• Utilizing data from the National Center for Health Statistics, an in-depth analysis of numbers of general surgical operations from 1979 to 1984 was performed. During the study period, there was an increase in the total number of general surgical operations of 7%. During the same five-year period the number of general surgeons increased by 13%. The 25 most common general surgical operations constitute 71% of all general surgical operations. In 1983, general surgical operations represented 27% of all surgical procedures completed in this country. These statistics illustrate the dynamics of general surgical practice. They show that the number of general surgical operations has minimally increased over the last five years, despite a constantly increasing number of general surgeons. If current trends continue, then future individual operative workloads will decrease with possible adverse effects on the quality of general surgical care.
(Arch Surg 1986;121:1145-1149)