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What is Elective Surgery

Written by Harpreet

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Elective surgery is a surgery that is scheduled or planned in advance and no emergency is required in performing it. In this surgery the patient doesn’t poses an immediate risk to his life. Semi-elective surgery is a surgery that is performed to save the life of a patient but there is no emergency in performing it. In the elective surgery doctor and patient decide the best place and time for surgery.


There is major difference between elective, urgent, emergency surgery. In urgent surgery we can wait until the patient’s health is unwavering but it has to be performed in 1-2 days. But emergency surgery needs to be perform without any impediment otherwise there will be colossal risk to patient’s life. But mostly surgeries are elective.

The main types of elective surgery are:-

Cosmetic surgery such as face-lift. Breast implants to improve physical appearance. Cataract surgery in which removal of natural lens of the eye is done. Mastectomy which is done to treat breast cancer in which surgical removal of one or both breast is done. Donation of kidney by alive donor. Hip replacement Rhinoplasty in which the shape of nose is altered or size of the nose is reduced to give better appearance.

Some questions that should be discussed with doctor before surgery are:-

Are there certain foods or activities that should be avoided? Is there any requirement of taking any special medicines before surgery or we can continue our regular medicines? What will be the feeling after operation? Will there be any need for medicine to heal pain? How long will it take to recover from operation?

Mostly insurance companies avoid paying for those surgeries that are not medically necessary. Because they think that the patient will not die without it. This could lead to a scuffle between patient and insurance company. So, it is better to check with an insurance company about a surgery’s status before going for elective surgery.

Although elective surgery is a non-emergency situation but still it can be dodgy. Anesthesia which is used in surgery to minimize pain, discomfort, can have adverse reaction from it.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics of the US centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2000 over 40 million surgical procedures were performed in United States.

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