Cataract, spine, hemorrhoid
most common surgeries in Korea
The surgery that Koreans received the most last year was for the correction of cataracts, followed by spinal surgery and hemorrhoidectomy, according to data from the National Health Insurance Service on Wednesday.
Last year, out of 2.1 million surgeries undertaken in Korea, about 1.68 million patients received one of the 33 most common major surgeries here, barring cosmetic surgeries for aesthetic purposes. Among them, 497,000 people received cataract surgery, which means 938.2 people per 100,000 people received the operation. A total of 781,220 cataract surgeries were performed last year, including cases where one person had surgery on both eyes.
Cataracts are commonly linked to advanced age, but it may also occur as a complication of high blood pressure or diabetes. Also recently, as the use of digital devices has increased dramatically, cataracts are often occurring at relatively younger ages.
About 190,000 patients had general spinal surgeries, while 158,000 had operations for hemorrhoids.
On the list of surgeries, breast partial resections increased the most within the last five years, up by 12.5 percent annually from 26,158 in 2017 to 41,881 in 2021.
Cataract surgery also increased by 9.2 percent per year, and thyroid surgery, which temporarily decreased amid controversy concerning overdiagnosis, increased steadily by 6.7 percent annually from 2017.
By age group, hernia surgery was most common among patients under the age of 9, followed by appendectomy for teenagers and cesarean section for those in their 20s and 30s. Hemorrhoid surgery was most common for patients in their 40s, and many cataracts surgeries were performed for patients in their 50s and older.