Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC)?

An ASC is a same-day outpatient surgery, diagnostic and preventive procedure center. ASCs provide a deeper level of patient care as surgeries are typically performed in smaller, more specialized environments. In addition, patients can usually expect to see significant cost and time savings as ASCs generally have lower patient co-pays, and their outpatient setting allows for up-to-the-minute physician scheduling, resulting in little to no patient wait time. Call us at 253-841-8939 to learn about the benefit of having surgery at Microsurgical Spine Center.

Is it save to have surgery in an ASC?

Absolutely! In fact, ASCs report an incredibly low surgical site infection rate of only 0.1%, or 1 per one thousand patients, in the 30 days following a procedure. Because ASCs focus 100% of their efforts on performing surgeries, rather than offering a full suite of services like a hospital, they can offer patients a more controlled environment.

How are ASCs regulated?

ASCs are highly regulated by both federal and state boards. The vast majority of ASCs serve Medicare beneficiaries and is therefore subject to stringent Medicare rules and regulations as approved by the federal government. Additionally, most ASCs seek further accreditation through one of four Medicare approved third parties.

What happens if something goes wrong?

In rare cases where a patient requires additional medical treatment beyond the capabilities offered at an ASC, Microsurgical Spine Center is partnered with local hospitals equipped to meet a patient’s urgent needs. Our surgeons are required to hold hospital privileges for any procedures they perform should a patient need to be moved from the Microsurgical Spine Center to a hospital. Call us at 253-841-8939 to find out where our surgeons have hospital privileges.

Will I save money having my surgery in an ASC?

Chances are very good that you will save money having your surgery performed in an ASC instead of a hospital. Patients typically report significantly lower co-pays. Medicare beneficiaries in particular are likely to see the biggest out-of-pocket savings. Medicare procedure reimbursements are considerably less in an ASC than a hospital and those savings are ultimately passed along to the patient. Request pricing information about your procedure by calling 253-841-8939 before scheduling surgery.

What am I allowed to eat before my surgery?

Please avoid all food and beverages, even water after midnight on the day of your surgery. Otherwise, your procedure may need to be postponed. More specific directions may be given during a pre-operative phone call.

What should I wear to the surgery center?

On the day of your surgery, be sure to wear loose-fitting clothing, making it easy to dress and undress yourself.

May I smoke the day of my surgery?

No. We strongly recommend you avoid smoking the day of surgery. Not only could it create complications with your anesthesia, but you could also experience a greater risk of nausea while recovering.

Is it ok to wear nail polish or makeup to the surgery center on the day of my procedure?

No. Please do not apply makeup the day of your surgery, and remove nail polish prior to your arrival.


Should I take my normal medications the day of my surgery?

Your doctor or a nurse will give you specific directions regarding your medications during a pre-operative phone call. During pre-operative consultations, do not forget to mention any use of blood thinners (e.g. Plavix, Asprin, etc.)

Do I need a ride to and from my surgery?

Yes, you will. Due to anesthesia, you will not be permitted to drive for 24 hours after your surgery.

What will I do with my personal belongings?

After changing, all of your belongings will be safely stored in the pre-operative area.Remember to leave anything of value at home. We are not responsible for lost or stolen items.