An Elective surgery is simply one that is planned in advance, rather than one that's done in an emergency situation. Elective surgery is a surgery that can be scheduled before and therefore the patients can be prepared for the surgery. An elective surgery is subject to choice. The choice may be made by the patient or doctor. Most elective surgery is performed on a same day surgery basis. Elective surgery is done when a doctor believes it to be necessary but which can be delayed for at least 24 hours. It does not cover emergency surgery or treatment, nor does it cover medical treatment. Patients are generally treated in a timely manner. On the other hand, those with less urgent conditions are allowed to wait for some time and are placed on a waiting list. A typical example of same day surgery would be the surgical repair of a hernia. In other cases, such as a more complex urological surgery or repair of pectus excavatum, there is a short hospital stay after surgery.
What are the different types of Elective Surgery?
Semi-elective surgery is a surgery that must be done to preserve the patient's life, but does not need to be performed instantly.
An urgent surgery is one that can wait until the patient is medically stable. However, it should be performed within 1 or 2 days.
Which kind of surgeries are termed Elective?
There are various surgical procedures that can be considered elective.
Cosmetic surgeries fall into this category. Cosmetic surgery, such as a face lift, also known as rhytidectomy or the placement of breast implants, tummy tuck ( abdominoplasty ), nose surgery ( rhinoplasty ) are usually done to individually enhance a patient's physical appearance. Cosmetic and aesthetic surgeries are elective surgeries are pre-scheduled at a time that is mutually convenient for the patient, the surgeon, and the medical facility.
Surgeries like fixing ear tubes, tonsillectomies, and scoliosis surgery also come under elective surgery.
Another best example of an elective surgery is, ‘phacoemulsification cataract surgery’. The most extensively performed elective ophthalmic operation. This is an ideal example of elective surgery, as it can be performed with an equal outcome both early and late in the natural history of cataract, with the timing of surgery heavily reliant upon the patient's visual demands, anxieties and expectations. These types of elective surgery improve functional quality of life even though they are technically an "optional" or elective procedure.
Mastectomy for breast cancer and the kidney donation by a living donor are performed as elective surgeries also.
Non-emergency cardiovascular surgeries to improve blood flow or heart function, such as angioplasty or the implantation of a pacemaker are essential to extend life. Nevertheless, unlike emergency surgery which must be performed immediately, a necessary elective procedure can be scheduled at the patient's and surgeon's convenience.
Gynecological surgery that is either medically essential or optional surgery (e.g., hysterectomy, tubal ligation ) also falls under elective surgery group.
Musculoskeletal system surgery and orthopedic surgical procedures, such as hip replacement and ACL reconstruction are elective surgeries.
Exploratory or diagnostic surgery to decide the origin and extent of a medical problem or to biopsy tissue samples belongs to elective surgery category.
How is the patient diagnosed and prepared for an elective surgery?
Occasionally, the difference between “elective surgery” and “optional surgery” is confused, particularly by insurance companies, who generally like to avoid paying for procedures which are not medically essential. So, patient’s making an allowance for an elective surgery should review their coverage requirements with their health insurance carrier before scheduling the surgery.
Diagnostic and/or radiological testing may be carried out to verify the diagnosis or help the surgeon in planning the surgical procedure. Usually, a complete medical history, physical examination, and laboratory tests, such as urinalysis, chest X ray, blood work, and electrocardiogram are governed as part of the pre-operative assessment.
Several other preoperative preparations will rely on the surgery. In case of using a general anesthetic, dietary restrictions may be recommended to the patient before the surgery. If blood loss is expected during the procedure, advance storing of blood by the patient may be advised.
What is the post-operative procedure for an elective surgery?
Recovery time and postoperative care will differ by the elective procedure done. Patients should receive complete, written postoperative care instructions before going back home. These instructions should be clarified by the patient with the doctor.
What are the complications of an Elective Surgery?
The risks for an elective surgery will vary by the category of surgery performed. Overall, due to their invasive nature most surgeries carry a risk of:
Circulatory problems such as shock or thrombosis (clotting within the circulatory system).
The anesthesia used may also offer specific risks for complications such as anaphylactic shock (an allergic reaction).
Are all Elective Surgeries successful?
Elective surgical results depend on the type of procedure performed. In some elective surgeries, the "normal" results from a surgery may only be temporary, as in some cases a follow-up surgery may later be necessary, while other results are permanent. For instance, a facelift may need a second procedure, as a patient ages whereas a tubal ligation provides everlasting results. Success, morbidity, and mortality rates also rely on the elective procedure itself. A doctor should be able to provide a patient with statistical data on success rates for a particular elective surgery.