Study objective: First, to appraise the utilisation of day surgery in an advanced Italian region. Second, to identify which surgical procedures, among those rarely performed in day surgery, can be effectively performed without ordinary hospitalisation. Design: Retrospective analysis of hospital discharge records related to all the 683,615 surgical interventions performed in Lombardy in 1998. Review of the last 10 years literature supporting or undermining the practicability of day surgery for the 262 procedures that, although performed at least once in day surgery, overall rarely performed in such a way. Main results: While as many as 1189 procedures out of 2140 (56%) were performed at least once in day surgery, the overall percentage of surgical interventions performed in this regimen was only 15.6%. The review of the literature yielded 41 procedures regarded as effectively performable in day surgery. We calculated that an absolute increment of day surgery of 20% in only these procedures would produce an increment of 5% in the overall prevalence of day surgery. Conclusion: Health policies aimed at reducing the length of hospitalisation after surgery can be effective even by focusing on a tiny set of procedures. Analysis of administrative data could provide useful steering hints for policy makers.
- Ambulatory surgical procedures
- Day care
- Health planning
ASJC Scopus subject areas