Surgical Procedure Classifications



  • Severity
  • Urgency
  • Purpose


  • classifications may overlap




Major Surgery:

  • Involves extensive reconstruction or alteration in body parts
  • Poses great risk to well-being


  • eg. Coronary artery bypass
  • colon resection
  • removal of larynx
  • resection of lung lobe


Minor Surgery:

  • Involves minimal alteration in body parts
  • often designed to correct deformities
  • involves minimal risks compared with major procedures


  • eg. Cataract extraction
  • facial plastic surgery
  • tooth extraction





  • Is performed on basis of client’s choice
  • not essential
  • may not be necessary for health


  • Bunionectomy
  • facial plastic surgery
  • hernia repair
  • breast reconstruction



  • Is necessary for healthcare
  • may prevent additional health problems from developing (tissue destruction, or impaired organ functioning)
  • excision of cancerous tumours
  • removal of gallbladder for stones
  • vascular repair for obstructed artery (coronary artery bypass)



  • Must be done immediately to save life or preserve body-part functioning
  • Repair of perforated appendix
  • repair of traumatic amputation
  • control of internal hemorrhaging




  • Surgical exploration that allows physician to confirm diagnosis
  • may involve removal of tissue for further diagnostic testing
  • Exploratory laparotomy
  • breast mass biopsy



  • excision or removal of diseased body part
  • amputation
  • removal of appendix
  • cholecystectomy



  • Relieves or reduces intensity fo disease symptoms
  • will not produce cure Colostomy
  • debridement of necrotic tissue
  • resection of nerve roots



  • Restores function or appearance to traumatized or malfunctioning tissues
  • Internal fixation of fractures
  • scar revision


Procurement for transplant

  • Removal of organs and/or tissues from a brain dead individual for transplant into another person
  • Kidney, heart or liver transplants



  • Restores function lost or reduced as result of congenital anomalies
  • Repair of cleft palate
  • closure of atrial septal defect in heart



  • Performed to improve personal appearance
  • Blepharoplasty to correct eyelid deformities
  • rhinoplasty to reshape nose

Perry, A, G, Potter, P, A, Ross-Kerr, J, C and Wood, M, J. 2006. Canadian fundamentals of nursing. 3rded. Toronto: Elselvier


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