The Expert Guide to General Surgeons in Hong Kong

Last Updated:
2022-08-11

3 min read

Healthy Matters

The title “general” may be misleading – general surgery is actually a specialty! Learn about what general surgeon does, how they were trained, surgery costs, insurance coverage and where to find them in Hong Kong. 

 

What is a general surgeon?

A general surgeon has specialized knowledge of the entire surgical process, from the initial evaluation, preparation, operation, through post-operative management. A general surgeon can operate surgeries for:

  • head and neck
  • breasts
  • digestive system (stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladders, pancreas, etc.)
  • heart and blood vessels 
  • endocrine system (hormones and glands)
  • traumatic injuries

General surgeon: Training in Hong Kong

A medical graduate who wishes to become a surgeon needs to enter the Basic Surgical Training Programme first. According to the College of Surgeons of Hong Kong, Basic Surgical Training takes no less than two years after internship. Trainees need to undergo a 2-year rotation comprising general surgery, emergency module and/or surgical specialty training. After completing the Basic Surgical Training and fulfilling other eligibilities, trainees can enter the Higher Surgical Training specializing in one of the following specialties: 

  • Cardiothoracic Surgery 
  • General Surgery 
  • Neurosurgery 
  • Pediatric Surgery 
  • Plastic Surgery 
  • Urology 
  • Vascular Surgery

The training duration to be a General Surgeon is 4 years.

Common surgeries performed by a general surgeon

  • Appendectomy: the surgical removal of the appendix to treat acute appendicitis
  • Breast biopsy: the removal of tissue or cells for examination under a microscope, usually done when breast cancer is suspected
  • Hemorrhoidectomy: the surgical removal of hemorrhoids
  • Hernia repairs: pulls the intestine back to its original location
  • Tonsillectomy: the surgical removal of one or both tonsils
  • Colon cancer surgery: the surgical removal of the tumor

Today, most general surgeons are familiar with laparoscopic surgery (usually known as minimally invasive surgery (MIS)), which involves smaller surgical incisions and a special camera known as a laparoscope, and uses specialized surgical instruments that can pass through the incisions.

When should you see a general surgeon?

You may see a general surgeon under these circumstances:

  • When your primary care doctor recommends a surgery 
  • When you have a medical emergency (e.g. appendicitis, urinary obstruction, incarcerated hernia)
  • When you choose an elective procedure (e.g. wart removal, cosmetic surgeries, total joint replacement surgery)

List of general surgeons in Hong Kong

1. General surgeons in the public sector

Specialist outpatient clinics for Surgery are available in this list of public hospitals in Hong Kong.

 

2. General surgeons in the private sector

General surgeons station at all the 13 private hospitals in Hong Kong and some medical centers to perform general surgery.

 

You can search for General surgeons according to their locations and languages here.

How much does it cost to see a general surgeon in Hong Kong?

Public sector fees: For eligible HKID-holders, the fees at specialist outpatient clinics (surgery) is HK$135 for the first attendance, $80 per subsequent attendance and $15 per drug item. If you seek Accident & Emergency service, it costs $180 per attendance. Inpatient (acute general beds) service requires $75 admission fee, and $120 per day. Day procedure and treatment in ambulatory facility cost $195 per attendance.
 

Note that many of the surgical processes are listed under the Hospital Authority’s List of Private Services and charges may range from a few thousands to over HK$100,000. For your quick reference, we have summarized the costs of a few common surgeries below.

OperationFees (HK$)
Open biopsy of rectum12,750 - 19,350
Hemorrhoidectomy19,350 - 30,450
Hernia repair19,350 - 30,450
Tonsillectomy19,350 - 30,450
Gastrostomy30,450 - 37,800
Laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation for cancer of kidney48,850 - 59,950


 

*All amounts are in HKD and were last updated in August 2022. No responsibility is accepted for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions. It is always best to call ahead to make sure the information is still up-to-date.


 

Private sector fees: The fee depends on the type and complexity of surgery you need, the duration of hospital stay, the hospital room type, etc. As a starting point, you may search for the reference prices of some selected procedures via the Pilot Programme for Enhancing Price Transparency for Private Hospitals.


Alternatively, you may visit the websites of the 13 private hospitals in Hong Kong for their lists of reference charges for common surgical procedures. Nevertheless, double-check the pricings with the doctor or the hospital / medical center prior to the procedure to make sure you get everything straight.

Does insurance cover general surgery in Hong Kong?

Medically necessary surgeries can be claimed under inpatient, outpatient or surgical benefits, depending on the type of procedure. Be careful with any sub-limits that come with local plans. On the other hand, international plans with more comprehensive cover often cover the costs in full. It is always wise to contact your insurer well in advance so they can arrange payment directly with the hospital (if the procedure is covered).

 

If you have any medical insurance questions or want to learn more about insurance cover, contact Alea’s health insurance experts at [email protected].

FAQ

Which parts of the body can a general surgeon operate surgeries on?

A general surgeon can operate surgeries on:

  • head and neck
  • breasts
  • digestive system (stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladders, pancreas, etc.)
  • blood vessels and heart
  • endocrine system (hormones and glands)
What are some of the common surgeries performed by a general surgeon?
How many years of training is needed to become a general surgeon in Hong Kong?

This article was independently written by Healthy Matters. It is informative only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be relied upon for specific medical advice.

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