SummaryRead the full fact sheet
- Planned surgery (also known as elective surgery) refers to planned surgical procedures that can be booked in advance.
About planned surgery
Planned surgery (also known as elective surgery) refers to planned surgical procedures that can be booked in advance.
This is different from emergency surgery which is unplanned.
Waitlists for planned surgery
- Category 1 patients are considered urgent and hospitals will try to ensure you receive surgery within 30 days.
- Category 2 patients are considered semi-urgent and hospitals will try to ensure you have surgery within 90 days.
- Category 3 patients usually have their surgery booked within a year.
Each hospital has a planned surgery waitlist to ensure that those who urgently need surgery are seen first.
While waiting for surgery, you may wish to keep your local general practitioner (GP) or treating specialist updated on how you are doing. It’s also important to let them know if your condition changes.
Your GP or treating specialist is best placed to manage your health until you are treated. If needed, they can also make direct contact with the hospital to arrange a reassessment of your planned surgery waiting list category.
If your condition becomes an emergency, you will be admitted to hospital immediately for surgery.
Options for care
Your healthcare team may present you with different options for care, depending on your situation.
This could include:
- Care closer to home – For example, receiving your surgery at a different public or private hospital, enabling you to get your surgery earlier.
- Non-surgical treatment pathways (also known as conservative management) – Non-surgical treatment pathways can help to improve your health and function prior to surgery. They may also provide an alternative to surgery where clinically appropriate. For example, in some circumstances, knee pain caused by can be managed by a and instead of having surgery.
Changes to planned surgery
Sustainable and long-term changes are being made to planned surgery to ensure Victorians receive the safe, high-quality care they need, when they need it.
Where to get help
- Your local
- Your treating specialist and/or surgeon
- Tel. – for expert health information and advice (24 hours, 7 days)
If it’s an emergency:
- visit your nearest hospital emergency department
- call Triple Zero (000)