The Development of Ambulatory and Office-Based Anesthesia


Long, Wells, and Morton provided outpatient anesthesia in the 1840s. Nicoll in Scotland and Waters in the US gave outpatient anesthesia in the early twentieth century. Modern outpatient anesthesia began in 1959, with Canadian anesthetists Webb and Graves’ report of their 6-month experience with 494 surgical patients, cared for as outpatients. In 1962 at UCLA, Cohen and Dillon opened the first ambulatory surgery program, in 1966 describing the safety and economic advantage of their approach. Free-standing outpatient surgical facilities followed in 1968 in Rhode Island, and in 1969 in Arizona.


Ambulatory anesthesia history Office-based anesthesia development Anesthesia use in ambulatory and office-based settings 



The author thanks the late Patrick Sim, the Paul M. Wood Distinguished Librarian of the Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology (WLM), Karen Bieterman, Managing Librarian at the WLM, and Shawn Manning, Librarian at New York Medical College for their invaluable assistance in obtaining historical literature relevant to ambulatory and office-based anesthesia. She also thanks Felicia Reilly, Archivist of the WLM, and Margie Jenkins of the WLM for their gracious help in providing photographs of some of the pioneers in the field.


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Copyright information

© Edmond I Eger, MD 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Society for Ambulatory AnesthesiaNew York Medical CollegeValhallaUSA

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