HomeSurgery ArticlesWhat Are the Most Common Surgeries in Australia?

What Are the Most Common Surgeries in Australia?

Australia is one of the most advanced economies in the world. The World Bank reports that the country has the 13th highest gross domestic product globally, amounting to one trillion US dollars.

Likewise, the Land Down Under enjoys a world-class and competent medical sector that residents enjoy. According to the Commonwealth Fund, Australia ranks second in having the best healthcare system.

Because of this, Australians acquire quality health care from both public and private hospitals.

The Australian government study says that a quarter of all hospitalizations in the country involved surgeries, while 60% of these cases were conducted at private hospitals.

In this article, you will learn about the common surgeries in Australia, and you will gain an insight into its robust healthcare industry.

Australians have a systematic public health sector covered by taxpayer dollars. Because of this, the demographics of the country reflect on the most common surgical procedures in Australia.

According to the New South Wales Bureau of Health Information, there are two classifications of surgeries in Australia: emergency surgery and elective surgery.

Emergency surgeries are acute, requiring immediate admission and treatment, while elective surgeries can wait 24 hours or as directed by the physician or the surgeon.

If you’re having a procedure, it’s useful to know how common it is.

The one-to-three percent risk cited above is the average risk of major complications for all procedures. It doesn’t mean that if you go under the knife or receive an injection, your chance of complications is one in 30. The one-to-three percent figure is based on averages and includes all procedures performed by all doctors in all settings across the country.

In addition, there’s a big difference between major complications like heart attacks or strokes and minor problems such as soreness or swelling after surgery. Minor complications are much more common than major ones — about 25 to 50 percent of people may have some type of problem after surgery, but most are not serious enough to need extra treatment.

Most common emergency surgeries in Australia


People between ages 10 to 30 are most likely to be struck by a ruptured appendix. Although this organ has a minimal role in the human body (and it was even considered useless for a very long time), appendicitis is fatal if left untreated.

Patients who have this endure extreme pain in their abdomen, requiring immediate surgery to remove the appendix.

The complications of appendicitis are dire. The infection unleashed by the appendix can poison the patient’s blood, poisoning the blood and leading to sepsis, organ failure, and death.

Hence, it is not surprising that appendectomy is one of the most common emergency surgeries in Australia.

Hip fracture surgery

The Australian government reports that their country’s population is aging, with people over 65 years old make up 15% of their demographic.

Because of this, cases that involve orthopedic surgery, or operating on bone and joint injuries, are common in the country.

Osteoporosis can erode the bones and make them brittle, so older people are more susceptible to traumatic falls and injuries.

Hip fractures are so damaging that patients will still feel pain in the affected regions as they struggle to walk past recovery. For these reasons, hip fracture surgery is relevant and widely conducted in Australia.

Coronary bypass surgery

Being one of the leading causes of death not just in Australia but worldwide, heart attacks require immediate surgery and critical care.

Also known as acute myocardial infarction, heart attacks happen when one of the arteries in the patient’s heart is blocked.

This disruption stops the flow of blood to the heart muscles. It comes with intense chest pain, shortness of breath, and loss of consciousness.

Every minute counts for heart attack victims, and their life is at stake.

Bypass surgery helps resume the blood flow to the heart by diverting it around a blocked artery in the organ.

Cardiothoracic surgeons, the ones trained to conduct such an operation, take other blood vessels in the body to do this, mostly from the leg.

According to the Australian financial service Finder, coronary bypass surgery is one of the most expensive operations in the country, costing over AU $44,000.

Most common elective surgeries in Australia

Cataract surgery

Another common disease in an aging population like Australia is cataracts. This sickness is caused by the formation of a blurry cloud in the eyes’ lens, making vision blurry, faded, and weak.

Cataracts, if left untreated, can cause severe complications such as eye inflammation, sensitivity to light, hypertension in the eyes, and blindness.

Ophthalmic surgeons remove cataracts either by using an ultrasound probe or performing an incision on the eyes. Cataract surgeries have a 98% success rate.

Excisional surgery

The Cancer Council of New South Wales reports that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in Australia.

Skin lesions that exhibit malignant melanoma are one of its symptoms that require surgical intervention before they worsen.

Excisional surgeons use scalpels or laser to thoroughly remove the cancerous tissues, including some of the surrounding skin.

Contraceptive and procreative management surgery

As a developed country, Australians keenly use contraceptives and birth control methods. Statistics show that 90% of all women in the Land Down Under utilize one.

