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What is elective surgery?

9th August 2017

The opposite to emergency surgery, elective surgery is any surgical procedure that is planned in advance. Classified as non-emergency procedures, elective surgery may be either medically required, for example procedures such as tonsillectomies, or optional, such as cosmetic treatments.

Why is elective surgery necessary?

Elective surgery may extend the life of a patient, or improve their quality of life physically and/or psychologically.

Cosmetic procedures such as facelifts, tummy tucks or nose surgery may not be medically necessary, but they may benefit the patient by raising their self-esteem.

Other elective procedures such as cataract or laser eye surgery ultimately improve an individual’s functional quality of life, even though they are technically regarded as an ‘optional’  or elective procedure.

While, in some instances, elective surgery may be a life saving procedure such as an angioplasty, the surgery is usually scheduled at a time to suit the patient, rather than being performed as an emergency, in cases such as appendectomies.

What is defined as elective surgery?

The full list of elective surgery procedures is extensive, but includes:

  • Cosmetic surgery - which improves appearance and in some reconstructive cases, physical function
  • Refractive surgery - laser surgery for vision correction
  • Gynaecological surgery - may be medically necessary or optional, such as hysterectomy and tubal ligation
  • Exploratory or diagnostic surgery - to determine the origin and extent of a medical problem, or to take a biopsy of tissue samples
  • Cardiovascular surgery - non-emergency procedures to improve blood flow or heart function, such as angioplasty or fitting a pacemaker
  • Musculoskeletal surgery - orthopaedic surgical procedures, such as hip replacements
  • Elective cosmetic surgery

The majority of cosmetic surgery procedures are elective. Whilst there are many types of elective cosmetic surgery available, popular procedures include:

  • Abdominoplasty - also known as a ‘tummy tuck’, this procedure sculpts and reshapes the abdomen

  • Blepharoplasty - eyelid surgery which involves reshaping the eyelids

  • Breast augmentation - involves the enlargement of the breasts using either saline or silicone gel implants

  • Buttock augmentation - involves enhancing the size and shape of the buttocks, either using silicone implants or fat grafting and transfer from other areas of the body

  • Chin augmentation - sculpting or reshaping the chin with a silicone implant

  • Cheek augmentation - sculpting the cheeks

  • Facelift - or rhytidectomy, this procedure tightens and lifts the muscles beneath the skin of the face, whilst removing or repositioning sagging skin

  • Gynaecomastia - reduces the glandular component of male breasts

  • Liposuction - targeted removal of fat from the body using a cannula and vacuum

  • Mastopexy - also known as a breast lift, this procedure raises and reduces sagging breasts

  • Mesotherapy - an alternative to liposuction, this procedure involves fluids being injected to break down and dissolve any fat

  • Neck lift - removes excess fat and sagging skin and tightens  the muscles beneath the skin of the neck. This procedure is often performed in conjunction with eyelid or forehead surgery

  • Rhinoplasty - reshaping of the nose

  • Otoplasty - also known as pinnaplasty, this procedure improves the position and shape of the ears

  • Thigh lift -  lifts and tightens any loose skin on the thighs and reduces excess skin, resulting in a firmer, smoother shape

Non-surgical procedures

Some elective cosmetic treatments are classified as non-surgical, including:

  • Dermal fillers - enhance the appearance of the skin using collagen, fat or other tissue filler such as hyaluronic acid

  • Laser resurfacing -improves the appearance and texture of the skin

  • Wrinkle smoothing - Botox is injected to temporarily improve early signs of aging and achieve a smoother more youthful appearance

Is elective surgery right for me?

Before you commit to any surgical procedure, you should have a full consultation in order to understand what the procedure involves, aftercare and the expected outcome. This will help you determine if it is the right choice for you.  


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Thank you for working your magic and making me look years younger! Also a big thank you to your team for all their help and support. I love my new face!

Karolina is always a joy to work with - kind, considerate and very professional and creating an aura of trust. She makes the Ulthera treatment painless and that's not an easy task!

I have my Botox with Karolina. She is exceptionally knowledgeable and advises me on what would look good and not so good on my face. She is a person I can trust!

"I was very happy with my treatment experience. Mr Karidis , staff and facilities were excellent. I am very pleased with the results and would not hesitate to recommend Mr Karidis and his clinic."

"I am only three days into the recovery of my gynecomastia procedure, and already it has changed my life. I travelled from Cardiff to London to have this procedure and it was by far cheaper than having it done in my local area. Furthermore, Karidis' reputation exceeds expectations. I look forward to my follow up consultation so Karidis can see how he has changed my life. Communication from Karidis and his team - 5 star Professionalism - 5 star Results - 5 star."

For my first Velashape III treatment, Maxine made me feel really comfortable and explained exactly how the treatment would go and any after-effects I might have (I have had none). The process was smooth and painless and actually kind of relaxing. Most importantly, I can already see a MAJOR difference on the cellulite on my legs and butt. I am seriously impressed!

"My entire experience for an abdominoplasty and breast augmentation operation was faultless from a professional and caring team. I cannot recommend Mr Karidis enough from the consultation, in establishing what I wanted, to his skilled work. I am absolutely delighted with the results."

"A seven week recovery journey with a couple of little detours, but navigated with care by Mr Karidis, Suzi & Martina. Explanations, reassurance & advice given from first consultation, day of operation, day one post op. and at all subsequent clinic visits, along with a good dose of friendly chit chat & laughter, (Always a good medicine!). Thank you Mr Karidis & team. No regrets here."

Brilliant consultation... I was very impressed with my consultation with Mr Karidis. Mr Karidis made me feel very comfortable and answered all my questions.

Outstanding in every way This is my second breast augmentation with Mr Karidis - my first experience was amazing as were the results! Second time around and once again my experience was faultless. The whole team are amazing from front of desk and Rose, to the lovely nurses pre and post-op! The after care given, which is also important, is second to none and I cannot recommend Mr Karidis enough. Thank you so much for all you have done for me and giving me back my confidence!

I have my Botox with Karolina. She is exceptionally knowledgeable and advises me on what would look good and not so good on my face. She is a person I can trust!

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