Abstract Day care surgery is now an integral part of otolaryngology and is widely practised in the West. But in our military setup it still has to gain popularity. A Day Care Surgical Centre was established at Armed Forces Clinic in 1996. In the period May 1998 to Apr 2001, a total of 752 otolaryngology cases were operated at the centre, of which 474 cases were major and 278 cases were minor. All cases were performed under local anaesthesia supplemented by sedation. Strict patient selection criteria were adopted resulting in a low immediate post-operative complication rate (1.46%). None required admission to hospital for the management of complications. The feasibility of performing otolaryngological surgery on a day care basis is demonstrated, especially in nasal and aural cases. The experience gained shows that high medical standards can be achieved with low resource expenditure. Patient selection criteria and guidelines are suggested.