Day-case surgery in children

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Abstract

Since much of the general surgery of childhood consists of simple procedures with little trauma to the tissues it is no surprise that paediatric surgeons were at the forefront of the development of day-case surgery. The benefits for children were clear and day-case surgery spread to other specialities. Day-case surgery rates have increased fivefold in the UK in the past 20 years driven by improvements in surgical and anaesthetic techniques, patient expectation and NHS targets. The complexity of surgery and the degree of permissible co-morbidity have increased without a rise in complications. The European Association for Children in Hospital say that children should only be admitted if the care they require cannot be equally well provided at home or on a day-case surgery basis. Preoperative planning, discharge and postoperative support need to be robust. This article outlines day-case procedures in the general surgery of childhood.

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