Elective surgery

Elective surgery refers to non-emergency surgery that is medically necessary, but which can be delayed for at least 24 hours.

If you have been scheduled for surgery, and placed on the elective surgery waiting list, the following information will assist you to understand the process.

Understanding your surgical journey

A female clinical nurse speaks to an older male patient seated in a bedPreparing your body and mind before surgery helps set you up for a quicker recovery and the best outcome.

Learn what you need to do throughout your surgical journey, which includes:

  • attending appointments with your surgeon and the Anaesthetic Pre-Operative Clinic
  • pre-surgical preparation such as tests and adopting healthy lifestyle habits
  • the surgery itself
  • your hospital recovery and discharge home.

Learn more about elective surgery

COVID-19 and elective surgery

Depending on the time between your booking and your surgery, you will receive a letter, email, phone call or text detailing your surgery plan.

As your surgery date approaches, your treating team will determine the risk to you of proceeding with your surgery if you test positive for COVID-19 in the days before or day of your surgery.

Your treating team will ask for your mobile phone number, and email address if you have one, so they can contact you about any changes that need to be made.

Do not attend an elective surgery appointment if you are unwell. Contact the Elective Waitlist Service on 6152 4015 before your admission if you:

  • have had COVID-19 within the last 4 weeks
  • have tested positive for COVID-19 between your booking date and appointment or admission date
  • are unwell with any of the following symptoms – fever, dry cough, shortness of breath,
  • have fatigue, loss of taste and/or smell, diarrhoea, headache, sore/scratchy throat, muscle aches, runny nose, chills/night sweats, vomiting.
Location for surgery

The elective surgery you require may not be available at your closest hospital or health service.

The South Metropolitan Health Service (SMHS) provides health care to people living in the south metropolitan area at any one of the following hospitals or health services:

Your surgery will be scheduled at the most appropriate location to ensure you receive your surgery in the best possible time.

While you wait for your surgery

While you wait for your surgery

There are a number of important actions you should take while you wait for your surgery. These are:

  • follow the procedures and advice of the hospital, including how to stay as fit and well as possible for surgery
  • advise the hospital of your acceptance of the proposed admission date
  • attend any pre-admission clinics arranged for you
  • arrive at the hospital on the confirmed admission date and time.

Please contact the hospital if:

  • your contact details change
  • you no longer wish to have or require the surgery
  • your personal circumstances change and may require you to cancel or defer your surgery
  • you are on another public hospital waiting list for a different elective surgery procedure.

Please note: declining surgery on two occasions or failing to attend a scheduled appointment without providing notice may result in your removal from the elective waitlist.

Your GP can help

While you wait for your surgery it is important to keep your regular appointments with your GP. Your GP will help:

  • keep you fit and well in preparation for your surgery
  • contact the hospital if there is any change in your condition.

Contact us

Nurse Coordinator
Elective Waitlist Service
Phone: 6152 2222