The seven most deadly operations for emergency patients have been identified by experts.
These operations account for 80 per cent of procedures, 80 per cent of deaths and 79 per cent of complications for patients who need emergency general surgery.
The operations have only been highlighted in the context of emergency general surgery - which is for the most acutely ill and highest risk patients.
These operations account for 80 per cent of procedures, 80 per cent of deaths and 79 per cent of complications for patients (file photo)
The procedures are:
- Partial colectomy (removal of part of the colon or bowel)
- Small-bowel resection
- Cholecystectomy (removal of gall bladder)
- Operative management of peptic ulcer disease
- Removal of peritoneal (abdominal) adhesions
- Appendectomy (removal of the appendix)
- Laparotomy (an operation to open the abdomen)
The researchers, at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, examined data from the 2008-2011 National Inpatient Sample.
They examined information on 421,476 patients who needed emergency general surgery.
The overall mortality rate was 1.2 per cent and the complication rate was 15 per cent.
But after ranking 35 procedure groups, a final set of seven operative emergency general procedures were identified as the riskiest, with many affecting the bowel.
Surgery to remove part of the bowel is performed under general anaesthetic and involves making an incision to operate inside the abdomen to treat life-threatening conditions such as bowel obstruction, perforation or a bleed.
The operations have only been highlighted in the context of emergency general surgery - which is for the most acutely ill and highest risk patients
Similarly, a laparotomy - or abdominal exploration - cuts through the abdominal cavity to examine the abdominal organs and aid diagnosis of problems, including abdominal pain.
Last year, an NHS-funded inquiry found seriously ill patients who have some of the riskiest surgery in medicine are dying unnecessarily.
An audit of treatment found one in 10 having emergency bowel surgery die within 30 days because the right care is not in place before, during and after their operation.
It looked at data from more than 20,000 patients from 192 of 195 eligible NHS hospitals and found supervision and best treatment was not always available.
The new study, published in the journal JAMA Surgery, concluded these seven procedures collectively accounted for 80 per cent of emergency surgeries, eight out of 10 deaths, 79 per cent of complications and 80 per cent of inpatient costs across America.