27 Mar 2013

Surgery generally safe, if you are otherwise well

11:19 pm on 27 March 2013

New information released on Wednesday shows surgery and operations in New Zealand hospitals are generally safe for otherwise healthy people.

The Perioperative Mortality Review Committee has released a report on deaths related to surgery and anaesthesia within 30 days of an operation.

It shows the risks are generally low but higher in those over 80, especially if they're unwell at the time of surgery.

Among over-80s, there's a 9% death rate within 30 days of emergency surgery but where surgery is planned the rate drops to 1.2%.

The risk of a healthy person under 25 dying within 30 days of surgery is one in 12,000; and for those aged 25 to 44, one in 6000.