Right care, Right place, Right time - saving lives
The definition of General surgery is surgery performed on your abdomen (stomach and bowel) aka "your tummy".
In some cases with this type of surgery sometimes something can go wrong and you may need emergency general surgery for conditions like peritonitis.
General surgery also includes major operations for serious bowel conditions such as cancer.
Although these types of surgery are not that common and most of us will never need to have them - they can be risky.
Most people recover well but complications after surgery can happen and they need to be spotted and treated quickly. And in some cases patients may need another operation.
Unfortunately some people die following this type of major surgery. Many survive but with life changing complications.
Fact: in 2012 – 2013, 537 people died after these kinds of operations in Greater Manchester.
Fortunately there are standard steps that can be followed to reduce risks.
Here are some examples of ways we can improve standards:
- Ensuring that patients can have urgent tests like scans done, no matter what time of day or night it is so that poorly patients get the correct urgent treatment they need.
- Making sure that you are cared for in an intensive care ward after surgery so that you will be checked more regularly than on a normal ward. So that if anything does start to go wrong it will be spotted and treated quickly.
- Being treated by specialists aka consultants who are experts in this type of surgery to ensure that patients are given the best chance of a good recovery.
Doctors and nurses in Greater Manchester have described over 300 standards that we ned to meet to make sure that patients needing this type of surgery are cared for. If we follow these standards, we know that the chance of dying is reduced and so is the risk of developing complications.
Unfortunately, as things are, these standards are not followed every time in every hospital that does general surgery. This means that in some hospitals the risk of dying or developing life changing complications is higher than in others.
Dr Foster is an independent organisation that specialises in analysing health data. Dr Foster looked at how many people died in hospitals in Greater Manchester after these types of general surgery in 2012 - 2013. Dr Foster compared this with the number that would be expected to die based on the number and types of patient in each hospital (This is known as the Standardised Mortality Ratio (SMR) )