a grueling hospital stay. Plenty of surgeries can be done at surgical hospitals and this particular option often offers patients a better, more efficient experience.


Don’t understand the difference between hospital surgery and surgical hospital surgery? Let us help to explain!

Choosing a Facility

One thing you’ll likely notice upon checking in is that the overall atmosphere of a surgical hospital is much calmer than that of a hospital. Surgical hospitals have a better nurse to patient ratio (meaning they provide care to fewer patients at the same time), which equates to more personalized attention.

But, as with anything healthcare-related, where you go depends on your insurance, your doctor, your general health and your travel abilities. Read on to learn which venue is right for you.

1. Does Your Surgeon Practice There?

Most small to midsize physicians don’t have the real estate or capital to build and run their own surgery center. Instead, they perform procedures at nearby hospitals and surgical hospitals.

So, what are the benefits of following your surgeon to their normal surgical facilities? The doctor has a relationship with the staff, is familiar with the OR and trusts the care that their patients receive – or else they wouldn’t be there!

If you’ve picked out a surgeon, be sure to ask if you have the option to utilize a nearby surgical hospital. You may get scheduled sooner and there is a good chance your procedure won’t cost as much as it would if completed in a traditional hospital.

It’s really a case-by-case basis to know what’s best for you.

2. Are You at a Higher Risk for Infection?

As we noted earlier, there are fewer patients in a surgical hospital than in a normal hospital, and that means there are fewer germs floating around.

As much as a traditional hospital sticks to all the precautions and procedures, they can’t reduce the number of illnesses around you.

Surgical hospitals have lower infection rates than hospitals… much lower.

Why are the rates so impressively low? Most surgical hospital patients aren’t sick – they’re just injured. That means fewer germs to infect you during and after surgery.

3. Do You Have Complications?

If you have complications that make surgery risky, your doctor may be more likely to complete the procedure in a hospital setting, because more surgical resources are available to them.

For example, moving an unstable patient from one facility to another is often a dangerous endeavor, so if multiple procedures are required, you may be better suited for a hospital setting.

Also, for people already in the hospital (or who have extremely complex medical histories), it may be better to opt for a traditional hospital setting despite its higher rate of infection.

Always give your doctor your full medical history before surgery. Of course, they’ll have already had your chart, but make sure to tell them face to face, too.

4. Do You Care About Comfort?

If increased comfort isn’t a major concern and you don’t care about sharing your recovery room space with other people, than a traditional hospital may suffice.

(When recovering in the hospital, you could share your recovery space with many other types of post-op patients – people who may be very (infectious) sick.

A surgical hospital, by comparison, is only working with certain types of medical cases. Depending on your procedure, you may even be considered inpatient and be able to recover over the course of several days in your own private room.

Outpatient patients have more privacy in a surgical hospital during recovery, too, because there are fewer patients taking up space!

5. Is Budget a Concern?

Health insurance is expensive, and depending on the kind of surgery you’re having, the procedure can cost quite a bit in copays and other fees.

On average, using a surgical hospital is typically less expensive (there’s not as much going on, meaning less overhead and waste).

The cost to run a surgical hospital is far less than a hospital—which you’d know if you’ve ever looked at a detailed hospital bill. Call around prior to scheduling your surgery and compare prices.

But, keep in mind, most of the time things boil down to insurance coverage. Make sure you’re in-network wherever you go. However, if your surgery is voluntary and you’re paying out of pocket, then a surgical hospital will save you some money.

6. Do You Need a Longer Stay?

Many surgical hospitals do both outpatient and inpatient procedures.

Outpatient surgery means that they perform the procedure and then send you home (once you’re stable). You’ll get picked up by a friend or family member and finish your recovery at home.

Inpatient surgeries, on the other hand, require overnight stays and can vary in length, depending on the need.

Your doctor will let you know what kind of recovery to expect when it comes to your specific procedure, and let you know if inpatient surgery at a surgical hospital is an option.

Usually, inpatient stays at a surgical hospital last fewer than three days. Hospital stays, though, can last as long as needed (weeks or even months in a worst case scenario).

7. Do You Need Scans or Diagnostics?

While some surgical hospitals have the works—an MRI machine, X-ray etc.—not all do. Before you choose where you go, make sure that your facility of choice has everything you need!

Hospitals have labs and diagnostic tools onsite, and although most surgeries won’t need access to these technologies (at least not during or right after the surgery) they’re there if you need them.

8. Is the Procedure Regularly Performed There?

Even though this is the second to last point in the list, it’s not the second to last point in terms of importance! Choose a center (surgical or hospital) that’s familiar with the type of surgery you’re having.

If you’re having a routine procedure, your options shouldn’t be limited. The staff should have plenty of experience dealing with your specific need (and be extremely familiar with pre- and post-op procedures).

But, for example, if your child is having surgery, make sure they’re used to working with children. Different situations and scenarios require different subtleties and procedures, down to the temperatures that the doctor keeps the OR.

9. Which is Closer?

Obviously, we’re a fan of surgical hospitals, but traveling long distances post-op isn’t always ideal. If the distance is extreme, you may be better suited to stay closer to home.

However, if your surgery is inpatient in nature, and the surgical hospital you’re considering offers that as an option, then your decision can be based more significantly on the topics listed above.

Remember, it’s not advisable to drive after having anesthesia or pain medications, so if your surgery is outpatient, you’ll need to coordinate reliable transportation.

Popular Surgical Hospital Surgeries

Interested to see if your potential surgery may qualify to be done at a surgical hospital? Below are some common procedures:

Orthopedic Surgeries


  • Cataract Removal
  • Glaucoma Treatment
  • Retinal Laser Surgery

Ear, Nose and Throat

  • Sinuplasty
  • Tonsils and Adenoids
  • Nasal Obstructions


  • Endoscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Hemorrhoid Banding

Those are just a few of the surgeries typically provided in a surgical hospital. Our facility can be assisted will all surgeries listed above and also has pre-op testing and pain management specialists on site.

Hospital Surgery vs. Surgical Hospital Surgeries

We strive to be a great fit for everyone, and we hope you’ll give us a chance. The staff at Edgewood works hard to keep a modern and pristine facility where we treat each patient like family.

If you’re interested in outpatient or inpatient surgery at our facilities, talk to your surgeon about scheduling at Edgewood Surgical Hospital.  

Want to meet our doctors? Click here.