Most operations performed in outpatient setting

In 2007, the amount of operations performed in Dutch hospitals in an outpatient or inpatient setting totalled 1.3 million, an increase by 0.3 million relative to 1995. Remarkably, the number of inpatient operations per 10 thousand residents declined marginally in this period from 445 to 388. At the same time, the number of outpatient operations per 10 thousand residents rose considerably from 238 to 395.

In 2007, outpatient operations exceeded inpatient operations for the first time. Certain types of operations, like cataract and varicose vein operations have already been performed in an outpatient setting since 1997.

Hospital operations, standardised figures 

Hospital operations

More keyhole surgery

Another recent trend is the increase in keyhole surgery gradually replacing the traditional so-called ‘open’ surgery method. This applies to gall bladder, colon, appendix and inguinal hernia operations. The total number of appendectomies (appendix removals), for example, did not change, whereas the number of keyhole appendectomies rose from 7 percent in 2000 to 34 percent in 2007.

Appendectomies, standardised figures 


Recent increase in colon and inguinal hernia keyhole operations

Since 2002 or 2003, the keyhole surgery technique is more frequently applied in the case of colon and inguinal hernia operations. Keyhole appendix and colon operation were almost solely performed in inpatient settings, as were most gall bladder and inguinal hernia operations.

Proportion of keyhole operations

Proportion of keyhole operations

Altogether, 8 in every 10 thousand residents underwent colon surgery, 15 in every 10 thousand residents gall bladder surgery and 18 in every 10 thousand inguinal hernia surgery in 2007.

Tanya Gelsema

Source: Hospital admissions