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Green Surgery Report: Reducing need for Surgical Care

Prevention of surgical disorders will reduce the carbon emissions associated with surgical care

Read Section 2 of the Green Surgery Report

Section Highlights

Prevention may reduce GHG emissions associated with the provision of surgical care, for example surgical conditions linked with obesity, dietary factors (including red and processed meat consumption), sedentary lifestyles, trauma, and exposure to cigarette smoke, alcohol, ultraviolet light, air pollution and human papilloma virus.

Delivering the right care to the right patient, at the right time and place, and reducing unwarranted variation in surgical care can ensure that carbon emissions associated with surgery are optimised.

Using shared decision-making and ‘choosing wisely’ principles may help empower patients to work alongside clinicians to ensure a given intervention is right for them.

Section Recommendations

(1) Support initiatives to prevent the need for surgical interventions (e.g. targeted towards reducing obesity, consumption of red and processed meat, smoking, and alcohol)

(2) Reduce unwarranted variation in surgical care

(3) Ensure that a given intervention is the best option for an individual patient

Case Studies

Identifying patients at high risk of fractures

Lean Pathway and Low Carbon Alternatives in Curette and Cautery Skin Surgery

Reducing prescription of Proton Pump Inhibitors

*** Note: Outcomes data from case studies have not been verified and some financial and greenhouse gas emission figures are based on projections.