- Surgical practice as it is known, and the attendant design of surgical theaters, will soon change dramatically because of the emergence of medical technologies that will significantly reduce the demand for surgery, especially the demand for unanticipated surgeries. New technologies in infection management will afford designers and practitioners greater freedom to explore the value of a sterile environment for surgical procedures still in demand. Innovations in imaging are making noninvasive diagnostic and therapeutic protocols more common while offering patients more affordable and safer alternatives to traditional surgical practices. The aging and increasing scarcity of some sectors of the health care workforce are elevating worker safety and satisfaction to historic priorities for health care providers. In a surgical era where the providers demand diagnostic and treatment technologies, and protocols for managing infection are all undergoing significant change, health care architects and providers must come together to answer several questions for the surgical facilities of tomorrow to be relevant. This article offers a list of important issues that will impact the future of surgical design. 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.