Tags: surgery | scheduling | postoperative pain | nausea

When to Schedule Surgery

By    |   Tuesday, 13 August 2019 04:34 PM

Everything involved in an impending hospital visit requires strategic consideration ahead of time. Unless your surgery is an emergency, it is elective — which means you set the date along with your doctor.

But studies show that exactly when that surgery takes place can make a big difference.

Don’t schedule surgery between Christmas and New Year’s. Surgery can result in complications at any time of the year, but the week between these major holidays is usually when doctors take time off. As a result, your surgeon may not be the one you expected.

But there is an even worse time than the holidays to schedule surgery — right afterward in the first week of January.

Surgeons are paid for the number of operations they perform, so if they take time off during the holidays, they tend to make up for it afterward, which means increased workload and a staff that is stretched thin.

If possible, delay your procedure until at least mid- January, when staff levels and patient numbers are back to normal.

In addition, early in the week is better. Mondays and Tuesdays are best; avoid Thursdays or Fridays.

A study in the British Medical Journal examined 30-day death rates for non-emergency cases according to the day on which the procedure was performed.

People who underwent an operation on a Friday had a death rate 44 percent higher than surgeries on Mondays.

Those who underwent surgeries on the weekend had an 82 percent higher death rate.

And ask to have your surgery scheduled early in the morning. Outcomes are usually better for morning procedures.

A Duke University study found that operations starting between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. had more complications, including nausea, vomiting, and postoperative pain.

Finally, beware of the “July Effect.” It’s said that the death rate in teaching hospitals is higher during July because of the influx of new interns and residents.

Some studies report that this is a myth, but a review by Harvard Medical School researchers found it is a real concern for high-risk patients.

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Unless your surgery is an emergency, it is elective — which means you set the date along with your doctor.
surgery, scheduling, postoperative pain, nausea
Tuesday, 13 August 2019 04:34 PM
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