Hospitals in Tayside and Fife cancelled more than 70 operations in one month for reasons such as lack of space, equipment or staff.
A total of 279 planned procedures were called off by the region’s two health boards in September, according to new figures.
NHS Tayside was forced to scrap 54 operations for capacity or non-clinical reasons, while NHS Fife halted a further 19 during the period.
At Ninewells Hospital alone, 35 procedures were called off due to a lack of beds or resources or an emergency procedure taking priority.
Scottish health secretary Shona Robison said decisions to cancel planned operations were “never taken lightly” and said there were sometimes “good clinical reasons” why a procedure cannot go ahead.
She added: “We have made clear to boards that patients with the greatest clinical need, such as cancer patients, should not have their operations cancelled.”