Ambulatory surgery is growing worldwide. The challenge of providing anaesthesia for longer and more complex surgery in sicker and elderly patients is a reality. To maintain the safety and good outcomes of ambulatory anaesthesia, high-risk patients will need to be evaluated carefully. Anaesthetic techniques that use short-acting drugs and minimize postoperative morbidity and mortality should become the focus. Policies on management of postoperative pain, nausea, vomiting, voiding and discharge from hospital will maintain good outcome measures.