Ambulatory surgery is referred to by other names, commonly called minimally invasive surgery, outpatient surgery or same day surgery. While minimally invasive surgery is technically laparoscopic surgery, the term is often used interchangeably with ambulatory surgery.
Most ambulatory surgery procedures are minor surgeries that do not require extended recoveries. Once the patient wakes from anesthesia and is awake and alert, if no signs of problems are present, they can continue their recovery in their own home.
Ambulatory surgery centers are facilities with operating rooms, but they are not hospitals and perform procedures that allow the patient to recover at home. Patients with complications that required hospitalization would be transferred to another facility for treatment.