Elective Surgery

From 25 March 2020, Category 3 and Category 2 non-urgent elective surgery was cancelled. Ensure that you communicate with your hospital/s to establish what processes they are putting in place.

The statement from the Federal Government outlines the Categories as follows:

Every patient waiting for elective surgery is assessed by their treating medical professional as Category 1, 2 or 3 per the following definitions:

* Category 1 – Needing treatment within 30 days. Has the potential to deteriorate quickly to the point where the patient’s situation may become an emergency

* Category 2 – Needing treatment within 90 days. Their condition causes pain, dysfunction or disability. Unlikely to deteriorate quickly and unlikely to become an emergency

* Category 3 – Needing treatment at some point in the next year. Their condition causes pain, dysfunction or disability. Unlikely to deteriorate quickly.

At the time of writing there is no definitive list of cases for Category 2. This list is by no means advice or a guideline, but we suggest the following for consideration and discussion with the hospital when you are reviewing and adjusting your lists.


  • Hysteroscopy for postmenopausal bleeding or suspicious endometrial appearance in a postmenopausal woman.
  • Endometrial ablation or hysteroscopic mirena for heavy menstrual bleeding that is disruptive to work or home life, has a low serum ferritin, and has not responded to non-surgical treatments.
  • Abortion.
  • High grade cervical dysplasia.
  • Laparoscopy for:
    • Ovarian cyst or lesion where there either is pain suggestive of subacute torsion, or where there is a risk of torsion.  An elevated CA-125 would be an indication.
    • Risk reduction in cancer treatment (For example, breast cancer or in a BRCA carrier aged older than 40 years).
    • Hysterectomy where there is atypical endometrial hyperplasia or significant menstrual bleeding that is unresponsive to maximum dose of other therapies.
    • Acute salpingitis or torsion.

And the following Category 2 cases could possibly be considered not urgent:

  • Laparoscopy for infertility or chronic pelvic pain.
  • Surgery for prolapse or incontinence.
  • Cosmetic surgery.
  • Hysterectomy for fibroids with no other indication.
  • Chronic endometriosis.
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