It is possible to conduct a program of anesthesia for outpatient surgery without compromising patient safety. Intelligent selection of cases and anesthesia method minimizes the incidence of complications. The feasibility and practicality of outpatient surgery were demonstrated by the fact that only 33 of 804 patients (4.1%) were admitted as inpatients, and most of them during the early part of the study period. A properly equipped and staffed outpatient surgical unit is necessary; the availability of such a facility makes rapid expansion of surgical capabilities feasible in civil disaster. This flexibility is an attractive feature which can be helpful in obtaining funds for such expansion. An estimated $28,000 in savings to patients or insurance companies was achieved and approximately 1,000 hospital days were saved during the study period.