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day case surgery

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A surgical day case is defined by the Royal College of Surgeons of England as "a patient who is admitted for investigation or operation on a planned non-resident basis and who nonetheless requires facilities for recovery".

Day case surgery must be distinguished from 'out-patient cases'. These are minor procedures performed under a local anaesthetic which do not generally require postoperative recovery time.

The complication rate in day surgery may be as great as that of inpatient surgery, especially if case selection is poor.

Junior doctors must acquire the skill to assess patients for day case surgery.


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