General Surgery

Wait Time Benchmarks for General Surgery

Emergent Cases* Urgent Cases Semi-Urgent Cases Scheduled Cases
Maximum Acceptable Wait Time for Treatment N/A 2 weeks 6 weeks 16 weeks
Example Procedures perforated viscus, ischemic bowel, acute perforated appendicitis Unrelenting biliary colic, near obstructing colon cancer, lymph node biopsy for suspected lymphoma, incarcerated hernia reduced by another physician Breast cancer, uncomplicated colon cancer, cancers treated by neoadjuvant chemotherapy, colo-vesicular fistula, symptomatic herniae, refractory anal fissure Dupuytren’s contracture, lipomas, minimally symptomatic herniae, stoma reversal, minimally symptomatic chololithiasis

* Emergent cases (i.e. perforated viscus, ischemic bowel, acute perforated appendicitis) cannot wait and therefore are not part of a wait time discussion.

The examples provided are not meant to be exhaustive, but are meant to be illustrative.  Ultimately, it is up to the individual attending surgeon to determine the level of acuity on a case-by-case basis.  The details of each individual case will dictate the level of urgency.

Related Items

Wait Times and General Surgery

Canadian Association of General Surgeons website