For this reason, surgical procreative management is also a popular surgical procedure in Australia.

According to the same report by the Australian company Health Engine, 22.5% of the women are sterilized through ligation and similar operations, while 19.3% of Australian men chose to undergo a vasectomy.

Indeed, contraception plays a prominent role in the country’s healthcare industry as in vitro procedures see an upward trend.

Total hip replacement surgery

Reaching old age means having deteriorating systems of the body. Aging directly affects the bones and the joints, leading to dangerous and painful conditions like osteoporosis, arthritis, and osteomalacia.

As mentioned earlier, hip fracture surgery is one of the most common emergency surgeries in Australia.

But there are cases when this bone’s degradation is already so severe that replacing it altogether is the fitting solution.

Total hip replacement means removing the damaged cartilage and femur bone that brings intense pain to the patient.

The orthopedic surgeon will then replace it with prosthetic components like a metal stem.

This operation, on average, costs over AU $25,000, making it one of the most expensive surgeries in Australia.

But because over 15% of Australians belong to this age group, total hip replacements are relevant.

Total knee replacement surgery

The sheer pain of osteoarthritis is similar to torture. The cartilage on the knee joints of senior people wears out over time.

This deterioration causes the joints to collide with each other without the cushion, making it ache in every movement.

Like total hip replacement surgery, replacing the knee is a common surgery in Australia. This is conducted by installing a metal or plastic cap as a substitute for the knee joint.

Does Medicare cover these procedures?

There are a variety of surgeries that are commonly performed in Australia. These include procedures such as appendectomies, hernia repairs, and hysterectomies. Medicare, the Australian government-funded health insurance program, covers a wide range of surgical procedures. In most cases, Medicare will cover the cost of the surgery in full. There are some exceptions, however, such as cosmetic surgery or surgery that is not medically necessary.

Tips for a successful surgery

There are a few things you can do to ensure a successful surgery. First, it is important to follow all of your doctor’s orders. This includes things like taking medications as prescribed, quitting smoking, and avoiding alcohol. Second, be sure to eat a healthy diet and get plenty of rest. Third, make sure to follow all of the instructions for preparing for surgery. This may include things like fasting, showering with a special soap, and avoiding wearing makeup or jewelry. Fourth, be sure to arrive at the hospital or surgery center on time. Fifth, be sure to relax and stay positive. Surgery can be a stressful experience, but it is important to stay calm and focus on the positive.

By following these tips, you can help ensure a successful surgery. Surgery is a serious matter, but with proper preparation and care, it can be a successful and life-changing experience.


There is no definitive answer to this question as the most common surgeries in Australia vary depending on the particular focus or specialty of the hospital or surgery centre. However, some of the most commonly performed surgeries in Australia include general surgery, orthopaedic surgery, gynaecological surgery, ENT surgery and urological surgery.

While the exact numbers will differ from hospital to hospital, these five surgical specialties typically make up a large proportion of the surgeries performed in Australian hospitals each year. This is not surprising given that these are some of the most common health issues that Australians face.

If we look at the most common surgeries performed in Australian hospitals overall, general surgery is typically at the top of the list. This is followed by orthopaedic surgery, gynaecological surgery, ENT surgery and urological surgery.

So, while there is no definitive answer to the question of what the most common surgeries in Australia are, these five surgical specialties are typically responsible for a large number of the surgeries performed in Australian hospitals each year.

Most Common Surgery In Australia FAQ

What is the most common surgery?

Cataract surgery is the most common surgery in Australia. Also, the country has seen the instances of the procedure being carried out increase over the years.

What are major surgeries?

Surgeries like bypass, bariatric, joint replacement, C-section, and organ transplant are few of the many major surgeries.

What is the hardest surgery to perform?

Liver transplant is the hardest surgery that can be performed. The reason being the precision required on the part of the surgeon and the narrow margin of error available.

Can you poop during surgery?

No. In most surgeries, you are administered anaesthesia which is akin to putting you into forced sleep. But it also stops functioning of muscles and paralyses them. Hence, the food getting digested doesn’t proceed in the digestive tract.

Do they strap you down during surgery?

Yes, patients are strapped during surgery as it is all about precision in many cases. A slight movement in the body or organ position may have considerable impact on the outcome of the procedure.

Do surgeons use the bathroom during surgery?

Yes, but it is planned beforehand and surgeons don’t spontaneously go to the bathroom during any given surgery.

- Advertisement -spot_img