Korean J Anesthesiol.  2008 May;54(5):486-492. 10.4097/kjae.2008.54.5.486.

Analysis of Cause for Cancellation of Elective Operation

  • 1Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicne, National Police Hospital, Seoul, Korea. hy5158@hanmail.net


BACKGROUND: Cancellations of elective operations are due to various reasons, which can be categorized into those initiated by patients or their guardians and those initiated by hospital staff. Cancellations of elective operations result not only in time and economic loss but also in negative psychological effects for patients and guardians and operational inefficiency for hospitals among other problems. As such, by studying and analyzing the causes of such cancellations, one may categorize them into involuntary ones and preventable ones, with the aim to reduce the occurrence of the latter that will lead to reduction in cancellation of elective operations.
11,082 cases of elective operation were reviewed and analyzed retrospectively from January 2002 to December 2006. Total number, department, anesthetic type and cause of cancellation were recorded daily. Emergency operation and operation under local anesthesia were excluded.
Total number of cancellation was 762 cases and mean cancellation rate was 6.9%. The most common cause of cancellation was co-existing disease or abnormal laboratory finding (25.3%). Especially in urology the most common cause of cancellation was the relief from diseases or symptoms. Plastic surgery showed the highest cancellation rate among all at 12%.
Setting up standards that help determine the driving factors behind cancellations of elective operations within anesthesiology departments and utilizing a patient evaluation system, after categorizing the causes of cancellations into involuntary and preventable ones and analyzing them, will lead to reduction in cancellation of operations and solve problems faced by patients and guardians, and hospitals and their staff.


cancellation; elective operation; patient evaluation system; standards

MeSH Terms

Anesthesia, Local
Retrospective Studies
Surgery, Plastic
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