• Arshad Zafar
  • Tariq Saeed Mufti
  • Samson Griffin
  • Sajjad Ahmed
  • Johar Ali Ansari


Background: Cancellation of operations in hospitals is a significant problem with far reachingconsequences. This study was planned to evaluate reasons for cancellation of elective surgicaloperation on the day of surgery in Ayub Teaching Hospital, Abbottabad. Methods: From July2006 to June 2007 the medical records of all the patients who had their operations cancelled onthe day of surgery in all the three General Surgical units of Ayub Teaching Hospital, Abbottabadwere audited prospectively. The number of operation cancelled and reasons for cancellationswere documented. Results: 3756 patients were scheduled for surgery during the study period.2820(75%) patients were operated upon. 936 (25%) operations were cancelled out of which338(36%) were cancelled due to shortage of time, 296(31.6%) were cancelled due to medicalreasons, 152(16.2%) were cancelled due to shortage of beds while 55(5.8%) were cancelled dueto shortage of anaesthetists. Three operation lists were lost completely. The Anaesthetistcancelled 43%, Surgeon 39% while 18% of operations were cancelled due organizationalreasons. Conclusion: Cancellation of patients on operation lists occupy a substantial population(25%) of cases. Majority of cancellation were due to reasons other than patients medicalconditions. Better management could have avoided most of these cancellations.Keywords: Surgical Operations.


Morrissey S, Alun -Jones T, Leighton S. Why are operations

cancelled? BMJ. 1989; 299:778.

Vinukondaiah K, Ananthakrishnan N, Ravishankar M. Audit

of operation theatre utilization in general surgery. Natl Med J

India, 2000; 13(3):118

Weinbroum AA, Ekstein P, Ezri T. Efficiency of the

operating room suite. Am J Surg, 2003; 185(3):244-50.

Miller GG. Waiting for an operation: parent’s perspect ives.

Can J Surg, 2004; 47(3):167-9.

Mangan JL, Walsh C, Kernohan WG, Murphy JS, Mollan

RA, McMillen Ret al. Total joint replacement: implication of

cancelled operations for hospital costs and waiting list

management. Qual Health Care, 1992; 1(1):34-7.

Dudley H. Empty theatres. BMJ. 1988; 297(6662):1490.

Koppada B, Pena M, Joshi A. Cancellation in elective

orthopaedic surgery. Health Trends. 1991;23(3):114-5.

Ivarsson B , Kimblad PO, Sjöberg T, Larsson S . Patient

reactions to cancelled or postponed heart operations. J Nurs

Manag. 2002; 10(2):75-81.

Lacqua MJ, Evans JT. Cancelled elective surgery: an

evaluation. Am Surg, 1994; 60(11):809-11.

Hussain AM, Khan FA. Anaesthetic reasons for cancellation

of elective surgical inpatients on the day of surgery in a

teaching hospital. J Pak Med Assoc. 2005; 55:374-8.

Sanjay P, Dodds A, Miller E, Arumugam PJ, Woodward A.

Cancelled elective operations: an observational study from a

district general hospital. J Health Organ Manag, 2007;


Lebowitz P. Why can’t my procedures start on time? AORN

J. 2003; 77(3):594-7.

Schultz MK, Melson I.M. Teamwork leads to better

operating room management. Health Financ Manage. 1990;


Cantwell R, Mirza N, Short T. Continuous quality

improvement efforts increase operating room efficiency. J

Health Qual, 1997; 19:32-6.

Pollard JB, Olson L. Early outpatient preoperative anesthesia

assessment: does it help to reduce operating room

cancellations? Anaesth Analg. 1999; 89: 502-5.

Ferschl MB, Tung A, Sweitzer B, Huo D, Glick DB.

Preoperative clinic visits reduce operating room cancellations

and delays. Anaesthesiology. 2006; 105(1):224-25.

Strum DP, Sampson AR, May JH, Vargas LG. Surgeon and

type of anesthesia variability in surgical procedure times.

Anesthesiology. 2001; 94:378.

Wyllie JH, Kidson IG, Wyllie DH. Pursuing efficiency in

surgical practice. BMJ. 1988; 297(6660):1368-71.

Robb WB, O’Sullivan MJ, Brannigan AE, Bouchier-Hayes

DJ. Are elective surgical operations cancelled due to

increasing medical admissions? Ir J Med Sci. 2004;


Most read articles by the same author(s)

<< < 1 2 3 > >>