The perioperative care model

Australia and New Zealand are two of the safest places in the world to have an operation under anaesthesia. The chances of dying due to complications during surgery are extremely low (1:100,000 cases). But complications arising after surgery are the third leading cause of death in the developed world.

If you’re very old or very sick, a bit of extra care before and after your operation ensures you’re ready for surgery in the first place and have the best chance of a good recovery once the operation is over. We call this the perioperative care model. 

It involves a dedicated team of healthcare professionals specialising in different areas of medicine working
together to:

  • Improve your experience and outcomes before, during, and after surgery.
  • Reduce the risk of postoperative complications.
  • Reduce the number of days you spend in hospital.
  • Minimise the chance of you being readmitted to hospital after surgery.

The perioperative care approach is gradually being established in hospitals and healthcare systems around
Australia and New Zealand. As with elsewhere in the world, anaesthetists are taking the lead, due to their specialist understanding of the factors affecting patients’ suitability for surgery and recovery.

ANZCA offers a unique qualification in perioperative medicine designed to increase the number of specialist doctors working in this field.

Last updated 13:17 29.11.2023