Ambulatory surgery center project approved


UC Davis Health will begin construction on a $579 million ambulatory surgery center this fall.

The UC Board of Regents recently approved the design of the building and authorized UC Davis to raise money for the 48X Complex, the project name for the new ambulatory surgery center. The project could break ground in October and begin accepting its first patients in March 2025.

The 48X Complex’s design features a four-story, 262,000-square-foot building with 12 major operating rooms, five minor procedure rooms and 60 recovery bays. Diagnostic imaging, lab services, pharmacy services and seven specialty clinics will also be included. A key goal is to improve the patient experience by reducing wait times for elective procedures while expanding surgical service lines and therapies.

The center will encompass the entire block between 48th and 49th streets and X and Y streets, to the east of the main hospital building. The naming of surgery centers based on the intersections involved is designed to help patients more easily find the proper location. The complex will be located between the Ernest E. Tschannen Eye Institute and Parking Structure 4, with a breezeway connecting the two locations.

The analysis presented to the regents included a breakdown of the project’s total costs, size, complexity, as well as the issue of rising construction costs.

“The main reason is that this is a really large — it’s probably one of the largest ambulatory surgical centers in terms of the number of ORs and procedure rooms that actually exists in the U.S.,” UC Davis Health CEO and Vice Chancellor for Human Health Sciences David Lubarsky recently told the Sacramento Business Journal.

Ambulatory surgery centers focus on outpatient care and procedures that don’t typically require hospital admissions. In building the 48X Complex, UC Davis Health will be able to move some outpatient surgeries out of the main hospital. This will help open up hospital space for more acute cases for patients, while also decreasing wait times for elective procedures.

The regents also recently approved the California Tower project. That building will be more focused on ICU capacity and very complex surgeries. Currently at UC Davis Health’s main hospital, 56 percent of surgeries are outpatient surgeries because the system currently doesn’t have the facilities to accommodate outpatients in the right type of environment – which the 48X Complex will offer.

UC Davis Health will also plan to move procedures to the new operating rooms while the 30 existing operating rooms inside the hospital get seismic upgrades and renovations.