Department of Health Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
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Elective Surgery

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

The following information is for people who have been scheduled for surgery and placed on the Elective Surgery Waitlist.

  • Location for surgery
  • Timing of surgery
  • While you wait for your surgery
  • Keeping in contact
  • Pre Admission Clinic and preparation for surgery
  • More Information

Location for surgery

Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH) and Osborne Park Hospital (OPH) are part of the same Health Care Group, so even though you may initially meet with your doctor at SCGH, your surgery or procedure may be undertaken at OPH.

Your surgery will be scheduled at the location that ensures it will occur in the best possible time.

Timing for surgery

When referring you to the Elective Surgery Waitlist, the assessing doctor requested your placement in a clinical urgency category. All patients are treated in accordance with their category, and within each category most patients are treated in the same order they are added to the Waitlist.

  • Category 1 – Urgent. When admission for surgery within 30 days of being placed on the Waitlist is desirable. This is for a condition that has the potential to deteriorate quickly, to the point that it may become an emergency.
  • Category 2 – Semi-urgent. When admission for surgery within 90 days of being placed on the Waitlist is desirable. This is for conditions assessed clinically as semi-urgent, but which are not likely to deteriorate quickly or become an emergency.
  • Category 3 - Non-urgent. When admission for surgery within 365 days of being placed on the Waitlist is desirable. This is for conditions assessed clinically as non-urgent but necessary, and which are unlikely to deteriorate quickly or have the potential to become an emergency.

The Inpatient Booking Service team will notify you by mail, telephone and/or email when your surgery and pre-admission dates are scheduled.

While you wait for your surgery

This is the ideal time to ensure your health is in the best possible state.

If you are a smoker, this can have serious consequences on anaesthesia and your recovery from surgery. No matter how long or heavily you have smoked, the earlier you stop smoking before an operation, the greater benefit for your body. Read Information for smokers undergoing surgery.

See your GP early and tell them you have been booked for surgery. They have an important role in optimising your medications and any medical conditions you may have.

If your GP is organising extra tests for you, make sure you keep a copy of these results yourself to take along to appointments at the hospital prior to your surgery. Alternatively, you might ask your GP to upload these results to your My Health Record profile.

Keeping in contact

Please contact the hospital if:

  • you cannot attend your proposed date of surgery
  • 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.

Pre Admission Clinic and preparation for surgery

Before your surgical procedure, you may require an assessment by an anaesthetist or nurse. This will happen by telephone, or by an in-person clinic appointment prior to your admission in our Pre Admission Clinic. The decision to book you in for an in-person clinic appointment in Pre Admission Clinic will depend on your underlying health, and the type of surgery you are booked for.

This pre-admission appointment will allow us to identify any risk factors before your surgery and ensure that we can minimise the risk of any complications during or following your procedure. These pre-admission requirements reduce the possibility of your procedure being cancelled on the day of surgery.

You can find more information about Pre Admission Clinic (what to expect and what to bring).

More information


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