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.
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
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.
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.