Around 15 million operations a year

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Around 15 million operations a year

In Germany's clinics, surgery was performed around 14.9 million times last year. According to the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden, the number of medical interventions on patients rose by four percent compared to the same period last year. Operations and therapeutic procedures had already risen by 7.7 percent in the previous year.

Medical therapies and operations were performed in German hospitals around 47 million times in 2010. Overall, according to the statisticians, there is an increase of 5.2 percent compared to 2009. An average hospital stay accounted for 2.7 therapies and operations of this type.

Operations accounted for almost a third of all inpatient measures. As a result, around 14.9 million medical interventions were performed on patients. With a share of 26.8 percent, non-surgical treatments were performed. Diagnostic measures took third place with 9.4 million examinations. The rest was spread over imaging diagnostics such as MRT or CT with 8.4 million, supplementary measures such as birth preparation n (1.6 million) and the administration of special drugs such as chemotherapy with 300,000 measures.

Most often, people were operated on after retirement. The proportion of pensioners aged 65 and over was 42.2 percent. Most interventions include surgery on the intestine. In second place were hip joint operations and endoscopic operations on the bile ducts. In the age group of 45 to 64 year olds, the most frequently operated on the articular cartilage and on the menisci. This is followed by women-specific interventions such as uterine removal or, in men, the hernia operation.

Women of younger age (15 to 44) were operated on most frequently due to childbirth (e.g. caesarean section). Men in this age group were primarily operated on the turbinates and articular cartilages or menisci. In children up to the age of 14, cutting the eardrum to open the tympanic cavity and removing the tonsils were the most common operations.

Health insurance companies and some medical experts have been criticizing the steady increase in inpatient interventions for a long time. Critics complain about reaching too quickly for the scalpel, although other non-surgical treatments have not yet been sufficiently explored. Numerous interventions due to back pain (herniated disc) are carried out, although alternative therapies often seem more effective. According to the health insurers, the reason for the increase is the increasing cost pressure on the clinics. The more operations are carried out, the higher the budgets of the hospitals. (sb)

Read on:
How health insurers trick natural therapies
Health: number of surgeries rose sharply
Too many operations in Germany
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New doctor portal against unnecessary operations

Image: Martin Büdenbender /

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