Office-Based Surgery

2022 License Renewals begin Oct. 1. All licenses/registrations expire Dec. 31.

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The Board requires registration of certain physicians who perform surgery outside of a hospital or outpatient facility.

What is office-based surgery?

  • Surgery performed outside a hospital or outpatient facility licensed by the Alabama Department of Public Health.
  • Definition of "surgery" -- the revision, destruction, incision, or structural alteration of human tissue performed using a variety of methods and instruments.
  • Can include non-surgical procedures if moderate sedation, deep sedation, or general anesthesia is used.
  • Includes surgery using local anesthesia, minimal sedation, moderate sedation/analgesia, deep sedation/analgesia, and general and regional anesthesia.
  • Includes procedures in which Propofol is administered, given or used.
  • Includes liposuction when infiltration methods such as the tumescent technique are used.


  • Registration is accomplished online only using the OBS Registration located under the Licensee Portal.
  • If your address or status as an office-based procedures physician changes, you should notify the Board in writing.
  • Free registration renewal is accomplished through the Licensee Portal concurrently with license renewal (Oct. - Dec. of each year)

Who is Required to Register with the Board?

  • Licensed physicians who maintain a practice location in Alabama and perform or offer to perform any office-based surgery/procedure which requires moderate sedation, deep sedation, or general anesthesia.
  • Licensed physicians who maintain a practice location in Alabama and perform or offer to perform any office-based surgery/procedure in which Propofol is administered, given or used.
  • Licensed physicians who maintain a practice location in Alabama and perform or offer to perform liposuction when infiltration methods such as the tumescent technique are used.

Board Requirements

  • Board Rules, Chapter 540-X-10, set forth the requirements for office-based surgery at each level of anesthesia. See sections .04 through .08.
  • Physicians performing office-based surgery should carefully consider the expected level of anesthesia to be used and register with the Board where appropriate.
  • Events required to be reported to the Board:
    • All surgical related deaths and all events related to the procedure that resulted in an emergency transfer of the surgical patient to the hospital,
    • Anesthetic or surgical events requiring CPR.
    • Unscheduled hospitalization related to the surgery.
    • Surgical site deep wound infection (click here for adverse event reporting form).
  • See Section .10 of Chapter 540-X-10 for the written documents and policies and procedures encouraged by the Board.



Questions concerning the operation of the Rules and interpretations of the Rules which are not addressed here should be directed to the Board in writing.

The Board considers oral medications (anxiolytics) as level two anesthesia. The Board further states that responses to medications may vary from patient to patient; therefore, the physician should be prepared for a complication and/or additional anesthesia.

If there is a question concerning the level of sedation being given, the physician should register even though only minimal sedation was intended to be administered. Virtually any sedation administered intravenously can move from minimal to moderate or deep; consequently, the physician should always be prepared. Reasonable concern for patient safety rather than strict adherence to a specific rule should be the goal of the physician.

Significant adverse events (events that alter the planned post-operative management) subsequent to office-based surgery, even when minimal sedation was administered, should be reported on the Board's Adverse Event Reporting form in order for the Board to gather data for future physician education concerning patient safety. All reports are protected by Alabama law. They are not public records, nor are they available for court subpoena or for discovery proceedings. If a complication develops which results in a review by the Board, each case will be reviewed on an individual basis and on its own merits.

An office-based procedure involving the injection of intravenous drugs having an analgesic, anesthetic, or sedative effect falls, at a minimum, in the moderate sedation category. Major regional blocks including, but not limited to, spinal, epidural, or caudal injection of any drug which has analgesic, anesthetic, or sedative effects are in the same category as general anesthesia. Injection of drugs such as steroids or chemotherapy which do not have anesthetic, analgesic, or sedative properties would usually be in the minimal category. A physician is expected to be prepared for possible reactions or untoward events relative to the injection of drugs.

Yes, the Board made that determination in January 2020.

Alternative credentialing applies when a physician performs a procedure for which he or she has trained, but the procedure was not included in the core curriculum of the physician's residency training program. A physician who seeks Board approval for alternative credentialing should submit a request to the Board with supporting documentation of training in the procedure(s).