This study examined the outcome of 597 general surgery operations performed on 500 patients in the ambulatory surgery unit of the University Hospital of Kuopio between November 1989 and May 1990. Endoscopies were excluded from the study. Spinal (41.0%) and local infiltration (31.2%) were the most often used forms of anaesthesia. During anaesthesia 15.8% of patients required treatment for hypotension, and 13.6% for bradycardia. Of the 351 (70.2%) patients, who returned the one month follow-up questionnaire, 41 (11.7%) had visited a doctor postoperatively. The main reasons for this visit were pain in 41 (100%), minor bleeding in 24 (58.5%) and inflammation in 16 (39.0%) patients. No deaths or other major complications were observed. 92% of the patients were satisfied with the treatment and anaesthesia.